Undersea Aussie Aboriginal Artefacts

Undersea Aussie aboriginal artefacts found, according to reports in ABC News, The Conversation and James Cook University News 2 July 2020, and PLOS ONE 1 July 2020, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233912.  Archaeologists have found hundreds of stone tools and grinding stones at two sites on the seabed near the Dampier Archipelago, off the northwest coast of Western […]

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Detect Any Press Bias?

Do you detect any bias in this newspaper report? “An elite Brisbane private school has bowed to pressure and dropped a sex-education book that suggests God hates homosexuals, gay people can “successfully” change to heterosexual, and people with ambiguous genitalia are “freaks”.  Following Courier-Mail coverage that exposed the offensive book used in Year 10 religion […]

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How Old is the Universe?

How old did you say the universe is?  15 July 2020: “Now new research published in a series of papers by an international team of astrophysicists, including Neelima Sehgal, PhD, from Stony Brook University, suggest the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.”  ScienceDaily 15 July 2020 27 July 2020: “Using known distances of 50 […]

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Parrots Discarded Dull Colours

Parrots discarded dull colours, claim scientists, according to Inside JEB 17 June 2020 and Journal of Experimental Biology, published online 17 June 2020, doi:10.1242/jeb.225912. Most birds colour their feathers by producing a mix of two types of melanin pigment – eumelanin, which produces black and grey, and pheomelanins, which produce browns, reds and yellows.  Birds […]

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Citrus Thorny Problem Solved

Citrus thorny problem solved, according to ScienceDaily 18 June 2020, and Current Biology 18 June 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.068. Thorns on citrus trees are well known to form when branches start to develop, but stop growing and become hard and dry, leaving a sharp spike.  Scientists at Yale University have now tracked down the genetic control […]

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Fungus Unchanged For 400 Million Years

Fungus unchanged for 400 million years, as reported in Botany One 29 June 2020, and Annals of Botany 24 June 2020, doi: 10.1093/aob/mcaa113.  Scientists have studied thin sections of the fossil bearing Lower Devonian Rhynie chert in Scotland, which is dated as 410 million years old.  They found exquisitely preserved reproductive structures, known as spore-saccule […]

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Urban Trees Prevent Deaths

Urban trees prevent deaths, claim scientists, according to ScienceDaily 16 June 2020 and The Lancet Planetary Health, vol. 4, April 2020, doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30058-9. Researchers in Philadelphia, USA, have used a method named Greenspace-Health Impact Assessment to estimate the effect of increasing the tree canopy area within the city. The method estimates the number of preventable […]

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Oldest Mahogany

Oldest mahogany found, according to ScienceDaily and University of Kansas News 15 April 2020, and American Journal of Botany 5 January 2020 doi: 10.1002/ajb2.1416.  Brian Atkinson of University of Kansa has studied a fossilised fruit found in a rock collected on Shelter Point on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and identified it as belonging to […]

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Masters and Slaves Must Go

Masters and slaves must go, according to BBC News 15 June 2020. The software development hub GitHub wants its users to stop using the terms “master” and “slave”, when referring to software systems where one system controls other copies or processes. According to the BBC “The years-old campaign to replace such terms has been given […]

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Flowers Bounce Back After Injury

Flowers bounce back after injury, according to ScienceDaily 7 April 2020 and BBC News 8 April 2020, and New Phytologist 6 April 2020, doi: 10.1111/nph.16482. Several years ago Scott Armbruster, now a Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Portsmouth UK, was in Australia where he noticed a trigger plant that had been […]

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