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Almost 90% of astronauts have been men. But the future of space may be female

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station. NASA

Only 566 people have ever travelled to space. Sixty-five of them, or about 11.5%, were women.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: is time travel possible for humans?

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Is time travel possible for humans? Jasmine, age 8, Canberra, ACT.


Originally published in The Conversation.

What makes pepper spray so intense? And is it a tear gas? A chemical engineer explains

In recent weeks, the world has looked on as governments use chemical irritants to control protesters and riots. Whether it’s tear gas, pepper spray, mace or pepper balls, all have one thing in common: they’re chemical weapons.

Chemical warfare agents have been used twice in Sydney in the past week alone. Police pepper-sprayed demonstrators at Central Station, following Saturday’s major Black Lives Matter protest.


Originally published in The Conversation.

120 million years ago, giant crocodiles walked on two legs in what is now South Korea

Fossilised footprints and tracks provide a direct record of how ancient animals moved. And some preserved behaviours leave us marvelling in disbelief.

In research published in Scientific Reports, my international team of colleagues and I detail our discovery of exquisitely preserved crocodile footprints, formed about 120 million years ago in what is now Sacheon, South Korea.

These trace fossils reveal multiple crocodiles undertaking a very curious behaviour: bipedal walking, much like many dinosaurs.


Originally published in The Conversation.

How a stone wedged in a gum tree shows the resilience of Aboriginal culture in Australia

Caroline Spry, Author provided

Trees marked by Aboriginal cultural practices are a distinctive part of the Australian landscape.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Who owns the bones? Human fossils shouldn't just belong to whoever digs them up

All humans alive today can claim a common ancestral link to some hominin. Hominins include modern humans, extinct human species, and all our immediate ancestors.

Recent discoveries of hominin remains, including the skull of a Homo erectus in South Africa, have generated high levels of interest from the public and scientific community alike.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: how would they bring the International Space Station back down to Earth?

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How would they bring the International Space Station back down to earth? Grace, age 7, Watson, ACT.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Grindr is deleting its 'ethnicity filter'. But racism is still rife in online dating

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Dating and hook-up service Grindr has announced its intention to remove the “ethnicity filter


Originally published in The Conversation.