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Category Archives: Agricultre & Vet Science

Cane toads can be stopped

Cane toads can be stopped

It may be possible to stop the spread of can toads into new areas of Australia according to new research published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology. One of the lead authors of the study, James Cook University’s Dr Ben Phillips, said that their work, which involved an international team of scientists, showed thatContinue Reading

Scientists find more use for crops

North Queensland sugarcane and essential oil derivatives could be turned into pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and even luxury perfume, in ground-breaking research by James Cook University researchers. Matthew Bolte, from JCU’s Solarchemicals Research Group in the School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, is using sunlight to photo-chemically convert biomass derivatives into materials that are both naturally derivedContinue Reading

A heart-stopping sting

James Cook University (JCU) student Stephanie Chaousis has discovered which part of box jellyfish venom will potentially kill humans. Ms Chaousis has found that the jellyfish uses a two-step process. One part of the venom temporarily kills the victim, causing the heart to die but then recover and come back to life. The second partContinue Reading

Crimes of evolution: algae held captive and genes stolen

Microscopic animals held algae captive and stole their genes for energy production, thereby evolving into a new and more powerful species many millions of years ago reveals a new study published today in the journal Nature. The results reveal a ‘missing link’ in evolution because the tiny animal thieves (protozoa) couldn’t completely hide all evidenceContinue Reading

Males stick to their individual style for luring the ladies, regardless of success rate

Males have their own distinct repertoire for attracting females and stick with it regardless of how successful they are; at least that’s what Deakin University researchers have found with the great bowerbird. The researchers with Deakin’s Centre for Integrative Ecology, Alfred Deakin Professor John Endler and Dr Laura Kelley, have been studying the mating habitsContinue Reading

Newsroom Code of practice on kangaroo killing “inadequately enforced”

Weaknesses in the enforcement of standards for the humane killing of kangaroos have been identified in a new report by THINKK, the UTS-based think tank for kangaroos.  Kangaroo Court: Enforcement of the law governing kangaroo killing examines the role of government agencies in policing the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of KangaroosContinue Reading

Why are so many fairy-wrens blue?

Researchers have long tried to explain the enormous diversity in colour of birds, and a new study is giving insights into why the humble fairy-wren, a colourful Australian bird, is radiantly blue. Birds have more sophisticated visual systems than humans, and they can see certain wavelengths of light – the ultraviolet (UV) – which areContinue Reading

Hello, goodbye to new lizard

A team of scientists from The Australian National University has discovered a new species of lizard hidden among the sand dunes of Western Australia’s coastline. However, mankind’s encounter with this new species may be short-lived. Urban sprawl and habitat destruction are already pushing the tiny creature towards extinction. The 6cm long Ctenotus ora, or the CoastalContinue Reading

Why the world’s biggest fish needs to swim near the surface

Why the world’s biggest fish needs to swim near the surface

Whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish, can dive to chilly waters hundreds of metres deep but they need to return to the surface to warm up, according to a new study led by researchers from The University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute. Lead researcher Dr Michele Thums said the findings delivered new insights into theContinue Reading

Sea urchin’s spiny strength revealed

For the first time, a team of Australian engineers has modelled the microscopic mechanics of a sea urchin’s spine, gaining insight into how these unusual creatures withstand impacts in their aquatic environment. The skeleton of the purple-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii), found in tidal waters along the coast of New South Wales, has many longContinue Reading

Sea of the living dead

The world’s coral reefs have become a zombie ecosystem, neither dead nor truly alive, and are on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation according to an academic from The Australian National University. Professor Roger Bradbury, an ecologist from the Crawford School of Public Policy in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific,Continue Reading

Government’s Murray plan risky: Academic

New research challenges the water saving measures that form a key platform of the Australian Government’s proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan, says an academic from The Australian National University. Dr Jamie Pittock from the Crawford School of Public Policy in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific led a team that examined the output fromContinue Reading

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