When Australian and Indonesian scientists revealed their “Hobbit” discovery in 2004, it created a sensation. Homo floresiensis was a previously undiscovered branch of the human family tree, raising images of a lost world of “little people” living on a remote island in eastern Indonesia.
What really excited scientists about the discovery of the one-metre tall adult skeleton in a cave on Flores was the realisation this species had co-existed with Homo sapiens until just 12,000 years ago.
In Australia we call them bushfires. In other parts of the world they are called forest fires, and global climate change and increasing human populations mean they are increasing in frequency and ferocity.
The extreme weather conditions that can turn an already dangerous bushfire into an explosive firestorm can now be better predicted, thanks to the work of a 30-year veteran of the Bureau of Meteorology.
Aboriginal Elders from the Traditional Tribal Groups in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area are collaborating with researchers to produce the first integrated account of the history of human settlement, landscape evolution and past environmental change for Australia’s foremost ‘Ice Age’ archive.
LED lighting is sweeping the world. It’s energy efficient, long lasting, and could save users billions of dollars worldwide and dramatically reduce carbon emissions. But it’s still a young technology. Much more efficient lights are on the way.
Blood tests using nanoparticles carrying molecules which can detect breast cancer biomarkers could save millions of lives and open the way to mass screening for many cancers.
Prof. Matt Trau, of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland, and his team are using a combination of nanotechnology and molecular biology in the project, funded by a five-year $5 million grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.