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David’s myotis, a tiny insectivorous bat native to China, was one of two bat species selec...

Scientists believe the genes of virus-resistant and long-living wild bats might hold clues to treating cancer and infectious diseases in humans. The theory is that when bats started flying millions of years ago, something changed in their DNA that provides resistance to viruses and helps give them a relatively long life. The researchers hope a better understanding of bat evolution could lead to new treatments for disease and aging in humans.  Read More

US Navy divers with a practice mine

Clearing explosives is a major operation and removing the deadly residue of over a century of warfare is a never ending task. The problem is that before you can remove explosives you have to find them. That isn’t always easy – especially underwater, so Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a new sensor that uses high-temperature planar gradiometers to seek out explosives in the sea.  Read More

The 'super high' oleic acid safflower developed by the CSIRO

The safflower plant is one of the oldest crops known to man. Used by the ancient Egyptians in dyes, oils derived from safflower seeds are today used as a sustainable replacement for fossil-fuel-derived oil in a wide variety of products and industrial processes. Researchers at Australia’s CSIRO have now developed a new “super-high” oleic safflower that could make the crop even more attractive to growers and industry.  Read More

The 'diamond planet' orbiting the radio wave-emitting pulsar J1719-1438 (Image: Swinburne ...

A girl's best friend may have just gotten a whole lot bigger with the news that an international research team has discovered a small planet they think may be made of diamond. Although the planet is calculated to have a diameter of less than 60,000 km - which is about five times the diameter of Earth - it has slightly more mass than Jupiter. With the planet likely to be made largely of oxygen and carbon, its high density means it is almost certainly crystalline, meaning that a large part of the planet may be similar to a diamond.  Read More

The color-changing, heat-sensitive fiber researchers plan to weave into bandages (Image: L...

Researchers have developed a fiber that changes color in response to temperature with the aim of creating a smart bandage that can indicate the state of underlying wounds and warn of infection. With the ability to show temperature changes of less than 0.5 of a degree Celsius, the smart bandage would allow for easier and faster identification of healing problems that are typically accompanied by an increase or decrease in local temperature, such as infection or interruptions to blood supply.  Read More

CSIRO Livestock Industries scientist, Dr Caroline Lee, monitoring cattle behavior at Armid...

It’s well known that happy workers of the human variety are also productive workers, and farmers know that the same holds true for animals. However, because animals aren’t likely to reveal their emotional state on a psychiatrist’s couch, the current methods to measure animals’ wellbeing has largely focused on biological indicators of stress via blood tests or through studies of animal behavior. Now researchers are looking to use cognitive principles based on human psychological theories to assess animal emotions.  Read More

The upper toothrows of the giant rat compared to the skull of a common rat (Image: Ken Apl...

I’ve always thought of rats as being quite small and lightweight creatures – even verging on dainty. Well someone forgot to tell the rats in East Timor to keep an eye on their calorie count…archaeologists have discovered rodent bones that suggest the biggest rat that ever lived weighed about six kilograms. That’s about as much as a three month old baby!  Read More

The first blue roses will be available for sale next week in Japan (Photo: Florigene Ltd /...

They may not be exactly blue in color, but the long-awaited commercial release of the blue rose is set to take place in Japan next week (November 3). Thought to be impossible to create because they lack the blue pigment delphinidin, Australia-based Florigene and its Japanese parent company Suntory Holdings (known more for its beer than its floral conquests) began working together in 1990 to create a blue rose by introducing a blue gene from panzies and then irises into roses. It took until 2004 before the team could announce the successful development of blue roses. But before you go ordering a dozen or so for your loved one, check out the price – around ¥2,000-3,000 (US$22-32) each.  Read More

The three all sky cameras on the Nullarbor Plain, Australia, took photographs of fireballs...

Not long ago, Gizmag featured an article about scientists capturing a rare image of upwards lightning. Now a different set of ‘men in white coats’ has taken shots of fireballs streaking across the night sky that then led to the discovery of a tiny and extremely rare meteorite in Australia’s vast Nullarbor Plain. Not only that, the group also traced the meteorite’s roots back to its orbit and the asteroid from where it came.  Read More

Four time Solar Challenge winners unveil new car Nuna5

The team that won the World Solar Challenge for the last four years running has unveiled its latest solar racer. Like its predecessor, the Nuna5 from Delft University's Nuon Solar Team is covered with six square meters of solar panels but is 30kg lighter at a super low 160kg excluding driver.  Read More

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