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Since sodium is abundant, battery technology that uses it side-steps many of the issues associated with lithium batteries. Paul Jones/UOW, Author provided

Lithium-ion remains the most widespread battery technology in use today, thanks to the fact that products that use it are both portable and rechargeable. It powers everything from your smartphone to the “world’s biggest battery” in South Australia.

Demand for batteries is...

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An artist's impression of the predicted merger between our Milky Way (right) and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (left). So which galaxy will dominate? NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger

Our Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy – two giant galaxies in our local patch of the universe – are heading for an immense collision with each other in only a few billion years’ time. So which will dominate in this intergalactic tussle?

Our recent work has turned up an interesting result on...

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Set to land in mid 2018, the new mosquito emoji will give people a new way to talk about mozzies. Cameron Webb , Author provided

Mosquitoes are coming. The Unicode Consortium has just announced that alongside your smiling face – or perhaps crying face – emoji you’ll soon be able to add a mosquito.

The mosquito emoji will join the rabble of emoji wildlife including butterflies, bees, whales and rabbits.

We see a strong case that the addition of the much maligned mozzie to...

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Science is in Canberra this week, and yet we have no minister for science.

No science minister, on a background of Australia’s complex recent history of affiliating the science portfolio with a range of other ministries.

One interpretation is that successive federal governments struggle to see where science fits in our nations’s operations and future. Perhaps it remains unclear for politicians to see how best to link science with other activities, how to fund it, and how to successfully harness science for economic and other benefits.



Read more:
Science Meets Parliament doesn't let the rest of us off the hook

As part of the annual...

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The Labor Party’s recent decision to ban its candidates from using their own social media accounts as publicity platforms at the next federal election may be a sign that society’s infatuation with social media as a source of news and information is cooling.

Good evidence for this emerged recently with the publication of the 2018 findings from the Edelman Trust Barometer. The annual study has surveyed more than 33,000 people across the globe about how much trust they have in institutions, including government, media, businesses and NGOs.

This year, there was a sharp increase in trust in journalism as a source of news and information, and a decline in trust in social media...

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Today's sharks are known to use electroreception to find their prey. Shutterstock/solarseven

Many creatures can use electric fields to communicate, sense predators or stun their prey with powerful electric shocks, but how this ability came about was a mystery.

Our new paper, published this week in the journal Palaeontology, details how this electroreception may have evolved in the earliest backboned animals.

It also reveals how completely new kinds of sensory organs were present in the ancient...

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Australia’s Steven Bradbury is famous for winning Olympic gold through being the last man standing in the 1000m short-track speed skating event in 2002.

In snowboard cross and ski-cross, the “fall factor” also impacts an athletes chance at medalling. But for Aussies to succeed in these two categories at Pyeongchang 2018, it’s their start performance that will be most important.

The structure of the snowboard cross and ski-cross events – a timed solo run followed by knock-out, head-to-head racing over a three-hour competition window – means that keeping muscles warm and ready to fire will be crucial.

In Pyeongchang 2018, the events will run from February 15 – and Australia is fielding realistic medal contenders....

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The global market for predictive analytics is growing. Shutterstock

An increasing number of businesses invest in advanced technologies that can help them forecast the future of their workforce and gain a competitive advantage.

Many analysts and professional practitioners...

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Science Meets Parliament offers scientists a rare glimpse inside Australia's parliamentary system. Social Estate on Unsplash

Science Meets Parliament, scheduled to take place this week in Canberra, is now in its nineteenth year.

Over February 14 and 15 2018, around 200 scientists and technologists will meet with parliamentarians, hear from key figures in Australian science and undergo professional development.

Positive outcomes from previous events...

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Although it is very hot, when lava flows over the ground, it generally does not melt the soil or rock. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation, CC BY-NC-ND

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome – serious, weird or wacky!

Does lava from an erupting volcano melt everything in its path? And why does lava not melt the sides of the volcano itself? - Liam, age 5, Ashwood...

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