Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Online Feature

A new 3D koala genome will aid efforts to defend the threatened species

Koalas are unique in the animal kingdom, living on a eucalyptus diet that would kill other creatures and drinking so little their name comes from the Dharug word gula, meaning “no water”. Today, many koala populations across Australia are in decline, due to habitat destruction caused by agriculture, urbanisation, droughts and bushfires intensified by climate change, and diseases such as chlamydia and koala retrovirus.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Burnt ancient nutshells reveal the story of climate change at Kakadu — now drier than ever before

S. Anna Florin., Author provided

Archaeological research provides a long-term perspective on how humans survived various environmental conditions over tens of thousands of years.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Is news worth a lot or a little? Google and Facebook want to have it both ways

Executives from Google and Facebook have told a Senate committee they are prepared to take drastic action if Australia’s news media bargaining code, which would force the internet giants to pay news publishers for linking to their sites, comes into force.


Originally published in The Conversation.

The mystery of the blue flower: nature's rare colour owes its existence to bee vision

Shutterstock

At a dinner party, or in the schoolyard, the question of favourite colour frequently results in an answer of “blue”. Why is it that humans are so fond of blue?


Originally published in The Conversation.

Why the COVID-19 variants are so dangerous and how to stop them spreading

Shutterstock/Lakeview Images

With new, more infectious variants of COVID-19 detected around the world, and at New Zealand’s border, the ris


Originally published in The Conversation.

Web's inventor says news media bargaining code could break the internet. He's right — but there's a fix

The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has raised concerns that Australia’s proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code could fundamentally break the internet as we know it.

His concerns are valid. However, they could be addressed through minor changes to the proposed code.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Family matters: why people can hold political views that disadvantage their own sex

The views of women and men can differ on important gendered issues such as abortion, gender equity and government spending priorities. Surprisingly, however, average differences in sex on this front are usually small. Many women adopt social and political positions that favour men and many men favour women-friendly positions.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Upgrade rage: why you may have to buy a new device whether you want to or not

The Conversation, CC BY

We’ve probably all been there. We buy some new smart gadget and when we plug it in for the first time it requires an update to work.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Love in the time of algorithms: would you let artificial intelligence choose your partner?

Shutterstock

It could be argued artificial intelligence (AI) is already the indispensable tool of the 21st century.


Originally published in The Conversation.