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The scientist who saved your life
The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most disruptive and devastating events in recent history. But it also led to a series of incredible scientific breakthroughs. Today, Rick Morton on the woman who spent decades advocating for the unproven technology behind the vaccine, and how it helped save humanity.
The mystery of the vanishing Christmas beetles
Every year, in the lead up to Christmas, thousands and thousands of native flying insects, known as Christmas beetles, would emerge and attach themselves to trees, street lights and crawl into homes across Australia. But in recent years Christmas beetles have disappeared. Today, Kara Jensen-Mackinnon on what happened to Australia’s Christmas beetles.
How one DNA test kept this family apart for a decade
In Australia, DNA testing has been routinely used for decades in deciding who can and can’t enter the country. The story of one couple trying to make a new home in Australia has raised new questions about how exactly the tests work, and if they discriminate against people from certain racial backgrounds. Today, Oscar Schwartz on the faulty science that is keeping families separated.
The scientist who predicted the death of the reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but now it’s on the cusp of being declared “in danger” by UNESCO. But scientists have been warning for decades that rising sea temperatures could kill off the Reef. Today, Mike Seccombe on the scientist who predicted the end of the reef, and why the Australian government doesn’t want to listen to him.
Science is evolving, but are our ethics keeping up?
New scientific developments are challenging long established ethical guidelines around the use of embryos, or embryo-like cells. Today, Elizabeth Finkel on the latest scientific breakthroughs, and the argument that our ethics need to evolve alongside our knowledge of the world.
The scientist investigating Covid's impact on the brain
Scientists researching Covid-19 have discovered that the physical impacts of the virus on the body go far beyond what we might have originally thought. The results could have profound impacts for how we respond to and treat Covid-19. Today, Rick Morton on our growing knowledge of how the virus changes our bodies, and our brains.
The plight of the platypus
The platypus is one of Australia’s most iconic and intriguing animals, but like so much of our natural wildlife it’s under threat. Today, James Bradley on what makes the platypus so special and whether we’re at risk of a future without them.
Face masks – the million dollar question
Ten key questions on the science of face masks, as experts hunt for consensus.
The moment Australia almost beat coronavirus
In the middle of last month, Australia had its last chance to contain the coronavirus pandemic. One strain of the virus was all but defeated, but then a second broke out.
Why we need to “feel” climate change
As climate models predict even worse outcomes for the planet, some scientists believe the way to change what is happening is for people to “feel” the emotion of it.
Coronavirus, part four: the Australian scientists who could beat it
A team of Australian scientists are working around the clock to find a vaccine against coronavirus, and they’re on the verge of a breakthrough. Today, Rick Morton on the race to find a vaccine.
Peter Ridd’s European adventure
A speaking tour of Europe has revealed the strategy behind Peter Ridd’s rejection of reef science: he believes that if people doubt the reef is dying, they will doubt climate change more broadly.
Swallowed by the sea (part two)
How the American anti-climate-science lobby hijacked local councils in Australia, changing sea-level benchmarks as it went.
Swallowed by the sea (part one)
A decision to hand planning about sea-level rise to local council has opened up a war around science, property values and influence.
Grief, anger and climate change
Joelle Gergis is one of Australia’s leading climate scientists. She says there is resistance to talking about emotions around science, but she feels grief and anger.