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You look but do not find: why the absence of evidence can be a useful thing

What you find depends on what you're looking for. Ray Bond/Shutterstock

Imagine you’re looking for your keys and you think you might have left them on the bookshelf. But when you look, you see nothing but books.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Australia’s epic story: a tale of amazing people, amazing creatures and rising seas

We have so much more to learn about Australia. Shutterstock/Lev Savitskiy

The Australian continent has a remarkable history — a story of isolation, desiccation and resilience on an ark at the edge of the world.

Originally published in The Conversation.

We scanned one of our closest cousins, the coelacanth, to learn how its brain grows

There’s a lot that’s fascinating about the coelacanth Latimeria. Now under threat, this deep-sea fish is closely related to humans and other back-boned, land dwelling animals (tetrapods).

The coelacanth Latimeria is a relatively large fish (reaching about 2 metres long) but has a very tiny brain lying within a hinged braincase – a very primitive feature found in many fossil fishes.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Māori loanwords in NZ English are less about meaning, more about identity

More and more Māori words are commonly used by speakers of New Zealand English.

Originally published in The Conversation.

How fake news gets into our minds, and what you can do to resist it

Your memory can play tricks with you so best not to let fake news get through in the first place. Shutterstock/shipfactory

Although the term itself is not new, fake news presents a growing threat for The Conversation.

Farms create lots of data, but farmers don't control where it ends up and who can use it

All sorts of data is collected on Australian farms, such as stock numbers and crop details.

Originally published in The Conversation.

There's no 'garbage patch' in the Southern Indian Ocean, so where does all the rubbish go?

Plastic waste on a remote beach in Sri Lanka. Author provided

Great areas of our rubbish are known to form in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. But no such “garbage patch” has been found in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Originally published in The Conversation.

As responsible digital citizens, here's how we can all reduce racism online

No matter how innocent you think it is, what you type into search engines can shape how the internet behaves.

Originally published in The Conversation.

STEM is worth investing in, but Australia's major parties offer scant details on policy and funding

This article is part of a series examining the Coalition government’s record on key issues while in power and what Labor is promising if it wins the 2019 federal election.

Evidence from around the world shows that public investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can advance nations towards a strong economy, a healthy population and a sustainable environment.

Originally published in The Conversation.

The success of Winx shows the value of symmetry in race horses

As Australia prepares to farewell the beloved racehorse Winx in her final race this weekend, it’s interesting to look at the factors that contributed to her incredible success.

This magnificent mare’s extraordinary career reflects her impeccable genetics, rearing, training, strategic rest periods, and race riding. Optimal heart, lung and muscle function also play a part.

Originally published in The Conversation.