Handle with care – the world’s five deadliest poisons

Author: Simon Cotton
Date: 12/4/16
Terrible by name … Phyllobates terribilis. Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr, CC BY-SA Simon Cotton, University of Birmingham When asked to name a poison, people may well think of cyanide, arsenic or strychnine. But these are not the most toxic substances known. More poisonous than these, but still no...

Curious Kids: what happens when fruit gets ripe?

Author: Paul Holford
Date: 11/3/19
Fruit ripening is all about plants getting animals to eat the seeds that are inside their fruits. When the animals have finished eating, they move around and drop the seeds in a different place when they do a poo. This helps the plants get their seeds to somewhere new where they can grow into a new...

Why do bats sleep upside down?

Author: Amy Edwards
Date: 18/3/19
Evolution allows animals to adapt to their environments by favouring those who have an advantage that helps them survive. If they survive long enough to have babies they pass that advantage onto their children through their genes. That process is what we call adaptation. Animals have adapted to liv...

What makes an echo?

Author: Noel Hanna
Date: 20/3/19
What is a sound? What we call “sound” is really just the air in our ears moving back and forth. The air can move fast or slow. We can hear air moving back and forth between 20 and 20,000 times per second. That’s really, really fast! (For the grownups reading right now, human hearing is from ...

We need a legally binding treaty to make plastic pollution history

Author: Trisia Farrelly
Date: 19/3/19
A powerful marriage between the fossil fuel and plastic industries threatens to exacerbate the global plastic pollution crisis. The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) estimates the next five years will see a 33-36% surge in global plastics production. This will undermine all current ...

Australia can stop greenhouse gas emissions by 2050: here’s how

Author: Anna Skarbek
Date: 7/7/15
To avoid dangerous climate change there is a finite amount of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular CO2, that we can add to the atmosphere – our global carbon budget. If we use our budget wisely, we have until about 2050 to transition to zero net emissions. But how do we get there? For Australi...

We can be a carbon-neutral nation by 2050, if we just get on with it

Author: Anna Skarbek, Anna Malos
Date: 4/3/19
This is part of a major series called Advancing Australia, in which leading academics examine the key issues facing Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election and beyond. Read the other pieces in the series here. Strong action on climate change is vital if Australia is to thrive in the f...

An end to endings: how to stop more Australian species going extinct

Author: John Woinarski, Sarah Legge, Stephen Garnett
Date: 5/3/19
This is part of a major series called Advancing Australia, in which leading academics examine the key issues facing Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election and beyond. Read the other pieces in the series here. We need nature. It gives us inspiration, health, resources, life. But we ar...