2019 Victorian Biodiversity Conference Liveblog

Follow our coverage of #vicbiocon19 here!

6 February 2019
With GMOs, We Reap What We Sow

Roughly 9,000 years ago, somewhere around the Tehuacan Valley of present-day Mexico, a common local wildgrass began an extraordinary transformation. It probably started by accident: local foragers favouring those plants with larger, looser seeds, and inadvertently spreading them through their waste. But it wasn’t long before humans made art out of chance and began deliberately selecting the best grasses to sow—and unwittingly became the world’s first genetic engineers.

9 August 2018
The Earth Is On Fire—But We Have Bigger Problems

If you’ve caught the last ten minutes of the news any time in the past six weeks, you may have noticed that Hawai’i is on fire. The culprit is Kilauea, one of the tropical island’s five volcanoes: a diminutive creature huddled on the east flank of the mighty Mauna Loa, and a remorseless slayer of volcanologists.

8 August 2018
The Do’s and Don’ts of Ball-Tampering

Rohan Byrne looks at the physics behind the tactic

28 May 2018
Oxytocin - Lincoln Glasby
Can Love Cure Addiction?

Any first-year psych student knows the story. A mouse is placed in a box with two levers. One delivers food on demand—the other, cocaine. Come back five days later and you will find the outcome is always the same: having tasted euphoria, the mouse has starved itself to death.

5 April 2018
Apocalypse Postponed by Lincoln Glasby
Apocalypse Postponed

Rohan Byrne on the bizarre natural experiment of Hawaii’s aborted doomsday

15 March 2018
I Failed Year 9 Science But Interviewed Bill Nye the Science Guy

In year 9 everyone got their Bunsen burner licence. Everyone except for me. I looked around and saw laughter, joy, happiness – people were quite literally getting ‘lit’ all throughout the class room. In the cold dark corner of the science room I sat with my little ‘safety flame’ which was designed to ensure the […]

12 September 2017
Resistance Made Futile

Singapore, 2012: Kannan, my uncle, dies aged fifty-one. Cause of death: myocardial infarction – heart failure. But the disease that ravaged his lungs and consumed his body goes unmentioned. My uncle’s tuberculosis (TB), contracted on a working-trip to India, went undiagnosed for 10 months.

22 August 2017
The Science of Scent

There’s something curiously humble about the flask-shaped perfume bottle that holds Chanel No. 5. Surprisingly, it never seems to get drowned out by the noise made by more ostentatious designs (Davidoff, anyone?).

Killer Instinct

Do you have killer instincts? Empathy that can’t be roused, a bloodlust that can’t be quenched? Some do – but were they born or bred? Let’s take a closer look, shall we? The Making of Ivan Milat It is said that psychopaths begin young. Perhaps their family begins to notice ‘off’ behaviour from childhood. This […]

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