Latest Entries
Cool roofs: beating the midday sun with a slap of white paint
Environment / Technology

Cool roofs: beating the midday sun with a slap of white paint

From the Guardian, April 14, 2017 (Image: Alberto d’Argenio via Flickr) There’s no shortage of measures that homeowners and businesses can take to lessen their environmental footprint – from better insulation and double glazing, to easing up on air-con usage and swapping in LED lights. One part of the house that seems to be attracting … Continue reading

Biology / Medicine

A deep dive into the genomes of penicillin fungi reveals a trove of potential drugs

From Cosmos Magazine, April 4, 2017 (Image: AJC1 via Flickr) A treasure trove of medicinal compounds could still be lurking within the fungi that revolutionised modern medicine through the use of antibiotics, according to a new study published in Nature Microbiology. Penicillin, derived from the Penicillium fungi, became the first mass-produced antibiotic in the 1940s. … Continue reading

How an Indigenous renewable energy alliance aims to cut power costs and disadvantage
Climate / Environment / Technology

How an Indigenous renewable energy alliance aims to cut power costs and disadvantage

From the Guardian, March 17, 2017 (Image: Rusty Stewart via Flickr) Like so many of the Indigenous communities dotted across the Australian continent, the remote communities in north-west New South Wales are struggling. “These are not happy places,” says the Euahlayi elder Ghillar Michael Anderson. Many of the 300 or so residents of Anderson’s hometown … Continue reading

Silverton windfarm’s output will be equal to taking 192,000 cars off the road
Environment / Technology

Silverton windfarm’s output will be equal to taking 192,000 cars off the road

From The Guardian, February 10, 2017 (Image: @PaulDCocker via Flickr) After years in planning, construction on the Silverton windfarm in western New South Wales is finally set to begin after the sale of the project from AGL to its Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). The deal will see AGL pay just $65 a megawatt hour … Continue reading

Extreme fire weather forecast for Australia and the Mediterranean
Climate / Environment

Extreme fire weather forecast for Australia and the Mediterranean

From Cosmos Magazine, February 7, 2017 (Image: bertknot via Flickr) Extreme wildfires are set to surge as the number of days that foster these catastrophic events climbs from 20% to 50% in disaster-prone regions, a new study warns. David Bowman, a fire ecologist from the University of Tasmania in Australia, and colleagues examined temperature data … Continue reading

How acid warps your thoughts and feelings
Biology / Neuroscience / Psychology

How acid warps your thoughts and feelings

From Cosmos Magazine, January 27, 2017 (Image: Mesaj via Flickr) Eight decades since Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first cooked up the psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide – LSD or “acid” – and half a century on from its heyday during the 1960s counterculture, how LSD messes with our brain is still little understood. But two new … Continue reading

Killer whale menopause evolved from mother-daughter conflict
Biology / Evolution

Killer whale menopause evolved from mother-daughter conflict

From Cosmos Magazine, January 13, 2017 (Image: Shawn McCready via Flickr) Menopause is an evolutionary anomaly. Only in three species – humans, orcas and short-finned pilot whales – does female reproduction grind to a halt part-way through life. For orcas (Orcinus orca), a new study published in Current Biology shows that menopause isn’t just a … Continue reading