Older male spiders shudder longer in face of cannibal females

New research has revealed that the mating behaviour of the St Andrew’s cross spider changes with age, with older males investing more time in courtship, possibly to avoid cannibalisation by more aggressive females. The St Andrew’s cross spider is a colourful orb weaving spider that is best recognised by its banded abdomen and the characteristic X-shaped cross on its web. These spiders typically live for … Continue reading Older male spiders shudder longer in face of cannibal females

NanoZymes: Making light work of bacteria

Scientists have developed a new type of enzyme, called a NanoZyme, which is triggered by light to produce free radicals that kill bacteria. The technology could be used one day to fight infections by sterilising high-risk surfaces in areas such as hospitals and public bathrooms. Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne created these NanoZymes from tiny nanorods of cupric oxide. The rods themselves are 1,000 … Continue reading NanoZymes: Making light work of bacteria

Bee-mimicking moth rediscovered after 130 years

A rare species of clearwing moth, that appears to mimic a bee, has been rediscovered in the rainforests of Malaysia after being ‘lost’ for 130 years. Scientists have recorded footage of the metallic blue moths (Heterosphecia tawonoides) flying around the banks of rocky streams as described in an article published in Tropical Conservation Science. ‘When I first saw the clearwing in the Malaysian rainforest, I was … Continue reading Bee-mimicking moth rediscovered after 130 years

How to launch a space agency

Australia’s announcement that it would launch its very own space agency was heralded with much jubilation from the scientific community. However, little has actually been said about how the nation will step forwards to create this national body. What information we do know was provided by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos at the 68th International Astronautical Congress Industry Day Luncheon in … Continue reading How to launch a space agency

Prehistoric plesiosaur filter-fed like a whale

New research shows that a prehistoric marine reptile fed by filtering small animals out of the water using their long ‘needle-like’ teeth. A team of scientists from South America and the USA re-examined the fossilised skull of the plesiosaur Morturneria seymourensis and uncovered the first known case of filter feeding in a marine reptile. This research has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology. … Continue reading Prehistoric plesiosaur filter-fed like a whale

Democracy: It’s for the dogs

An international team of researchers has uncovered that African wild dogs behave in an unusual way: voting by sneezing to determine when the pack is ready to move out for the hunt. While it is common for certain animals to reach a consensus before partaking in a particular activity, the fact that the dogs used sneezing to vote and that not all votes are equal … Continue reading Democracy: It’s for the dogs

Life vs Science

Life vs Science: Live Podcast Recording When: Wednesday, 16th of August, 7pm Where: Camelot Lounge, Railway Parade, Marrickville NSW Bookings Online Now! It is the searing agony you feel when you find inaccuracies in science fiction movies. It is checking your pedometer hourly, not because you have to, but because you want to. Being a scientist is not just a profession, it is a way of … Continue reading Life vs Science