UNSW - Science

Annual archive of News from the Faculty of Science
Head-bangers: quick licks crick necks
18 December 2008
Rock fans who risk head and neck injuries when "head-banging" in time to heavy-metal music could reduce harm by wearing a protective brace or switching to slower tempo easy-listening artists, such...
Electronic nose sniffs out trouble
12 December 2008
Graffiti artists risk being sniffed out by an "electronic nose" that can detect paint, tip off security officers, and prevent the high cost of graffiti vandalism. Developed by UNSW and University of...
The popcorn effect: new way to make graphene
11 December 2008
There's a new and surprisingly simple way to make graphene, a single-layered sheet of carbon atoms arranged in honeycomb lattice with great strength and excellent electrical conductivity, according...
Big Bang and bio-sensors win awards
8 December 2008
One of the Faculty's most senior researchers in physics and one of its most outstanding doctoral students in chemistry have been recognised with major professional awards.Scientia Professor Victor...
Spider love: little guys get lots more
8 December 2008
Big males outperform smaller ones in head-to-head mating contests but diminutive males make ten times better lovers because they're quicker to mature and faster on their feet, a new study of redback...
Atomic clock can shrink by "magic"
26 November 2008
The world's most precise clock - on which all time-keeping and navigation systems are based - might be made as small as a wristwatch with a new design proposed by an international team of physicists...
Mystery of missing hydrogen
25 November 2008
Something vital is missing in the far distant reaches of the Universe: hydrogen - the raw material for stars, planets and possible life. The discovery of its apparent absence from distant galaxies...
Oh, what a feeling! Brain-injured recover emotional perception skills
24 November 2008
People who have lost the ability to interpret emotion after a severe brain injury can regain this vital social skill by being re-educated to read body-language, facial expressions and voice tone in...
Restocking program a win for prawners and the environment
20 November 2008
Eastern king prawns are back on the menu after a seven-year absence at Wallagoot Lake, near the NSW south coast town of Merimbula, following a prawn-restocking program that is yielding wins for...
Science tops chart in LIEF grants
19 November 2008
UNSW has won the largest share of any Australian university in the latest round of Federal Government research funding, being awarded 15% of the $31.6 million awarded nationally under the  Linkage...
Computer theory cracks rainforest gene secrets
14 November 2008
An innovative approach to studying genetics has provided new information about how Australia's dwindling remnants of rainforest will cope as the planet grows warmer due to climate change.According...
Fiddler crabs reveal honesty is not always the best policy
13 November 2008
Dishonesty may be more widespread in the animal kingdom than previously thought. A team of Australian ecologists has discovered that some male fiddler crabs "lie" about their fighting ability by...
Southern Ocean to acidify much sooner than thought
11 November 2008
The Southern Ocean will acidify much earlier than previously thought from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, taking it past the point where the shells of sea creatures will start to...
Spring brings ‘jelly balls’ to NSW coast
6 November 2008
An unusual abundance of jelly-like creatures has been discovered in waters along the NSW coast from Sydney to Newcastle during a marine survey of the region by a team of scientists from the...
A face by any other name: seeing racial bias
30 October 2008
If Barack Obama had taken his mother's surname and kept his childhood nickname, American voters might literally see "Barry Dunham" as a quite different presidential candidate, a new study suggests....
Watch how you rub: warning on eye spikes
28 October 2008
Normal activities such as wearing swim goggles, sleeping face down or doing a gym workout may contribute to glaucoma and other pressure-related eye diseases, a new study has found."The fluid...
Young science trio win excellence awards
23 October 2008
Three Faculty of Science researchers have won Young Tall Poppy Awards, announced last night at a gala event in the NSW Parliament. The awards recognise young scientists who excel at research,...
Announcement of the UNSW U Committee Award for Research Excellence in Science
21 October 2008
An award of $10,000 will be given to the doctoral student in Science who is judged to have produced the best PhD thesis, in the broadest sense, within the calendar year. Criteria for the award...
ARC success: the seal's whiskers
15 October 2008
The history and impacts of climate change are being revealed by a surprising source - the whiskers of seals in Antarctica.Marine mammal expert Dr Tracey Rogers, of the UNSW Evolution and Ecology...
"Extinct" mouse rediscovered
7 October 2008
A small mammal classified as "presumed extinct" in NSW - the desert mouse - has been rediscovered living in Sturt National Park in the State's far west. It had not been seen since 1857.University of...
World's largest wetlands study under way
2 October 2008
The largest ever survey of the health of Australia's vital wetlands has begun, with a team of environmental researchers from the University of New South Wales conducting a special aerial survey of...
Climate letter to PM
29 September 2008
Top climate scientists urge PM to cut C02 emissions by 25%Australia's leading climate scientists have written to the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, urging him to adopt an emission reduction target for...
Bugs at sea: fair or foul?
25 September 2008
As any boat owner knows, if you dip any object into the ocean its surface will quickly be covered in marine life in a progressive colonisation process known as marine "biofouling".But this doesn't...
Mapping climate change vulnerability in Australia's tropical north
16 September 2008
The risks and impacts of climate change on indigenous communities in Australia's tropical north is the subject of a new scoping study.The study will assess the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of...
Achievements of UNSW astronomers honoured by new stamp
16 September 2008
UNSW's pioneering role in showing the unrealised potential of ground-based astronomy in Antarctica has been celebrated on a new Australian postage stamp.The stamp depicts in the foreground a...
Scientists return to marine "treasure trove" on Sydney Harbour
12 September 2008
How many species of marine creatures remain of the dozens first discovered on a tiny island in Sydney Harbour 130 years ago?That's the question a team of biologists hope to answer this weekend when...
Climate: new spin on ocean's role
9 September 2008
New studies of the Southern Ocean are revealing previously unknown features of giant spinning eddies that have a profound influence on marine life and on the world's climate.These massive swirling...
Bright marine science students catch the Next Wave
9 September 2008
"Going to sea is inspirational," says 21 year-old Adrienne Gatt, who has just made her first voyage aboard the Southern Surveyor, Australia's only marine research vessel. "It's the best way to see...
A virtuous cycle: safety in numbers for riders says research
3 September 2008
It seems paradoxical but the more people ride bicycles on our city streets, the less likely they are to be injured in traffic accidents, say injury experts who will speak at a forthcoming cycling...
Air pollution worst inside cars: research
2 September 2008
Commuters inside slow-moving cars are exposed to far higher levels of air pollution in peak traffic times than those using any other form of transport, new research has revealed.Car drivers and...

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