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Biological sciences posts

Weird and wacky spiders

by David, 10 August 2017 | 4 comments

A small, furry spider.

Some of Australia’s spiders have terrifying names. Funnelweb and Redback are names that scream danger. Even the helpful Huntsman Spider sounds like it could be out to get you. But not all spiders have scary names. How would you feel about meeting a spider called Sparklemuffin?

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Microscope: Sleepy sunshine News

by David, 12 April 2017 | 0 comments

Double Helix magazine is looking for your science questions! Our Microscope column answers the thorniest science queries you can throw at us. Email us at Helix.Editor@csiro.au or via our contact details below and you could have your question published. Here’s a sample question to get you thinking. Aisha Goshti asks: Why does the Sun makes…

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Measuring malaria on your breath News

by David, 27 February 2017 | 1 comments

It’s really annoying to get bitten by a mosquito. Your skin often swells, and the bite can itch for days. But in many places in the world, that small bite isn’t just annoying. It can cause a life-threatening disease: malaria. Malaria is a very tricky disease. Once you are infected, it can take weeks before…

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What’s wrong with our tomatoes? News

by David, 7 February 2017 | 0 comments

They’re bright red, a bit crunchy, and they don’t really taste like much. The standard tomatoes you can buy in a supermarket are a bit boring to eat. But if you’ve ever grown tomatoes yourself, you’ll know how sweet and full of flavour they can be. So what’s happened to the humble tomato? It’s not…

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Who knew? Sea birds fight climate change! Activity

by David, 9 January 2017 | 0 comments

You might think we know everything there is to know about climate change. We know that greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are trapping heat. And we know that average temperatures are climbing worldwide. But there’s still lots for us to learn, and new discoveries are being made all the time. For example,…

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New dinosaur! But how did it get here?

by David, 12 December 2016 | 0 comments

Scientists have discovered a new Australian dinosaur, and it’s a big one! Several giant bones, some over one metre long, were uncovered near the town of Winton in central Queensland. But what’s got scientists all worked up isn’t what it looks like: it’s where it came from. Scientists have named the new dinosaur Savannasaurus elliottorum. It…

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Spot the species difference

by David, 30 November 2016 | 0 comments

Spare a thought for taxonomists. Their job is to separate life into groups, from the great kingdoms of plants to animals, all the way down to individual species. Sometimes they have an easy job. For example, brown bears are easy to distinguish from polar bears. Other times, the differences are harder to find, such as…

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Jet lagged sunflowers

by David, 22 November 2016 | 0 comments

If you’ve ever flown overseas, you might have experienced jetlag. For example, daytime in London is night in Sydney, so your body can get very confused on a journey between the two. But jetlag isn’t just a human phenomenon, or even just an animal phenomenon. Turns out sunflowers can get jet lag too!

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Five reasons why insects are like Pokémon

by David, 29 July 2016 | 0 comments

If you’re a Pokémon fan, then you’re probably obsessed with collecting every species. But did you know that Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri got his inspiration from insects? Here are some reasons why entomology (the study of insects) is like playing Pokémon in real life. 5.       Transformation occurs in Pokémon and insects Some Pokémon and insects…

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Hard work creates simple life

by David, 5 June 2016 | 0 comments

It takes a lot of information to make a human. It’s kept in our cells as DNA, which contains at least 20 000 genes. Some other forms of life can get by with much less DNA and fewer genes. Now one team of scientists think they’re close to making the simplest living thing possible. The team…

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