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Posts by Jas

Winning ideas from Australian students Activity

by Jas, 25 March 2016 | 0 comments

The winners of this year’s BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards have been announced. These students are among Australia’s best and brightest young scientists. From green energy generation to a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, all of the winning projects address critical real-world challenges.

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Burp! Excuse us

by Jas, 24 March 2016 | 0 comments

In a recent blog post we reported on farts, a type of methane emission. When talking about these emissions, we made an omission. That is, we should have mentioned burps as well as farts. In cows, burps can account for 95 per cent of methane emissions. As methane is a greenhouse gas, these emissions can…

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New theory for eco-friendly kangaroo farts

by Jas, 22 February 2016 | 0 comments

By Julia Cleghorn Cow farts and burps are a big, smelly problem. They contain a lot of methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Kangaroos, on the other hand, produce a lot less methane when they toot. Some researchers have suggested that kangaroos have a unique microbiome – a mix of bacteria…

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On the pulse

by Jas, 11 February 2016 | 0 comments

By Emily Standen Did you know 2016 is the International Year of Pulses? Take your hand off you wrist though – this type of pulse refers to food, not your heartbeat! Pulses include particular types of legumes such as lentils, mung beans and kidney beans. They are a food source for many cultures right around…

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Spirolaterals! Activity

by Jas, 4 November 2014 | 0 comments

In this activity, you’ll draw one long line that spirals and snakes around the page, known as a spirolateral. Start with a simple one, and then go on to invent your own spirolaterals! You will need Graph paper with 1 cm x 1 cm squares. (You can download and print some as a PDF or…

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Feeling chirpy?

by Jas, 14 August 2014 | 0 comments

Written by Beth Askham Emotions can run high in the twitterverse. Tweets about feelings can now be mapped to find the mood of a city, nation or area. An online tool called We Feel, developed by CSIRO researchers, scans up to 32 000 tweets per minute. It recognises a range of words to judge how…

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Silken surgery

by Jas, 3 July 2014 | 0 comments

Written by Celia Berrell A one-kilometre single thread each silkworm spins as a cocoon bed. That protein-filled strand, untangled and long, makes fine-woven fabrics so light, yet strong. Surgery too has discovered silk’s riches. Incredibly thin for dissolvable stitches.

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New issue of The Helix out this week, June–July 2014

by Jas, 5 June 2014 | 0 comments

It’s that time! The new issue of The Helix is hitting mailboxes and newsagencies around the country. You might have used a printer to put ink on a page, but have you tried 3D printing? Your imagination’s the limit when printing objects in 3D. We look at printing everything from food and shoes, to fossils…

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Recycling on the reef

by Jas, 15 April 2014 | 0 comments

Written by Michele Weber Coral reefs have much in common with rainforests: both are full of life, but are low in nutrients. How is that possible? As far as a coral reef goes, it’s because marine sponges produce waste that contains food that other reef animals can eat.

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Know your temperatures

by Jas, 1 April 2014 | 0 comments

Written by Matthew Dunn Illustrated by Alex Hallatt −273.15 °C Absolute zero Absolute zero is, unsurprisingly, the lowest temperature possible. When things get colder, their particles slow down. At −273.15 °C, they are motionless and entropy is zero. We can’t cool things down to absolute zero, but Finnish scientists have got very close − even as close…

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