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Why we need a global citizens' assembly on gene editing


Developments in gene editing are often met with moral panic. Every new announcement raises outrage over the audacity of scientists “playing God”.

Originally published in The Conversation.

'Science is political': Scientific American has endorsed Joe Biden over Trump for president. Australia should take note

In an unprecedented step, prestigious science publication Scientific American has launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump and endorsed his opponent, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, in the upcoming US election. It’s the first presidential endorsement in the magazine’s 175-year history.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Australian stinging trees inject scorpion-like venom. The pain lasts for days

Fig B Dexcelsa

Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous wildlife. Anyone who spends time outdoors in eastern Australia is wise to keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, swooping birds, crocodiles, deadly cone snails and tiny toxic jellyfish.

But what not everybody knows is that even some of the trees will get you.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Towards a post-privacy world: proposed bill would encourage agencies to widely share your data

The federal government has announced a plan to increase the sharing of citizen data across the public sector.

This would include data sitting with agencies such as Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, the Department of Home Affairs, the Bureau of Statistics and potentially other external “accredited” parties such as universities and businesses.

Originally published in The Conversation.

We need a code to protect our online privacy and wipe out 'dark patterns' in digital design


A digital building code is needed to help designers better protect the privacy of people when they use online platforms and websites.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Andrew Forrest's high-tech plan to extinguish bushfires within an hour is as challenging as it sounds

Warren Frey/AAP

The philanthropic foundation of mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has unveiled a plan to transform how Australia responds

Originally published in The Conversation.

A computer can guess more than 100,000,000,000 passwords per second. Still think yours is secure?

Paul Haskell-Dowland, Author provided

Passwords have been used for thousands of years as a means of identifying ourselves to others and in more recent times, to computers.

Originally published in The Conversation.

COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is a crucial tool


Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of The Conversation.

Life on Venus? Traces of phosphine may be a sign of biological activity

JAXA / ISAS / DARTS / Damia Bouic, CC BY-SA

The discovery that the atmosphere of Venus absorbs a precise frequency of microwave radiation has just The Conversation.

Keep calm, but don't just carry on: how to deal with China's mass surveillance of thousands of Australians


National security is like sausage-making. We might enjoy the tasty product, but want to look away from the manufacturing.

Originally published in The Conversation.