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First impressions count, and have an impact on the decisions we make later on

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Picture yourself standing at the edge of a road, trying to decide if it’s safe to cross. It’s night time and rain is falling, making it difficult to see what’s up ahead. After looking both ways, you step onto the road.


Originally published in The Conversation.

A huge project is underway to sequence the genome of every complex species on Earth

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The Earth Biogenome Project, a global consortium that aims to sequence the genomes of all complex life on earth (some 1.8 million described species) in ten years, is ramping up.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Research confirms men with older brothers are more likely to be gay, suggesting same-sex attraction has a biological basis

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New research shows having a greater number of older brothers increases the probability of a person entering a same-sex union at some point in their lives.


Originally published in The Conversation.

The Tonga volcanic eruption has revealed the vulnerabilities in our global telecommunication system

In the wake of a violent volcanic eruption in Tonga, much of the communication with residents on the islands remains at a standstill. In our modern, highly-connected world, more than 95% of global data transfer occurs along fibre-optic cables that criss-cross through the world’s oceans.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Why the volcanic eruption in Tonga was so violent, and what to expect next

The Kingdom of Tonga doesn’t often attract global attention, but a violent eruption of an underwater volcano on January 15 has spread shock waves, quite literally, around half the world.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Crime won't stop because of COVID. So how should we protect crime scene investigators?

COVID may have curtailed travel, hospitality, education and entertainment, but crime scene investigation never stops.

As a forensic scientist, researcher and lecturer, I know first-hand the risks and challenges crime scene investigation (CSI) teams have faced over the past two years as we’ve grappled with the realities of operating amid the threat of COVID.

CSI units present a unique challenge, as investigators often work at close quarters for prolonged periods. Yet surprisingly, until now, there has been very little adjustment to existing crime scene procedures.


Originally published in The Conversation.

We've unveiled the waratah's genetic secrets, helping preserve this Australian icon for the future

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When the smoke cleared after the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20, the bush su


Originally published in The Conversation.

We asked 6 scientists what inspired them to pursue a career in science. Here's what they said

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As you read this, scientists the world over are rushing to find out more about the COVID-19 Omicron variant.


Originally published in The Conversation.

ARC grants: if Australia wants to tackle the biggest issues, politicians need to stop meddling with basic research

In countries like Denmark and Germany, gifts are given on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas morning. Likewise, on Christmas Eve 2021, 587 groups of researchers at universities around Australia received a festive gift from the Australian Research Council (ARC), in the form of news that their 2022 Discovery Projects were to be funded.

More brutally, 2,508 other groups of researchers also received the less than festive news that their proposed Discovery Projects were to be denied funding.


Originally published in The Conversation.