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Pasta shape provides better LED

'Rotelle' molecules depolarise light and are more efficient than 'spaghetti'

One problem in developing more efficient organic LED light bulbs and displays for TVs and phones is that much of the light is polarized in one direction and thus trapped within the light-emitting diode, or LED. University of Utah physicists believe they have solved the problem by creating a new organic molecule that is shaped like rotelle – wagon-wheel pasta – rather than spaghetti.

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: more certainty, not much news

By Steve Sherwood and Lisa Alexander

What new does the IPCC's fifth report have to say about our climate problem?

The part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report dealing with the physical basis of climate change has now been released.

David Suzuki: Australian scientists should be up on the ramparts

By David Suzuki

The Abbott government's abolition of the Climate Commission places Australia on the same path as Canada, where climate research has been abandoned and scientific papers need to be approved by the PM's office prior to submission for publication.

Despite the enormous success of the environmental movement in the 1960s and 70s, we have fundamentally failed to use each of those battles to broaden the public understanding of why we were battling. It wasn’t just the power of environmentalists against developers, environmentalists against the oil industry. It was because we had a different way of looking at the world.

Axing the Climate Commission Splits Australians from Science

By Jenni Metcalfe

Australians need people of this calibre to explain the science and economics of climate change, especially when the debate has become so politically polarised.

The new Abbott Government decided today, just one day into governing, to axe the Climate Commission. This decision demonstrates to the Australian public the government is not interested in talking to them about climate change science or climate change action.

Take science brief across government, science chief urges

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

In this podcast and article, Michelle Grattan speaks to Chief Scientist Ian Chub about the absence of a Science Minister in the new government's structure.

Tony Abbott’s treatment of science has sparked another controversy over his ministry, with a backbencher slamming the absence of a dedicated minister for the area, and the Chief Scientist calling for a “coherent strategic approach” towards its development.

Chief Scientist Ian Chubb said today he did not object to the spread between portfolios – pointing out that science was already across 14 portfolios – provided there was a “whole-of-government” attitude.

Tarantula venom: a new selective, effective edible insecticide

By Margaret C. Hardy

An environmentally-friendly insecticide has been developed from the venom of a native Australian tarantula.

Insecticide resistance is the quieter, lesser-known relative of antibiotic resistance. Anyone who has been to a hospital recently knows about antibiotic resistant bacteria. But how many people think about insecticide resistance when they spray their home garden with insecticides?

Modern-day alchemy: a recipe for a new superheavy element

By Elizabeth Williams

How did scientists go about discovering the short-lived superheavy element 115?

Even though nearly 80 years have passed since the discovery of Technetium, the first “synthetic” element, the periodic table of elements remains a work in progress.

Electric cars at blazing-fast speeds

Electric cars can already compete on some racecourses with the world's best petrol-powered cars.

Already noted for saving gasoline and having zero emissions, electric cars have quietly taken on an unlikely new dimension –– the ability to reach blazing speeds that rival the 0-to-60 performance of a typical Porsche or BMW, and compete on some racecourses with the world's best gasoline-powered cars.

How to store surplus renewable energy

Scientists calculate the energy required to store wind and solar power on the grid.

Renewable energy holds the promise of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But there are times when solar and wind farms generate more electricity than is needed by consumers. Storing that surplus energy in batteries for later use seems like an obvious solution, but a new study from Stanford University suggests that might not always be the case.

Futile Research or Stealthy Censorship?

By Ian Musgrave

It's hard to see the Coalition's plans to weed out "futile" research as anything other than a cynical attempt to defund topics the Coalition doesn’t like.

It hasn’t been a very inspiring election from the point of view of research. Research hasn’t really featured at all. That slightly changed today with a front page article in the Advertiser (also in The Daily Telegraph), under the title of “Abbot’s Waste Disposal”. The article claimed a Coalition government would target “futile” research projects.