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• Source limited to: The Conversation

 2020-09-25 12:23 

The Conversation

Ancient microbial life used arsenic to thrive in a world without oxygen...

Purple microbial mats offer clues to how ancient life functioned. Pieter Visscher , CC BY-ND Billions of years ago, life on Earth was mostly just large slimy mats of microbes living in shallow water. Sometimes, these microbial communities made carbonate m...

 2020-09-25 12:23 

The Conversation

Votes cast in November will shape Congress through 2030...

A small sliver of a congressional district in Pennsylvania crossed four counties, on a map that was ruled to be a partisan gerrymandering plan. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic When voters cast their ballots in November, they won't just decide who will be pres...

 2020-09-25 04:51 

The Conversation AU

You wouldn't hit a dog, so why kill one in Minecraft? Why violence against virtual animals is an ethical issue...

Paulo O/Flickr , CC BY-SA Violence against animals in video games is ubiquitous. Players can kill or torture animals in various popular games, including Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V. The rise of this (increasingly realistic) trend in games, along with...

 2020-09-25 04:12 

The Conversation AU

Australia's natural history and native species should be on the citizenship test...

Thomas M Wilson , Author provided Australia's proposed changes to the citizenship test has raised questions about whether you can really evaluate someone's "Australian values" via a set of exam questions. But here's another question no...

 2020-09-25 02:50 

The Conversation AU

We accidentally found a whole new genus of Australian daisies. You've probably seen them on your bushwalks...

Alexander Schmidt-Lebuhn , Author provided When it comes to new botanical discoveries, one might imagine it's done by trudging around a remote tropical rainforest. Certainly, that does still happen . But sometimes seemingly familiar plants close to ho...

 2020-09-24 19:59 

The Conversation AU

Greyhound pups must be tracked from birth to death, so we know how many are slaughtered...

Shutterstock It's been more than four years since New South Wales greyhound racing was rocked by a special inquiry that found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass killings. Overbreeding and euthanasia of healthy dogs is sti...

 2020-09-24 19:59 

The Conversation AU

Greyhound pups must be tracked from birth to death, so we know how many are killed...

Shutterstock It's been more than four years since New South Wales greyhound racing was rocked by a special inquiry that found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass killings. Overbreeding and euthanasia of healthy dogs is sti...

 2020-09-24 19:59 

The Conversation AU

We looked at 35 years of rainfall and learnt how droughts start in the Murray-Darling Basin...

The extreme, recent drought has devastated many communities around the Murray-Darling Basin, but the processes driving drought are still not well understood. Our new study helps to change this. We threw a weather model into reverse and ran it back for 35 ...

 2020-09-24 19:10 

The Conversation

Homes are flooding outside FEMA's 100-year flood zones, and racial inequality is showing through...

Hurricane Harvey showed the racial disparities in flood damage outside Houston's 100-year flood zones. Joe Raedle/Getty Images When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwa...

 2020-09-24 12:40 

The Conversation

The clothes make the candidate: The sartorial politics of this year's key Senate races...

Conservative suit? Check. Rep tie? Check. Mitch McConnell looks every inch a senator. Scott Applewhite/Getty When Richard Nixon praised his wife 's "respectable Republican cloth coat" in his 1952 Checkers speech , her clothes were not the poin...

 2020-09-24 12:26 

The Conversation

The neural cruelty of captivity: Keeping large mammals in zoos and aquariums damages their brains...

Photograph of an elephant brain. Dr. Paul Manger/ University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg , CC BY-ND Hanako , a female Asian elephant, lived in a tiny concrete enclosure at Japan's Inokashira Park Zoo for more than 60 years, often in chains, wit...

 2020-09-24 12:25 

The Conversation

Why do some hurricanes stall, and why is that so hard to forecast?...

When Hurricane Dorian, seen here from the International Space Station, stalled over the Bahamas in September 2019, its winds, rain and storm surge devastated the islands. NASA A lot can go wrong when hurricanes stall. Their destructive winds last longer. ...

 2020-09-24 12:25 

The Conversation

What makes hurricanes stall, and why is it so hard to forecast?...

When Hurricane Dorian, seen here from the International Space Station, stalled over the Bahamas in September 2019, its winds, rain and storm surge devastated the islands. NASA A lot can go wrong when hurricanes stall. Their destructive winds last longer. ...

 2020-09-24 12:25 

The Conversation

What makes hurricanes stall, and why is that so hard to forecast?...

When Hurricane Dorian, seen here from the International Space Station, stalled over the Bahamas in September 2019, its winds, rain and storm surge devastated the islands. NASA A lot can go wrong when hurricanes stall. Their destructive winds last longer. ...

 2020-09-24 12:25 

The Conversation

Which of Trump's Supreme Court choices might be most reliably conservative?...

President Donald Trump has said he will name a Supreme Court nominee in the coming days. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic As President Donald Trump looks to fill the Supreme Court seat left open by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he and other R...

 2020-09-24 12:24 

The Conversation

Homes in Black and Latino neighborhoods still undervalued 50 years after US banned using race in real estate appraisals...

Real estate prices are still related to a neighborhood's racial composition, despite laws prohibiting the explicit consideration of race in appraisals. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academi...

 2020-09-24 12:21 

The Conversation

Dynamic tattoos promise to warn wearers of health threats...

In the not-too-distant future, tattoos could become medical diagnostic devices as well as body art. LightFieldStudios/iStock via Getty Images In the sci-fi novel "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson, body art has evolved into "constantly shift...

 2020-09-24 12:20 

The Conversation

Microaggressions aren't just innocent blunders new research links them with racial bias...

They're not just honest or ignorant mistakes, and they can poison an otherwise pleasant interaction. Hinterhaus Productions/DigitalVision via Getty Images A white man shares publicly that a group of Black Harvard graduates " look like gang members...

 2020-09-24 04:20 

The Conversation AU

New Zealand companies lag behind others in their reporting on climate change, and that's a risk to their reputation...

Shutterstock/sdecoret New Zealand's top 30 corporations do a poor job reporting on climate change compared with similar Australian and Fortune Global 500 companies, according to our research . The fact that most big businesses in New Zealand provide l...

 2020-09-23 19:59 

The Conversation AU

'The good, the bad and the ugly': here's the lowdown on Australia's low-emissions roadmap...

Dean Lewins/AAP "Picking winners" has been anathema to Australian policy-making for decades. The federal government's technology investment roadmap bucks the trend, targeting public investments in specific low-emissions technologies. The first...

 2020-09-23 18:03 

The Conversation

How a pregnant mouse's microbes influence offspring's brain development new study offers clues...

The microbes in the mother's gut can alter the number of neurons in the baby's brain and the connections they make. bestdesigns/Getty Images When a fetus is developing in the mother's womb, it is essential that the fetus receives the correct n...

 2020-09-23 12:32 

The Conversation

It's time for states that grew rich from oil, gas and coal to figure out what's next...

A surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming, photographed in 2008. Greg Goebel/Flickr , CC BY-SA These are very challenging times for U.S. fossil fuel-producing states, such as Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota. The COVID-19 economic downturn has reduced ener...

 2020-09-23 12:32 

The Conversation

Want the youth vote? Some college students are still up for grabs in November...

Encouraging students at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to vote in the midterm elections, Nov. 6, 2018. Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images College students are a rapidly growing and increasingly coveted voting bloc. Twice as many college students vo...

 2020-09-23 12:31 

The Conversation

When noted journalists bashed political polls as nothing more than 'a fragmentary snapshot' of a moment in time...

Legendary New York City columnist Jimmy Breslin, right, ready to do shoe-leather journalistic research in a bar, said preelection polls were "monstrous frauds." Michael Brennan/Getty Images Poll-bashing the aggressive, even extreme lambasting of p...

 2020-09-23 12:31 

The Conversation

Unlike US, Europe picks top judges with bipartisan approval to create ideologically balanced high courts...

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 21 called on the Republican-controlled Senate not to confirm a new justice until the next president is in office. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images Filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supre...

 2020-09-23 12:30 

The Conversation

A language generation program's ability to write articles, produce code and compose poetry has wowed scientists...

GPT-3 is 10 times more complex than its predecessor. antoniokhr/iStock via Getty Images Seven years ago, my student and I at Penn State built a bot to write a Wikipedia article on Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's play " Chitra ." F...

 2020-09-23 08:03 

The Conversation AU

NBN upgrades explained: how will they make internet speeds faster? And will the regions miss out?...

Shutterstock The federal government has announced a A$3.5 billion upgrade to the National Broadband Network (NBN) that will grant two million households on-demand access to faster fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) internet by 2023. Reports from the ABC indicate th...

 2020-09-23 05:55 

The Conversation AU

Our toxic legacy: bushfires release decades of pollutants absorbed by forests...

Shutterstock We know forests absorb carbon dioxide, but, like a sponge, they also soak up years of pollutants from human activity. When bushfires strike, these pollutants are re-released into the air with smoke and ash. Our new research examined air sampl...

 2020-09-23 04:35 

The Conversation AU

'Like trying to find the door in a dark room while hearing your relatives scream for help': Tasmania's whale stranding tragedy explained...

A desperate rescue effort is underway after hundreds of long-finned pilot whales ( Globicephala melas ) became stranded in Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania's west coast. Yesterday, more than 250 pilot whales were reported to have stranded, with one-third...

 2020-09-22 20:05 

The Conversation AU

Our new model shows Australia can expect 11 tropical cyclones this season...

Tropical cyclones are considered one of the most devastating weather events in Australia . But they're erratic — where, when and how many tropical cyclones form each year is highly variable , which makes them difficult to predict. In our new res...

 2020-09-22 20:04 

The Conversation AU

Angus Taylor's tech roadmap is fundamentally flawed — renewables are doable almost everywhere...

Lukas Coch/AAP/Dave Hunt The Morrison government on Tuesday revealed the five low-emissions technologies it will prioritise for investment. The so called " technology roadmap " offers scant support for renewable energy, for reasons that do not sta...

 2020-09-22 19:58 

The Conversation AU

Climate explained: humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability...

Professor John Long, Flinders University , Author provided CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you'...

 2020-09-22 19:15 

The Conversation

3 research-based ways to cope with the uncertainties of pandemic life...

Don't assume that something you're uncertain about will have a terrible outcome. LWA-Dann Tardif/Stone via Getty Images It's 1:36 a.m. and I've just gotten my daughter back to sleep after she threw up violently. She has no fever, no cough,...

 2020-09-22 18:59 

The Conversation

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?...

How much longer must society wait for a vaccine? ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/Getty Images With COVID-19 vaccines currently in the final phase of study, you've probably been wondering how the FDA will decide if a vaccine is safe and effective. Based on the status...

 2020-09-22 12:25 

The Conversation

3 ways a 6-3 Supreme Court would be different...

People gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court building as news spread of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Sept. 18 death. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite If the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is replaced this year, the Supreme Court will become s...

 2020-09-22 12:23 

The Conversation

The case of Biden versus Trump or how a judge could decide the presidential election...

Will judges decide who wins the presidential election? Geoff Livingston/Getty Imagine the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Given the unprecedented number of mail-in votes this election , Americans may wake up and still not know who won the presidential...

 2020-09-22 12:22 

The Conversation

Tips for living online lessons from six months of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Life online isn't ideal, but it is manageable. Alistair Berg/DigitalVision via Getty Images Valentine's Day was sweet, spring break was fun, then... boom! COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders, workplace shutdowns, school closures and social distancing re...

 2020-09-22 12:21 

The Conversation

How can smoke from West Coast fires cause red sunsets in New York?...

A red hazy sunset over Indiana caused by wildfire smoke from the Western U.S. SOPA Images/LightRocket va Getty Images If you are one of the millions of people in the Midwest and Eastern U.S. who turned your gaze toward the sky recently, you may have notic...

 2020-09-22 12:21 

The Conversation

Pandemic crushes Guyana's dreams of big oil as 'resource curse' looms over oil-producing nations...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Guyana's president, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Sept. 18. Pompeo is the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the tiny South American country. AFP via Getty Images This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana . ...

 2020-09-22 12:21 

The Conversation

Pandemic crushes Guyana's dreams of big oil profits as 'resource curse' looms over oil-producing nations...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Guyana's president, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Sept. 18. Pompeo is the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the tiny South American country. AFP via Getty Images This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana . ...

 2020-09-22 12:20 

The Conversation

Retiring early can be bad for the brain...

Continuing to engage in mental challenges keeps the brain from deteriorating in early retirement. Westend61/Getty Images The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea People who retire early suffer from accelerated cogni...

 2020-09-22 04:23 

The Conversation AU

Trump's TikTok deal explained: who is Oracle? Why Walmart? And what does it mean for our data?...

Shutterstock Plot twists in the TikTok saga continue to emerge daily, with a proposed deal to secure the future of the video sharing platform in the United States now in doubt. Under the deal — which US President Donald Trump initially approved but ...

 2020-09-22 02:42 

The Conversation AU

Google News favours mainstream media. Even if it pays for Australian content, will local outlets fall further behind?...

Google's role in delivering audiences to news outlets has been under scrutiny of late. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's initiative to redirect advertising revenue from Google and Facebook to news publishers has led to threats o...

 2020-09-21 19:59 

The Conversation AU

'I didn't mean to hurt you': new research shows funnel webs don't set out to kill humans...

Shutterstock Funnel webs are considered one of Australia's most fearsome spiders, but their ability to kill humans is by accident rather than design, our new research shows. In findings published today , we reveal how the highly toxic and quick-acting...

 2020-09-21 19:59 

The Conversation AU

Healthcare, minerals, energy, food: how adopting new tech could drive Australia's economic recovery...

CSIRO , Author provided Over the next few years, science and technology will have a vital role in supporting Australia's economy as it strives to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. At Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, we've ident...

 2020-09-21 19:18 

The Conversation

SARS-CoV-2 infection can block pain, opening up unexpected new possibilities for research into pain relief medication...

The spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 interferes with pain perception. SEBASTIAN KAULITZKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images Imagine being infected with a deadly virus that makes you impervious to pain. By the time you realize you are infected, it's alread...

 2020-09-21 14:04 

The Conversation

Ginsburg's legal victories for women led to landmark anti-discrimination rulings for the LGBTQ community, too...

Michael Widomski, left, and David Hagedorn at the makeshift memorial for Justice Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. Ginsburg officiated their wedding in 2013. Samuel Corum/Getty Images The well-deserved tribut...

 2020-09-21 12:16 

The Conversation

Scientists don't share their findings for fun they want their research to make a difference...

Scientists talk about their research because they want their expertise to guide real-world decisions. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea Scientists don't take time aw...

 2020-09-21 12:15 

The Conversation

U.S.-China fight over fishing is really about world domination...

China has clashed with neighbors over its fishing in the contested South China Sea, pictured here. Controversially, Chinese fishermen also venture as far as Argentina and Ecuador. Yao Feng/VCG via Getty Images China's aggressive, sometimes illegal fis...

 2020-09-21 12:15 

The Conversation

US-China fight over fishing is really about world domination...

China has clashed with neighbors over its fishing in the contested South China Sea, pictured here. Controversially, Chinese fishermen also venture as far as Argentina and Ecuador. Yao Feng/VCG via Getty Images China's aggressive, sometimes illegal fis...

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