UNSW - Science

Annual archive of News from the Faculty of Science
Loud and lazy but didn't chew gum: Ancient koalas
21 December 2009
Skull fragments of prehistoric koalas from the Riversleigh rainforests of millions of year ago suggest they shared the modern koala's "lazy" lifestyle and ability to produce loud "bellowing" calls...
2009 Faculty of Science Staff Excellence Awards
18 December 2009
Recipients of the 2009 Faculty of Science Staff Excellence Awards have been recognised for excelling in their respective fields this year.Candidates for the awards are nominated by their colleagues...
Students sequence genome of the Wollemi Pine
17 December 2009
UNSW students have sequenced the chloroplast genome of the ancient Wollemi Pine - a world first that could reveal how a "dinosaur" of the tree kingdom survived 200 million years of shifting...
New planets around sun-like stars
14 December 2009
An international team of planet hunters has found four new planets orbiting two nearby stars that are very similar to the Sun. These discoveries point the way to the detection of potentially...
PhD a new string to violin-maker’s bow
8 December 2009
Eighty-four year old amateur violin-maker John McLennan has capped a lifelong love of the violin by graduating with a PhD in Physics from UNSW.John's thesis concerns a comparative study of the...
Seven new Diamond aircraft for UNSW Aviation
7 December 2009
The UNSW Department of Aviation signed an agreement with aircraft sales and services company Hawker Pacific to acquire seven new Diamond aircraft for its aviation training fleet.Under the agreement...
Climate change research team grows
5 December 2009
UNSW's Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) is going from strength to strength, with two new high-profile appointments bringing its academic staff ranks to nine, along with almost 30 post-doctoral...
Fish with attitude: some like it hot
4 December 2009
Coral reef fish can undergo a personality change in warmer water, according to an intriguing new study suggesting that climate change may make some species more aggressive.Experiments with two...
Climate change accelerating beyond expectations, urgent emissions reductions required, say leading scientists
25 November 2009
Global ice-sheets are melting at an increased rate; Arctic sea-ice is disappearing much faster than recently projected, and future sea-level rise is now expected to be much higher than previously...
More fresh water, no weir: Coorong science review
23 November 2009
About one-third of the Murray River's natural flow at its lower end is needed to sustain the collapsing ecosystems in the wetlands of the Lower Lakes and Coorong, a new scientific review has found....
Evolutionary history rewritten for NZ giant birds
18 November 2009
The evolutionary history of New Zealand's many extinct flightless moa has been re-written in the first comprehensive study of more than 260 sub-fossil specimens to combine all known genetic,...
SPECIAL FEATURE - The upside of feeling down
7 November 2009
A chill wind chases you into the door of your local newsagent. Rain is drumming down outside. As you pay for your newspaper, you briefly notice a number of strange items on the checkout counter - a...
Samoan tsunami was too close to prevent deaths: research
5 November 2009
Samoa's tsunami detection, monitoring and warning system works well and could not have prevented the more than 100 deaths caused by the devastating tsunami that hit the region on September 29, a...
Plague on their house, but bush rats fight back
3 November 2009
Sydney's native bush rats were unintended victims of a campaign to exterminate foreign black rats during a plague epidemic in 1900, according to new research by scientists who plan to reintroduce...
Melbourne Cup: winning formula
2 November 2009
UNSW mathematicians have crunched the numbers on two decades of Melbourne Cup race results to provide insight into how professional gamblers consistently back the winners - and have devised a...
Free eye tests at new Centre for Eye Health
2 November 2009
A new state-of-the-art eye health centre on campus has an unusual twist: thanks to public generosity, all its services are completely free of charge.Thousands of people at risk of developing eye...
Tall Poppies are the pick of the crop
30 October 2009
Three Science Faculty scholars have been honoured at the 2009 Young Tall Poppy Awards hosted by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. Dr Marcus Cole, (Chemistry), Dr Donna Green (Climate...
Science wins $23m in ARC Project and Grants
27 October 2009
The UNSW Faculty of Science has won more than $23 million in the Australian Research Council's latest round of grants, helping UNSW achieve the highest funding level ($47.8m) for any university in...
Sensors to protect marine and freshwater ecosystems
12 October 2009
An ambitious initiative designed to track the health of Australia's marine and freshwater ecosystems was launched today by the NSW Chief Scientist, Professor Mary O'Kane. The $9.6 million multi-...
Killer tsunami – UNSW spearheads research in Samoa
30 September 2009
UNSW scientists will assess the impact of the regional tsunami that has struck Samoa, American Samoa and surrounding islands when they arrive next week in the remote South Pacific island group....
Nanotechnology gets a new light touch
30 September 2009
Building the super-fast computers of the future has just become much easier thanks to an advance by Australian researchers that lets them grab hold of tiny electronics components and probe their...
Micro-gravity a health hazard for astronauts: research
30 September 2009
Australian scientists may have pinpointed the cause of muscle wasting and bone-density loss experienced by astronauts who fly lengthy missions under the weightless conditions of space, new research...
Time fast running out on climate change
23 September 2009
Years of inaction mean that time is fast running out for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to avoid dangerous global climate change, say researchers from the UNSW Climate Change...
$3m boost to biofuels and protein research
18 September 2009
The research capacity of two UNSW research facilities has been strengthened by a $3m upgrade from UNSW and the NSW and Federal Governments.UNSW's revamped Recombinant Products Laboratory and...
New Dean of Science appointed
15 September 2009
The Faculty will soon have a new Dean of Science following the appointment of distinguished molecular geneticist Professor Merlin Crossley to the key leadership role. Professor Crossley will take up...
Terry Tao: a beautiful mind to speak at UNSW
9 September 2009
The Australian whiz kid who became a UCLA maths professor at age 24 will reveal the mysterious world of prime numbers on Wednesday 16 September at UNSW.Terry Tao had won virtually every top research...
Symposium to hear of new green materials
9 September 2009
New environmentally friendly plastics, bricks and concrete can be made by recycling the great quantities of waste ash left over when coal is burnt in thermal power stations, according to UNSW...
Genomes reveal bacterial lifestyles
8 September 2009
Sampling just a few genes can reveal not only the "lifestyle" of marine microbes but of their entire environments, new research suggests.The finding means researchers may be able to predict the...
Safety award for science video
3 September 2009
A specially made UNSW-TV video on beach safety that has been viewed by tens of thousands of people has won an Australian Safer Communities Award, sponsored by Emergency Management Australia (EMA)....
HPV vaccine may prevent breast cancer
3 September 2009
Vaccinating women against the human papillomavirus (HPV) may prevent some forms of breast cancer and save tens of thousands of lives each year, new Australian research suggests.Using genetic probes...