UNSW - Science

Annual archive of News from the Faculty of Science
Mathematics and Chemistry researchers win swag of awards
16 December 2010
UNSW researchers from the School of Mathematics and Statistics and School of Chemistry have received a number of awards.Australian Academy of Science 2011 awards for scientific excellenceAn...
2010 Faculty of Science Staff Excellence Awards
16 December 2010
The UNSW Faculty of Science has celebrated the outstanding contributions from its staff during 2010.At a function held at the UNSW Roundhouse on 15 December 2010, the Dean, Professor Merlin Crossley...
Don’t call me obese
13 December 2010
Fat or obese? The labels we use to describe heavy-weight individuals can dramatically influence the judgments we make about people, a new study suggests.Using the term “obese people” results in more...
First Australians did not boost fire activity
6 December 2010
The arrival of the first people in Australia about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity, according to a landmark new research report on the continent's fire history...
Teenage great white sharks are awkward biters
2 December 2010
The jaws of adolescent great white sharks may be too weak to capture and kill large marine mammals, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biomechanics by an international team of...
Scientists offer qualified support for Murray-Darling Basin Plan
1 December 2010
Public debate about plans to revive the ailing Murray-Darling Basin river system so far has been dominated by concern about negative, short-term impacts, with little consideration of the long-term...
Pouched killers not poor cousins of carnivores: research
24 November 2010
Marsupial predators are not the poor cousins of the carnivore world, as has long been thought: new research shows that they have been just as diverse as placental carnivores over time."We've looked...
"Sugar high" is bitter-sweet for aggressive people: study
19 November 2010
Drinking a sweet beverage may either help or hinder people with aggressive personalities depending on the social setting, a new study has found.Consuming a sugary drink can make such people less...
Chemistry awards honour excellence
16 November 2010
Two outstanding researchers from the UNSW School of Chemistry have won national awards for excellence from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).The institute's most prestigious prize, the...
Blind to mother's love
16 November 2010
Aggressive and emotionally cold children literally do not see the love in their mother's eyes, according to new research findings that highlight the significance of poor eye contact in childhood....
Do holes make moles?
3 November 2010
The mysterious origins of Australia's bizarre and secretive marsupial moles have been cast in a whole new and unexpected light with the first discovery in the fossil record of one of their ancestors...
Successful mothers get help from their friends: dolphin study
2 November 2010
Female dolphins who have help from their female friends are far more successful as mothers than those without such help, according to a landmark new study.Previous research into reproductive success...
Trees not so large carbon sinks: study
27 October 2010
The capacity of trees to counter rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may not be as great as previously thought, according to a new study with significant implications for predicting...
Killer spiders and bad memories win Young Tall Poppy success
15 October 2010
Two outstanding young researchers from the Faculty of Science have been recognised among five UNSW winners in the 2010 Young Tall Poppy Awards.The Tall Poppies recognise young scientists who excel...
High-res climate simulations to check bushfire risk
13 October 2010
UNSW researchers have received a $200,000 grant to help develop high-resolution climate simulations to better inform how climate change will affect bushfire risk on the heavily populated eastern...
Personality and exercise levels may be linked
11 October 2010
There may be a fundamental link between aspects of an individual's personality and their capacity to exercise or generate energy, recent research suggests.Humans are not the only animals that choose...
Can the past secure pygmy possum's future?
8 October 2010
Australia's ancient past may provide vital clues about how to secure the future of one of Australia's most endangered animals, the charismatic mountain pygmy possum, according to leading...
Climate change effort wins Future Justice Prize
8 October 2010
An international team led by UNSW climate change researchers has won the inaugural 2010 Future Justice Prize for its efforts to synthesize and update a massive volume of scientific research in the...
Statement on the Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
8 October 2010
Australia has embarked on a historic path of returning the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin to a more sustainable level. This decision of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is historically...
New call to arms in female beauty
30 September 2010
Youth, tallness and shapely long arms are among the key features found most attractive in women, regardless of cultural differences, a new study has found.Most studies of attractiveness have focused...
Quantum computing advance: single electron reader
28 September 2010
A team led by UNSW engineers and physicists has achieved a breakthrough that brings a super-fast quantum computer a step closer to reality by developing a "single electron reader" – a key building...
Communicating climate science - it's about how we make decisions
20 September 2010
The idea that greenhouse gas emissions are warming Earth's atmosphere is one of the most certain concepts in natural science yet as the level of scientific certainty has grown, so has the level of...
Seeing through Fog: study sheds new light on fat
17 September 2010
The Friends of GATA may sound like a social support group but a new study reveals that they are a very different kind of support act – they are proteins that play a previously unknown role in the...
UNSW wins three Scientist of Year awards
17 September 2010
The quality and peadth of UNSW's research talent has been recognised with three wins at the NSW Scientist of the Year awards for new insights into dementia, climate change and industrial chemistry....
Oxygen production may have begun 270 million years earlier
9 September 2010
Bacteria that produce oxygen may have evolved hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought, a new study into ancient rock formations in Western Australia suggests.Well-preserved...
Laws of physics vary throughout universe, study finds
9 September 2010
The laws of physics are different in different parts of the universe, according to new evidence uncovered by a team of Australian and British astrophysicists.One of the supposed fundamental...
Playboy males live fast, die young
3 September 2010
Promiscuous males are so intent on pursuing sexual partners that they can neglect even essential tasks such as eating, says a new study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.The finding...
Gentle bilby had "killer" ancestor
1 September 2010
The gentle rabbit-like bilby – Australia's stand-in for the Easter bunny - had an ancient relative that was a far more fearsome little beast, a new study has found.Although modern bilbies are mild-...
Schools race to power of Sunsprint
1 September 2010
[UPDATE: results and pictures from the 2010 Susnsprint Challenge can be found here.]Excited secondary students from across NSW and the ACT are making the final touches and adjustments to their solar...
Promiscuity, disgust, anxiety and sex: prizes for postgrad research
27 August 2010
Why aren't males more promiscuous? Why are feelings of disgust so hard to get over? Why do some bad memories make you feel like a failure?  How long will you live if you're small, hungry and lonely?...