Science

September 2017

Vision: Indian institution named after Brien Holden
20 September 2017
The late Professor Brien Holden's influence in eye care in India has been immortalised following the inauguration of the Brien Holden Institute for Optometry and Vision Sciences by L.V. Prasad Eye...
Study: Secrets of bright, rapidly spinning star revealed
19 September 2017
Almost 50 years after it was first predicted that rapidly rotating stars would emit polarised light, a UNSW Sydney-led team of scientists has succeeded in observing the phenomenon for the first time....
Awards: UNSW Science staff honoured for teaching excellence
15 September 2017
For their innovative and inspiring approaches to student learning, Dr Pramod Koshy and Dr Daniel Mansfield have been recognised with awards for teaching excellence.Dr Koshy, of the School of...
Communication: Years of research condensed into three minutes
15 September 2017
UNSW Science PhD candidate Alice Russo has won the 3-Minute Thesis competition based on her research into ancient viruses in the cane toad genome.Endogenous viral elements that are present in host...
Study:Tiny fighters in sediments determine success of invasive marine plants
14 September 2017
Armies of microbes that are invisible to the naked eye battle it out to determine whether exotic marine plants successfully invade new territory and replace native species, UNSW-led research shows....
Study: Ancient tree reveals cause of spike in Arctic temperature
13 September 2017
A kauri tree preserved in a New Zealand peat swamp for 30,000 years has revealed a new mechanism that may explain how temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere spiked several degrees centigrade in just...
Launch: Extinct native mammals to be returned to NSW
8 September 2017
UNSW scientists will reintroduce bilbies, burrowing bettongs, and five other native mammals that are extinct in NSW into large, predator-free exclosures in the north west of the state, as part of a...
Award: “Waste warrior” wins PLuS Alliance Research Innovation prize
6 September 2017
A revolutionary approach to the recycling of toxic waste materials has seen UNSW Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla awarded the inaugural PLuS Alliance Prize for Research Innovation.The award, one...
Study: Something to sneeze about - democratic voting in African wild dog packs
6 September 2017
Scientists studying African wild dogs in Botswana have found members of this endangered species use sneezes to vote on when the pack will move off and start hunting.The research, by an international...

August 2017

Award: Eureka Prize for outstanding science mentor
31 August 2017
For his commitment to training and developing innovative, entrepreneurial and passionate research leaders, UNSW scientist Scientia Professor Justin Gooding has been awarded an Australian Museum...
Backgrounder: Plimpton 322 and trigonometry
25 August 2017
What is trigonometry?Trigonometry comes from the Greek terms trigonon, for triangle, and metron, for measure.Trigonometry is the systematic study of triangles. In general, a trigonometric table...
Study: Mathematical mystery of ancient Babylonian clay tablet solved
25 August 2017
UNSW scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient...
Launch: UNSW creates future with launch of 'unique' quantum computing company
24 August 2017
Australia’s first quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, has been launched at UNSW to advance the development and commercialisation of the University’s world-leading quantum...
Study: Antarctic salt-loving microbes provide insights into evolution of viruses
22 August 2017
UNSW Sydney scientists studying microbes from some of the saltiest lakes in Antarctica have discovered a new way that the microbes can share DNA that could help them grow and survive.The research,...
Award: Young Tall Poppy stands up to the challenge of science communication
17 August 2017
UNSW scientist Dr Matt Baker will spend a year sharing his knowledge with school students, teachers and the broader community after winning a NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award.In all, UNSW has five...
Forum: Climate Change and Big Ideas for the Small Screen
17 August 2017
A unique Cli-Fi one day forum has brought together UNSW climate scientists and some of Australia’s leading screen creatives, to explore climate-fiction, an emerging small screen genre.The forum was...
Study: Tumour blood supply stopped in its tracks by dextran-catechin
10 August 2017
Researchers including Eugene Yee from UNSW Science have discovered how a modified natural compound disrupts angiogenesis, the formation of blood vessel networks, in neuroblastoma tumours, stopping...
Study: Why massive galaxies don’t dance in crowds
10 August 2017
Scientists have discovered why heavyweight galaxies living in a dense crowd of galaxies tend to spin more slowly than their lighter neighbours.“Contrary to earlier thinking, the spin rate of the...
Events: Sydney Science Festival and National Science Week
3 August 2017
A special Women on Mars event at Sydney Opera House for female high school students where they will meet leading NASA scientists will be a highlight of UNSW Science's participation in National...
Report: UNSW scientist leads major climate science review
3 August 2017
Scientia Professor Trevor McDougall has led a comprehensive Australian Academy of Science review into Australia's Climate Science Capability which recommends an urgent increase in the number of...

July 2017

Awards: UNSW scientists nominated for Eureka Prizes
28 July 2017
Scientia Professor Justin Gooding, Professor Andy Pitman and Dr Adriana Vergés and scientists in the Operation Crayweed Team have been named as finalists in this year's Eureka prizes, Australia's...
Launch: Student pilots take to the skies in new aircraft
26 July 2017
UNSW Science has acquired a brand new $1 million twin-engined aircraft for training of its aviation students.The Piper PA-44 Seminole has two 180 horsepower engines, a cruising speed of about 300...
Opening: Ramaciotti Centre launches new genome facilities
26 July 2017
NSW Chief Scientist Professor Mary O’Kane has officially opened new custom-designed facilities to house UNSW Science's Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics, the largest university-based facility of its...
Prizes: Postgraduate Research students shine in communication competition
26 July 2017
Three research students studying ancient viruses in cane toads, the eye condition myopia, and individualised treatments for mental health, have each won $5000 prizes in the 2017 UNSW Science...
Opinion: How to Kill a River
25 July 2017
The tragedy of the Murray-Darling river system is man-made, writes Professor Richard Kingsford.OPINION: The sorry state of Australia's mighty Murray-Darling rivers is a tragedy entirely of our own...
Study: Genome therapy could lead to new treatment for blood disorders
18 July 2017
By introducing a beneficial natural mutation into blood cells using the gene-editing technique CRISPR, a UNSW-led team of scientists has been able to switch on production of foetal haemoglobin – an...
Study: Do you see what I see? New research says you do
18 July 2017
Where other people are looking can influence our own way of seeing the world, UNSW psychologists have found.In this video, you will see two black dots moving across the screen.The question is: when...
Honour: UNSW climate scientist wins top international award
16 July 2017
The prestigious Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for 2017 has been awarded to UNSW scientist Matthew England in recognition of his outstanding research, leadership and advocacy...
Study: Exposing threatened species to predators improves evasive behaviours
5 July 2017
A study of burrowing bettongs in the Australian desert has shown for the first time that exposing threatened native animals to small numbers of predators in the wild teaches them how to avoid their...
Equity: Industry Minister and Dean announce first Superstars of STEM
3 July 2017
UNSW cancer researcher Dr Caroline Ford is among the first 30 female scientists and technologists to be named Superstars of STEM, in a national program aimed at smashing stereotypes and forging a new...
Video: Dr Jane Goodall on her extraordinary life with chimpanzees
3 July 2017
There were moments of fear in the rainforest, when wary chimpanzees threatened her with branches. And great shock and sadness when she realised chimps were dying out across Africa, due to...

June 2017

Prize: Top award for marine scientist
29 June 2017
For his outstanding contribution to marine research in Australia, UNSW scientist Professor Peter Steinberg has received a prestigious Jubilee Award from the Australian Marine Sciences Association.He...
Opinion: Why I disagree with Nobel Laureates when it comes to career advice for scientists
27 June 2017
The measures by which we judge scientists are always under intense scrutiny. For those who hit the peak of their field, there’s the Nobel Prize. But across all levels of career progression, we...
Launch: Science-industry Torch partnership to produce next generation of touch screens
26 June 2017
New types of touch screens that would be very robust but also sensitive enough to detect ten fingers at once, are to be developed in a research partnership between UNSW Science and Chinese company...
Research: Survey of citizen lifesavers could help save lives in the water
22 June 2017
UNSW scientists are encouraging people who have been rescued from the water by a bystander, or who have helped save the life of someone else in trouble, to take part in a survey aimed at reducing...
Impact: Celebrating a high performing new journal in the revolutionary field of quantum information
15 June 2017
UNSW Sydney is proud of the early publication performance, influence and reach of its Nature Partner Journal npj Quantum Information, from advancing discovery to affecting public discourse.At a time...
Video: Professor Brian Greene on the strange nature of the universe
8 June 2017
Time travel is possible, there could be extra dimensions in space all around us, and the world we know could be a hologram.Renowned American theoretical physicist, author and science communicator Dr...
Rankings: UNSW 1st in NSW, 3rd in Australia and 45th in World
8 June 2017
A strong performance by UNSW Science has helped UNSW climb four places to 45 in the QS World University Rankings for 2017-18.The result places UNSW as the highest-ranked university in Sydney and in...
Study: New ultrathin material for splitting water could make hydrogen production cheaper
7 June 2017
UNSW chemists have invented a new, cheap catalyst for splitting water with an electrical current to efficiently produce clean hydrogen fuel.The technology is based on the creation of ultrathin slices...
Research: Long-term study of Murray-Darling Basin wetlands reveals impact of dams
5 June 2017
A landmark 30-year-long UNSW study of wetlands in eastern Australia has found that construction of dams and diversion of water from the Murray-Darling Basin have led to a more than 70 percent decline...
Grants: UNSW Science awarded eight ARC  fellowships
5 June 2017
For his research on breakthrough mathematical methods that could solve difficult problems in the physical world, Professor Fedor Sukochev has been awarded a prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship...
Study: Workplace survey of Quad bike use highlights rollover risks
5 June 2017
A ground-breaking UNSW study of quad bike safety on farms and other workplaces has found that one in two riders has crashed and about two thirds of the crashes involved rollovers, putting riders at...
Address: Michelle Simmons lights up Vivid with her vision of a quantum world
1 June 2017
Australia is well positioned to develop a practical quantum computer, said UNSW quantum physicist Michelle Simmons as she lauded Australia’s bright future in quantum computing at the Vivid Ideas...
Funding: UNSW leads the state in industry linkage grants
1 June 2017
Science projects to improve the accuracy of facial identification and to develop a topaz-based material for industry have contributed to UNSW’s strong performance in the latest round of federal...

May 2017

Study: Groundwater ‘pit stops’ enabled survival and migration of our ancient ancestors
31 May 2017
African groundwater played an important role in kick-starting the evolutionary history of humans, with the movement of our ancestors across East Africa shaped by the location of springs, new...
Study: Synthesising natural antimalarial drugs
25 May 2017
UNSW medicinal chemists have synthesised a potent antimalarial compound naturally produced by a rare tropical plant.For decades, researchers have known about the therapeutic properties of a family of...
Video: The e-waste visionary
22 May 2017
UNSW New Generation Network Scholar Vaibhav Gaikwad is reframing Australia-India relations while turning mountains of e-waste into valuable products - including a set of Gandhi spectacles that...
Event: Life on Mars: The 2020 Rover Mission
19 May 2017
As part of National Science Week, a panel of leading scientists including Paul Davies and UNSW's Martin Van Kranendonk will address some of space exploration's biggest questions at the Sydney Opera...
Awards: UNSW celebrates its star graduates
18 May 2017
For her contribution to chemistry and the promotion of women in science, Professor Frances Separovic was last night announced winner of the Science and Technology category of the 2017 UNSW Alumni...
Video: Why you should get a stranger to choose your profile pictures
16 May 2017
People select profile images of themselves for social networking sites that are less flattering than a stranger would choose for them, UNSW-led research shows.The study suggests people have an...
Analysis: Why bad moods are good for you: the surprising benefits of sadness
15 May 2017
The unrelenting pursuit of happiness may be self-defeating, and we've much to gain from being sad and mad now and again, writes Scientia Professor Joe Forgas.OPINION: Homo sapiens is a very moody...
Research: Dingo fence study shows dingo extermination leads to poorer soil
10 May 2017
A comparison of conditions in the outback on either side of Australia’s dingo fence has revealed that extermination of these apex predators not only affects the abundance of other animals and plants...
Oldest evidence of land-based life found in 3.48 billion-year-old Australian rocks
10 May 2017
Fossil evidence of early life has been discovered by UNSW scientists in 3.48 billion year old hot spring deposits in the Pilbara of Western Australia – pushing back by 3 billion years the earliest...
Study: Turning Proteins into the Strongest Known Acids to Improve Detection
9 May 2017
The strongest organic acid ever has been produced by chemists at UNSW, and it is set to revolutionise protein analysis by mass spectrometry.“We’ve discovered how to form protein ions in really highly...
Diversity: Hunt for Superstars of STEM to engage more women in science
2 May 2017
Superstars of STEM is a new program by Science and Technology Australia that aims to smash the stereotypical portrait of people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The plan is to...
Welcome: Professor Emma Johnston takes up leadership of the Faculty
1 May 2017
UNSW Science welcomes the leading UNSW marine ecologist and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) to the role of Dean of Science, which she commences today.Professor Johnston has an exceptional...

April 2017

Study: Citizen scientists help identify shorebird extinction threat
21 April 2017
Degradation and destruction of mudflats in north-east Asia has contributed to a dramatic decline in the number of migratory shorebirds in Australia, new research shows.The study, by an international...
Study: Why you should get a stranger to choose your profile pictures
14 April 2017
People select profile images of themselves for social networking sites that are less flattering than a stranger would choose for them, UNSW-led research shows.The study suggests people have an...
Study: Past climate a better predictor of soil carbon than current climate
13 April 2017
The climate that Earth experienced millions of years ago could reveal more about the health of soils and their capacity to store carbon dioxide than current climates, a new study has shown.Carbon...
Competition: Sandy the dingo wins world’s most interesting genome grant
13 April 2017
A wild-born, pure Australian desert dingo called Sandy Maliki has taken out first place in the World’s Most Interesting Genome competition.The UNSW-led proposal to have Sandy’s DNA...
International: UNSW wows India's PM with gift of innovation
11 April 2017
In a tribute to innovation, sustainability and advanced manufacturing, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull presented India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic...
Video: Reaching for the Stars - Sarah Brough
5 April 2017
What is our universe? Where did it come from? Associate Professor Sarah Brough studies rare mega-galaxies - thousands of times the size of the Milky Way - which she likens to interviewing elders...
Analysis: Climate-driven species on the move are changing (almost) everything
5 April 2017
Last year in Paris, for the very first time, English sparkling wine beat champagne in a blind tasting event. Well established French Champagne houses have started buying fields in Britain to grow...
Analysis: Why are some people more gullible than others?
4 April 2017
Sharing social knowledge is the foundation of our evolutionary success but in an age of unlimited information it's difficult to decide what to believe, writes Joseph Forgas.OPINION: Homo sapiens is...
Find: St Bernards discovered by UNSW researchers in remote alpine area
1 April 2017
A team of explorers from UNSW and Britain has discovered a colony of wild St Bernard dogs within a remote mountain range in southern Siberia – a remarkable find given St Bernards were previously...

March 2017

Study: Species on the move having a big impact
31 March 2017
Changes in the distribution of land, marine and freshwater species as a result of climate change are affecting human wellbeing around the world, posing new health risks, economic threats and...
Video: Farming fish for change in PNG
27 March 2017
A UNSW-led fish farming research project in the remote PNG highlands not only provides a valuable source of protein and income for local people, as highlighted in a new video, it also helps reduce...
Prizegiving: Paris celebrates eminent women in science
24 March 2017
UNSW Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons has received a €100,000 international L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award at a ceremony in France, in recognition of her pioneering research in quantum...
Analysis: How Sustainable Development Goals can be integrated into policy
22 March 2017
The Sustainable Development Goals outline an ambitious vision for 2030, clearly articulating that sustainable economic development is not possible without protecting the environment and ensuring...
Study: Surprising results reveal how liver cancer cells can adapt
21 March 2017
Targeting the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of liver cancer could have unintended consequences, encouraging rather than preventing tumour growth, UNSW researchers warn.Liver cancer is the third leading cause of...
Competition: Sandy the pure desert dingo takes on the world
16 March 2017
A proposal by UNSW scientist Bill Ballard to study the DNA of a two year old Australian dingo called Sandy Maliki has been announced as one of five finalists in the World’s Most Interesting Genome...
Study: Leap onto land saves fish from being eaten
15 March 2017
Fish on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga have evolved the ability to survive out of water and leap about on the rocky shoreline because this helps them escape predators in the ocean, a ground-...
Study: Starquakes reveal surprises about birth of stars in our galaxy
14 March 2017
A study of the internal sound waves created by starquakes, which make stars ring like a bell, has provided unprecedented insights into conditions in the turbulent gas clouds where stars were born as...
Competition: UNSW and ABC RN give science communicators a voice
10 March 2017
Are you an early-career STEMM researcher with a flair and passion for communicating your work? Apply for Top 5 under 40, a partnership that gives a voice to a new generation of science thinkers.UNSW...
Rankings: Science shines in world subject rankings
9 March 2017
UNSW Science has performed strongly in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, with Psychology and Materials Science both placed first in Australia.Environmental Sciences moved up nine places to...
Documentary: De-extinction research to feature on ABC TV
3 March 2017
A TV documentary about a UNSW-led project aimed at bringing the Australian Gastric-brooding Frog back to life will air on ABC TV next week.The hour-long program, Project Lazarus, produced by...

February 2017

Honour: Veena Sahajwalla first woman to be awarded India’s Jubilee Chair
23 February 2017
UNSW’s internationally renowned waste innovator, Veena Sahajwalla, is the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Jubilee Chair and Professorship by the Indian Academy of Sciences.ARC Laureate...
Analysis: Human genome editing report strikes the right balance between risks and benefits
22 February 2017
Be alert but not alarmed about the issues surrounding gene therapy, writes Merlin Crossley.OPINION: If you recognise the words “CRISPR-mediated gene editing”, then you’ll know that our ability to...
Analysis: Climate change doubled the likelihood of the NSW heatwave
21 February 2017
Australia's recent heatwave is a taste of what our future will bring unless humans can rapidly and deeply cut our greenhouse emissions, write Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Andrew King and Matthew Hale....
Events: Apes, life on Mars and the brain - bringing science to the people
15 February 2017
Renowned British primatologist Dr Jane Goodall and American physicist Dr Brian Greene are among leading international scientists who will give talks in Sydney this year in a partnership between UNSW...
Opinion: Scientists must speak out in the ‘post-truth’ world
14 February 2017
Unprecedented "marches for science" through major cities across the globe in April will bring leading scientists, including Nobel Laureates, together around  a political, and a more fundamental,...
Comment: Industrial chemicals in underwater wilderness a cause for concern
14 February 2017
The discovery of extremely high levels of pollution at the bottom of two of the Earth’s deepest oceanic trenches is a disturbing development that highlights the far-reaching impact of human...
Video: Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science
10 February 2017
As part of its commitment to encouraging more girls to study STEM subjects, UNSW Science is host of Curious Minds – a six month program of hands-on extension and mentoring for year 8, 9 and 10...
Study: Deadly disease outbreak linked to commercial breeding of piglets
9 February 2017
In a case of sophisticated scientific sleuthing, a UNSW researcher has helped pin down the source of an unprecedented outbreak of streptococcal disease in China.More than 200 people became ill and 39...
Profile: New Head of the School of Aviation
9 February 2017
Gabriel Lodewijks brings extensive expertise in transport engineering and logistics, big ideas about the aviation industry, and a love of Sydney to his new role in the Faculty.Professor Lodewijks, a...
Launch: Smart sensing network probes pollution, blood and koalas
3 February 2017
Futuristic sensing technologies to tackle major challenges in agriculture, health, security, the environment and industry were showcased this week at the official launch of the NSW Smart Sensing...
Study: Research funding neglects health impacts of climate change
3 February 2017
Leading scientists, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Doherty, are calling on the Australian government to urgently fund research into the impact of climate change on human health.This...
Scholarship: Science student wins future leader award
3 February 2017
PhD candidate Gurinder Nagra has been named as one of 22 young Australians to receive a prestigious 2017 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship from the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.The $22 million...

January 2017

Study: Climate change helped kill off super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia
27 January 2017
A study of the fossil teeth of megafauna from Cuddie Springs in NSW suggests that climate change had a significant impact on the diets of these giant animals and may well have been a primary factor...
Address: We need to challenge students to 'be the best they can be'
24 January 2017
UNSW quantum physicist Michelle Simmons has delivered the 2017 Australia Day address for NSW, urging young people to tackle life's hardest tasks and to strive to be the best they can be.Scientia...
Speech: UNSW quantum physicist to deliver Australia Day address
20 January 2017
UNSW Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons will deliver this year’s Australia Day address in New South Wales, the first female scientist to be given the honour since the tradition began 20 years ago....
Study: A hard rain to fall in Australia with climate change
17 January 2017
A rise in global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius is likely to bring more extreme rainstorms to many parts of Australia even as other areas experience severe droughts, new research suggests.New...
Video: Lisa Randall on the strange nature of the universe
17 January 2017
Did dark matter trigger the demise of the dinosaurs? Do extra dimensions exist? And what comes next, after the discovery of the Higgs boson? Listen to Harvard University’s Professor Lisa...
Study: Genetic diversity in Wollemi pine discovered for first time
16 January 2017
Scientists at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and UNSW have discovered genetic differences between individual specimens of the ancient Wollemi pine using the latest and most advanced genomic...
Study: Changing Antarctic waters could trigger steep rise in sea levels
11 January 2017
Current changes in the ocean around Antarctica are disturbingly close to conditions 14,000 years ago that led to the rapid melting of the Antarctic ice sheets and a three metre rise in global sea...
Analysis: Why elephants bellow but whales squeak like a mouse
11 January 2017
Size doesn't always matter when it comes to the pitch of your voice, especially if you're an aquatic mammal, write Kobe Martin and Tracey Rogers.ANALYSIS: Have you ever met a really tall man who has...
Study: Treating generational stress: are probiotics the answer?
11 January 2017
For the first time, Australian researchers have found a link between a father's stress levels and learning and memory ability in his offspring, and that these negative effects can be reversed by...