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Data lakes: where big businesses dump their excess data, and hackers have a field day

Unlike purpose-built data storage systems, a data lake can be used to dump data in its original form. This data usually remains unsupervised. Shutterstock.com

Machines and the internet are woven into the fabric of our society.


Originally published in The Conversation.

We could reduce the slaughter of racehorses if we breed them for longer racing careers

The slaughter of horses bred for racing in Australia, as revealed in the ABC’s investigation, highlights the challenge of what to do with racehorses when their careers are over.

The ABC has questioned the racing industry’s claim that fewer than 1% of horses retiring from racing each year end up at an abattoir or knackery.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Science prizes are still a boys' club. Here's how we can change that

At the 2018 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science, only two recipients were women. PM's Prizes for Science

This year, five of the seven The Conversation.

Our ability to manufacture minerals could transform the gem market, medical industries and even help suck carbon from the air

Pictured is a slag pile at Broken Hill in New South Wales. Slag is a man-made waste product created during smelting.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: how are stars made?

Stars come into existence because of a powerful force of nature called gravity. ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt


Originally published in The Conversation.

Revenge of the moderators: Facebook's online workers are sick of being treated like bots

Mark Zuckerberg and other tech CEOs may have to take notice of their workers' complaints. Aaron Schwarz / Shutterstock

Reports of Facebook moderators’ appalling working conditions


Originally published in The Conversation.

Pope Francis and the Catholic church continue to look towards science, and that can only be a good thing

It’s not uncommon for science and religion to be framed as two opposing forces.

The Catholic church has famously struggled to accommodate scientific research in its past, but recently there has been evidence of a healthier relationship developing.

In many ways, Pope Francis has embraced science as a way of learning about the world. Notably, his encyclical has urged people to care more for the environment and climate change.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Can Eliud Kipchoge run a sub-2hr marathon? It all comes down to 15 extraordinary seconds

UPDATE: Eliud Kipchoge successfully broke the 2-hour marathon barrier in Vienna on October 12, 2019, posting a time of 1h 59m 40s.


“Where were you on October 12, 2019?”

Could this be the question we are all asking ourselves in 50 years’ time as we remember the moment a male runner finally broke the 2-hour marathon barrier — the “four-minute mile” of our time?


Originally published in The Conversation.

Bees can learn higher numbers than we thought – if we train them the right way

Honeybees: nature's maths whizzes. SR Howard, Author provided

Bees are pretty good at maths – as far as insects go, at least.


Originally published in The Conversation.

A virus is attacking koalas' genes. But their DNA is fighting back

A virus that infects koalas is steadily integrating itself into their DNA, ensuring that it is passed down from generation to generation. But the koala genome is defending itself, revealing that DNA has its own immune system to shut down invaders.

The virus, called koala retrovirus (KoRV), is linked to weakened immunity, cancer, and chlamydia infection in koalas. All retroviruses hijack the DNA in some cells of their host’s body, but not all of them manage to be transmitted to the host’s offspring.


Originally published in The Conversation.