ALU

Biology

Biochar boffins for Australian tour

Agricultural science to be the focus of international presentations. Original Link

Primates of the Caribbean: dead monkeys do tell tales

DNA analysis sheds light on ancient primate island-hopping. Dyani Lewis reports. Original Link

Heatwaves damage insect sperm, threatening biodiversity

More hot spells could lead to catastrophic collapse of beetle species, researchers find. Stephen Fleischfresser reports. Original Link

Krill another day: Antarctic crustaceans more resilient than thought

Adult krill appear unharmed by upticks in ocean acidification. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Ants exploited plants long before the plants returned the favour

Plant symbiosis with ants developed long before the insects started chowing on leaves and stems. Tanya Loos reports. Original Link

The bugs you breathe in vary by season

Sampling shows airborne microbe populations wax and wane across the year. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Superstars of STEM: The hero of the half-shell

Amy Heffernan is dedicated to discovering the effects of pollutions on reef turtles. Dion Pretorius reports. Original Link

Being nosey: what happens when we breathe in bacteria

Researchers identify complex communication and defence system in human nostrils. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Science history: First among equals

Patricia Bath has overcome major cultural hurdles – and saved the sight of millions. Jeff Glorfeld reports. Original Link

Dynasties review: Attenborough’s latest special focuses on real drama

David Attenborough’s latest series uses a new kind of storytelling: by closing in on a few animals over two years, it creates real Game of Thrones style drama Original Link

Neonicotinoids make bees antisocial and lazy

Robot-assisted research sheds further light on how pesticides impact pollinators. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Alan Turing’s equations explain shark skin

The mathematician’s reaction-diffusion model explains patterning across the vertebrate lineage. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Mushrooms plus bacteria equals a new source of electrical energy

Proof-of-concept shows that ‘engineered bionic symbiosis’ holds great promise. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Which spare body parts will stem cells deliver first?

We’ve been waiting 20 years for human stem cells to deliver spare parts. Megan Munsie takes a look at the winners coming down the track. Original Link

Building better frogs’ legs

Bioreactor prompts improved regrowth in legless amphibians. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Antidepressants, Valium among 60 pharmaceuticals found in Australian stream wildlife

Scientists suggest compounds moving through the food chain, to largely unknown effect. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Major study finds smaller role for genes in ageing

Social factors more influential than genetics, family tree analysis finds. Natalie Parletta reports. Original Link

Doubts cast on Indonesian orangutan report

Zoologists question the reliability of ape number increase claims. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Children feature heavily in sports injury stats

UK researchers call for safety protocols to reduce hospital admissions among the young. Andrew Patterson reports. Original Link

If it weren’t for fungi, we wouldn’t be here

The button mushroom in your local grocery store is a visible outpost of a largely hidden, alien-like kingdom that rules all life on land: fungi. Annamaria Talas takes a look. Original Link

Huge numbers of deformities found in ancient human remains

Analysis of late Pleistocene people finds a wide range of bone and dental problems. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Wind farms bad for raptors, but good news for lizards

Big turbines function as apex predators, researchers suggest. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Using games to probe attention deficits

Australian researchers team up with game developers to aid children with memory disorders. Fiona McMillan reports. Original Link

Tiny straws improve molecule delivery

Materials scientists design faster, more precise method for gene editing and disease treatment at nano scale. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Five vampire traits that exist in the real world

Count Dracula was a fictional creation, but many of the things that made him distinctive can be found in nature. Behavioural ecologist Louise Gentle from the UK’s Nottingham Trent University explains. Original Link

Research Check: can you cut your cancer risk by eating organic?

A recent study found a correlation between eating organic food and lower rates of some cancers, but does that mean there is a causal relationship. Romemary Stanton from Australia’s University of New South Wales explores the question. Original Link

Human papilloma virus: a gift from the Neanderthals

HPV evolved from an acquired sub-strain, researchers find. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Even for the heavily-armed, there is safety in numbers

Study finds beetles with backsides from hell shelter with related species. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Identifying the beasts in Caesar’s forest

Classical texts provide a glimpse of a vanished European fauna. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Parkinson’s disease linked to appendix removal

Swedish data suggest appendectomy lowers the risk of developing the disease. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

GM micro-organisms throw light on early evolution

Researchers use lab-created organisms to investigate RNA world hypothesis. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Candy company finds chocolate is good for you

Research suggests blood pressure and cholesterol benefits from two compounds in cocoa. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Disease-carrying flies seek out cannabis

Surprise result finds sand flies around the world prefer marijuana to other plants, suggesting new control strategies. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Chocolate domesticated much earlier, and further south, than thought

Evidence suggests use in Ecuador 1500 years before Central America. Andrew Masterson reports. Original Link

Superstars of STEM: Exploring the mystery of back pain

It’s a debilitating condition that affects millions. Australian researcher Siobhan Schabrun is trying to find out why. Dion Pretorius reports. Original Link

Gene means fish can recover lost stripes

Cichlid markings and dog coat colours have much in common. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Potential mechanism for retina-linked hallucinations discovered

Visions linked to macular degeneration can be scary, but there’s no cause for panic. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Alzheimer’s disease: mounting evidence that herpes virus is a cause

A review of more that 150 studies strongly suggests that herpes is a cause of Alzheimer’s. Its author, Ruth Itzhaki, from the UK’s University of Manchester, explains. Original Link

Vertebrate evolution kicked off in lagoons

Researchers trace first animals with backbones to shallow “evolutionary hot-spots”. Lauren Fuge reports. Original Link

Push to change genetic materials treaty over disease pandemic fears

UN to consider redrafting Nagoya Protocol as pathogen sequencing outstrips current guidelines. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Liverwort may rival cannabis as pain-killer

Moss and marijuana both produce cannabinoids with therapeutic potential. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Glass sponges can handle the heat

Deep sea species thrive despite fluctuating temperatures and salinity. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Elephant trunks derive power and finesse by simulating bone joints

The biomechanics of feeding offers clues for soft robotics. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Crowd-funders raise millions for useless cancer, stem cell treatments

Study finds plenty of money donated to evidence-free therapies. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Exercise is an antidepressant, meta-analysis finds

Research adds to evidence that physical activity may help depression and anxiety. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Flying close to ground saves energy

Wind tunnel experiments using bats lend support to “ground-up” theory of flight evolution. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

Microplastics found in human stools

Pilot study finds plastics in poo samples from eight countries. Nick Carne reports. Original Link

Spider silk made from “hierarchical protein assemblies”

Research brings fabrication of steel-tough flexible fibres nearer. Samantha Page reports. Original Link

For plants, constant vigilance comes at reproductive cost

Energy expenditure on defence mechanisms leaves little for other purposes. Nick Carne reports. Original Link