In the mag

The Mahogany Ship

Was Australia discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th Century?

The glacial Lake Cootapatamba greets hikers approaching the Kosciuszko summit. Image" Matthew Abbott

High Country

It should have taken a week to finish an overland journey across Australia’s alpine region — instead, it took a decade.

Skin prick tests can be used to determine what types of allergies you have. Image: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

Allergen overdose

Over the past 20 years, allergies have grown steadily in Australia. Some researchers believe that it is because our immune system doesn’t fight against as many diseases as it use to. Are we…


The curious case of the shapeshifting dinosaurs

New research reveals that dinosaurs changed shape during their lives. This means that many dinosaurs, which have so far been considered to be different species, were actually just different growth stages of the…

An absence of wolves has affected the food chain in Yellowstone National Park. Image: Nature Pl

Top predators in crisis

In many places, the numbers of large predators have fallen by more than 90 per cent over the course of a few decades. Scientists are working feverishly to learn how this dearth of…

The barren polar desert landscape of Devon Island in northern Canada is quite similar to Mars. A small trial base has been established there. Image: Archive

A new era (Dreaming of Mars, part 3)

Setting up a permanent base on Mars may no longer be a dream. The plans are already there, we only need funding. Will we reach Mars by 2030?

Rovers will help us better understand the Red Planet. Image: NASA

Dreaming of Mars, part 2

When the Mariner 9 space probe entered into its orbit around Mars in November 1971, it was met with cheers from the control centre in California, in the US. The probe had been…

The BIOS-3 experiments showed the significance of exposing people to plants and animals. Image: Michael Daugaard

Dreaming of Mars, part 1

Since the 1960s, humans have been tested in preparation for a journey to Mars. Subjects have been crammed into sealed steel containers of only a few square metres, with minimal water, food and…


Land of science and discovery

Antarctica seems so unwelcoming that it has awakened the imagination of scientists and adventurers. One hundred years ago, it was almost impossible to live there, but today the endless ice deserts of the…

Hybrid Assistive Limb. Image: Professor Sankai, University of Tsukuba/Cyberdine

Back on their feet

Robotic limbs may provide mobility to paraplegics or augment the strength and endurance of nurses, firefighters and soldiers. Science writer Henrik Bendix explores some of the exoskeleton options that are being developed. Additional…

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