Month: November 2017

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The hypothesis of Panspermia states that life exists through the cosmos, and is distributed between planets, stars and even galaxies by asteroids, comets, meteors and planetoids. In this respect, life began on Earth about 4 billion years ago after microorganisms hitching a ride on space rocks landed on the surface. Over the years, considerable research
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When a human-made disaster like a chemical spill or nuclear accident occurs, it’s not unusual for the land to be ridden off. But there’s an unlikely candidate that could actually be able to survive the harsh terrain and help the area become viable again – Australian native plants.   “It’s a biotechnology called ‘phytoremediation’ and
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For the first time, scientists have witnessed lightning triggering nuclear reactions in the atmosphere, confirming a hypothesis dating back almost a century. It’s long been predicted that high-energy electrons in lightning can produce gamma rays that induce nuclear reactions in thunderclouds, but before now, the phenomenon has never been conclusively observed.   “The photonuclear reaction
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After weeks of silence and denials, Russia has confirmed that it too has detected evidence of a mysterious radiation cloud floating above much of Europe, observing a dramatic radiation spike above Russia’s Ural Mountains. The acknowledgement comes after a number of other European nations suggested Russia was the probable origin of the unexplained radiation surge,
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During the mid- to late-twentieth century, quantum physicists picked apart the unified theory of physics that Einstein’s theory of relativity offered. The physics of the large was governed by gravity, but only quantum physics could describe observations of the small. Since then, a theoretical tug-o-war between gravity and the other three fundamental forces has continued
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It’s the hiatus that never happened: an apparent ‘slowdown’ in rising surface temperatures between 1998 and 2012, which encouraged climate change deniers to label global warming a made-up conspiracy. Even a hoax. To be clear, thanks to the efforts of scientists, this ‘pause’ in global warming has been thoroughly debunked, but new research highlights another
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The first asteroid observed visiting our Solar System from elsewhere isn’t just unusual in its interstellar origin. It’s also unlike any other asteroid we’ve seen before. Astronomers have trained a flurry of telescopes on the object discovered last month, and now we’re being rewarded with super-exciting details.   Newly named ‘Oumuamua, the asteroid is up
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There’s no sense in sugar-coating it: the world is facing an epic environmental challenge as our planet breaks temperature records thanks to heavy emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping pollutants.   Which is why it’s so incredibly heartening – despite at least one superpower looking the other way – to see the the
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This is an excerpt from Macquarie University’s Tackling Global Challenges magazine. Read the full magazine here. Oceans are fundamental to life on Earth: they regulate our climate, support countless marine species and sustain billions of people. They are also surprisingly fragile and unknown, and that’s where Macquarie University is making a splash.   “Students often
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In the science of quantum communication, the challenge has always been prolonging the entangled state that the particles are in. As quantum information is carried by these entangled particles, the length of time the entanglement is sustained affects the distance that the information can travel.   Quantum communication systems do this using direct optical-fiber connections,