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Something to Bragg about News

by Pat, 23 November 2012 | 1 comments

Two diffractometers: one from the 1970s and another from the present day.

Written by Jarrod Green If Lawrence Bragg was still alive he really could be boastful. This November marks the centenary of crystallography. It’s a powerful technique Bragg helped to develop for studying the structure of chemicals.

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Breaking symmetry News

by Pat, 20 November 2012 | 0 comments

Chemical formulas, such as H2O (water) and CO2 (carbon dioxide), are handy as they identify which atoms are present in a chemical compound. This can in turn help to make predictions about their properties. But only knowing which atoms make up a compound sometimes isn’t enough. It helps to know how the atoms are arranged.

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Feral felines avoid top dogs News

by Pat, 16 November 2012 | 3 comments

Three dingoes.

Dogs chase cats – it’s one of the facts of life. However, what seems to be true in the backyard might not be the case in the Australian bush.

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Science by the people News

by Pat, 9 November 2012 | 0 comments

Rainbow lorikeets feeding.

Citizen science is on the rise. More and more, amateurs, or ‘citizen scientists’ are given opportunities to help scientists.

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Seeing the errors of our ways News

by Pat, 6 November 2012 | 0 comments

If you read scientific reports closely, you will come across words such as error and uncertainty. What do they mean? If a teacher tells you that you made an error on a test, then you got something wrong. In everyday language, that’s what error often means – a mistake.

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Water, water everywhere? News

by Pat, 26 October 2012 | 0 comments

A dam

It’s a small molecule, made of oxygen and hydrogen atoms in a V-shape. It’s colourless, odourless and expands when it freezes into a solid. It’s water, and without it, we wouldn’t be here.

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Great balls of lightning News

by Pat, 19 October 2012 | 0 comments

Nineteenth century depiction of ball lightning

You’re at home, sitting on the couch. Outside, there is thunder and lightning. You notice something at the window: a strange, glowing ball of light. As you watch, it appears to pass through the glass. It wanders through the air before abruptly disappearing.

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Cells can go back to the start News

by Pat, 12 October 2012 | 0 comments

Mature cells such as these neurons develop from immature pluripotent cells.

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly awarded to Sir John B. Gurdon and Professor Shinya Yamanaka. They received the award ‘for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent’. What does that mean?

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Element 113 spotted News

by Pat, 5 October 2012 | 0 comments

Artist's impression of colliding nuclei.

A few months ago, Science by Email reported on the naming of two superheavy elements, flerovium and livermorium. Now a team from Japan has reported making a third atom of another, new superheavy element with an atomic number of 113.

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Super clock News

by Pat, 5 October 2012 | 0 comments

Protein crystals

A clock that lasts forever, without batteries or winding up, sounds like something from science fiction. Right now, that’s the case. But a research team led by scientists in the USA thinks it might actually to be possible to make such a device.

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