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480 million-year-old fossil spores from Western Australia record how ancient plants spread to land

An irregular cluster of fossil spores. (Scale 10 micrometres.) Paul Strother, Author provided

When plants first ventured onto the land, evolving from freshwater-dwelling algae, more than 500 million years ago, they transformed the planet.


Originally published in The Conversation.

'How high above sea level am I?' If you've googled this, you're likely asking the wrong question — an expert explains

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The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is confronting. It finds global mean sea levels rose by about 20 centimetres between 1901 and 2018.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Lethal autonomous weapons and World War III: it's not too late to stop the rise of 'killer robots'

The STM Kargu attack drone. STM

Last year, according to a United Nations report published in March, Libyan government forces hunted down rebel forces using


Originally published in The Conversation.

Phased border reopening, faster vaccination, be ready for Delta: Jacinda Ardern lays out NZ's COVID roadmap

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released a “roadmap” for a phased process of border reopenings that could begin during the first quarter of next year — as long as New Zealand completes its vaccination rollout by the end of t


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: how does music get onto a cassette tape?

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How does music get onto a cassette tape? — Paul, age 9, Adelaide


Originally published in The Conversation.

How venomous snakes got their fangs

Tontan Travel, Author provided

Venomous snakes inject a cocktail of toxins using venom fangs — specialised teeth with grooves or canals running through them to guide the venom into a bite wound.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Why it's unlikely there will be another #Censusfail tonight

Kaitlyn Baker/Unsplash, CC BY-SA

As the appointed hour for tonight’s census approaches, the question on many lips is: will it go smoothly, or will it be a repeat of the


Originally published in The Conversation.

I'm a Luddite. You should be one too

Poster showing 'The Leader of the Luddites' (1812) Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

I’m a Luddite. This is not a hesitant confession, but a proud proclamation.


Originally published in The Conversation.

What's behind the spate of super-fast sprints at the Tokyo Olympics? Technology plays a role, but the real answer is training

The Tokyo Olympic Games have seen incredible performances in the short-distance track events. We have seen two major world records fall: the men’s and women’s 400-metre hurdles - and numerous personal best times.

In the women’s 400-metre hurdles, five of the eight competitors in the final ran personal bests. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah set an Olympic record to win the women’s 100-metre event. A European record was set in the men’s 100-metre event, and all medallists in the race were slightly faster than the respective medal-winning times at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Originally published in The Conversation.

What is the metaverse? A high-tech plan to Facebookify the world

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Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the tech giant will shift from being a social media company to beco


Originally published in The Conversation.