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How solar heat drives rapid melting of parts of Antarctica's largest ice shelf

Scientists measured the thickness and basal melt of the Ross Ice Shelf. Supplied, CC BY-ND

The ocean that surrounds Antarctica plays a crucial role in regulating the mass balance of the contin

Originally published in The Conversation.

Like to work with background noise? It could be boosting your performance

A certain optimal noise level allows people to see, hear and feel better. Shutterstock

Like to work in a noisy environment while your colleague prefers silence? It could be your brain is simply less “noisy” so this extra, external noise improves your cognitive functioning.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Treat or trick: we asked people how they feel about sharing fitness data with insurance companies

Insurance companies collect data from fitness trackers to help improve business decisions.

Originally published in The Conversation.

I've always wondered: how do cyclones get their names?

This is an article from I’ve Always Wondered, a series where readers send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. Send your question to

Who calls cyclones their names? – Guy Mullin, Mozambique.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Emoji aren't ruining language: they’re a natural substitute for gesture

Gestures and emoji don’t break down into smaller parts, nor do they easily combine into larger words or sentences. Shutterstock

We’re much more likely to be hanging out on social media than at the watercooler these days.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Why the 'molecular scissors' metaphor for understanding CRISPR is misleading

The metaphors we use when we talk about gene editing shape public perception of the complexity involved.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Using virtual reality could make you a better person in real life

VR gives the user a sense of body ownership over a virtual avatar. Deakin University Asset Bank, Author provided

If you’ve ever participated in a virtual reality (VR) ex

Originally published in The Conversation.

We need human oversight of machine decisions to stop robo-debt drama

One former member of Australia's government review tribunal has described robo-debt as a form of 'extortion'. Shutterstock

Federal MP Amanda Rishworth r

Originally published in The Conversation.

'This is going to affect how we determine time since death': how studying body donors in the bush is changing forensic science

On the outskirts of Sydney, in a secret bushland location, lies what’s officially known as the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER). In books and movies, it’d be called a body farm.

Originally published in The Conversation.