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Science

NASA wants someone to design a space toilet for use in lunar gravity. Picture: NASA/HeroX

NASA needs inventors to design a new space toilet

space

As part of its planning for a 2024 mission to the Moon, NASA has launched a competition offering almost $30,000 for the design of a space toilet that works in lunar gravity

Calls to better protect world-famous giant cuttlefish site

animals

Pressure is mounting on the SA government to reverse a decision allowing fishing of giant cuttlefish in the Spencer Gulf, where they mass each year to spawn, the only place in the world this happens

Scientists rethink ancient wombat in new study

animals

A giant wombat the size of a black bear that roamed Australia 25 million years ago has been classified as a new category of marsupial after almost 50 years of study

Latest

Big buzz about Aussie bee drone invention

Pollination drone
technology

A team of mechanical engineering students in South Australia has invented a small drone that transfers pollen from plant to plant and that could one day replace bees

Why don’t you sink in the Dead Sea?

Relaxed woman reading newspaper while floating in Dead Sea water.
explainers

Ask people what they know about the Dead Sea and most will tell you that it’s impossible to sink when you’re swimming in it, but not everyone knows why. Kids News did some research

Scientists map ancient lost continent

geography

Towering titanosaurs and other dinosaurs once roamed the vast, mountainless lands between the east of Australia and New Zealand on a lost continent called Zealandia

Giant meat-eating dinosaur roamed Australia

animals

Move over T-rex, Gigantosaurus and Spinosaurus — the discovery of dinosaur footprint fossils in Queensland reveal Australia had its own huge predator in the Jurassic Period.

Vitamin D could help fight food allergies in kids

Allergies case study
health

Australia has the world’s highest rate of childhood food allergies but researchers hope a simple vitamin supplement could help change that.

Get set for a ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse

space

Northern Australia is about to be treated to a special kind of solar eclipse, when the Moon moves in front of the Sun and blocks our view of the centre of our star. Here’s how to see it happen

Endangered dunnart found alive after fires

animals

A tiny, critically endangered marsupial has amazed conservationists on Kangaroo Island, after being spotted scampering in bushland destroyed in bushfires

Sheet-weaver spider swarm spins huge web

Supplied Editorial Ostearius melanopygius sheet-weaver spiders at Lochiel Park,
 Campbelltown. Source: by Rusty Rider
animals

Thousands of spiders are busily creating a rare natural silk sculpture in an Adelaide park. The social sheet-weaver spiders are working together like a community of ants to trap their prey

36 alien races could live in Milky Way

1982. Scene from film "ET: the extraterrestrial".  alien
space

Astronomers now believe there are 36 advanced alien civilisations living in the Milky Way and able to send radio signals, assuming that intelligent life on other planets is similar to humans

Trial to ‘switch off’ severe allergies in kids

Egg Allergy treatment
health

Kids could live free of life-threatening egg allergies thanks to a treatment being trialled by Australian researchers in Melbourne after the success of a similar trial for peanuts allergies

Discovery of Earth-like habitable planet

An artist rendition released by the European Space Agency on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 shows the main bodies of the solar system, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, the Earth, from left in foreground, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, from left in background. The Moon, the Earth's natural satellite, is seen at right in foreground, as the relative size of the orbits of the planets is not respected. Nearby planet Venus is looking a bit more Earth-like with frequent bursts of lightning confirmed by a new European space probe. For nearly three decades, astronomers have said Venus probably had lightning, ever since a 1978 NASA probe showed signs of electrical activity in its atmosphere. But experts were not sure because of signal interference. (AP
space

An exoplanet that orbits a star just like our Sun could be the most similar to Earth ever found, which has scientists thinking it could liveable.

Found: dinosaur’s tummy full of food

The Cretaceous Period armoured dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli, which lived 110 million years ago in what is now the Canadian province of Alberta, eats ferns in an illustration released on June 2, 2020. Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology/Julius Csotonyi/Handout via REUTERS
animals

For the first time, scientists have found a beautifully preserved, fossilised meal inside the skeleton of a dinosaur, including fern fronds and spores, leaves and even charcoal from a bushfire

Lost city found with radar and a quad bike

Face of the Emperor Constantine and latin script
history

A long-buried ancient Roman city in Italy has been mapped in incredible detail without any digging. Instead, archaeologists used a ground-penetrating radar strapped to a quad bike

Happy day as Bear the turtle swims home

animals

Carers at a Queensland aquarium waved a happy goodbye this week to a precious green sea turtle, who swam back to freedom after recovering in captivity from injury

The mystery of sea creatures’ snot palaces

science

Learning how sea creatures build the equivalent of five-story palaces in about an hour, made just with mucus from their heads, could help us build expanding homes on Earth, the Moon or Mars

How your brain plays tricks on you

Light bulb with brain inside the hands of the businessman.
just for fun

Optical illusions show us that a picture or an object in front of our eyes is only part of what we “see”. Our brain makes up the rest. Test yourself on these cool illusions to find out for yourself

Coral transplants to boost reef health

The 2019 Rolex Awards for Enterprise
environment

Divers are using the quiet pandemic period to grow and replant coral at popular tourist diving and snorkelling spots on the Great Barrier Reef.

Burnt koalas heal with Phillip Island penguins

environment

Phillip Island reopens on World Environment Day as Ranger Jess McKelson shares tales of bushfire koalas and little penguins

What it takes to become an astronaut

space

The SpaceX launch of two NASA astronauts is getting a lot of people excited about space travel. But becoming an astronaut requires much more than just enthusiasm. Here’s how to succeed

Goalkicking yips could be in players’ heads

sport

Have you ever wondered why footballers struggle to convert set shots for goal? Australian sports scientists believe the answer could be all in the mind

Big asteroids zooming ‘close’ by Earth

space

Four asteroids have zoomed past Earth this week at 80,000kmh, one thought to be about 44m wide. NASA had put them all on its ‘close approach’ list, but there’s no risk they’ll crash into us

Checking cheetah poo at the zoo

animals

One of the important roles of zookeepers, vets and scientists is looking at animal poo as an indicator of health. Monarto Safari Park keepers share some of their poo knowledge with Kids News

Australian scientists break internet speed record

Internet Scientists
technology

Using 76.7km of ordinary fibre cables between two Victorian universities, Australian computer scientists have achieved incredible internet speeds of 44.2 million megabits a second

Australia set for colder, wetter than average winter

Weather
weather

Get your umbrella and winter woollies out. The Bureau of Meteorology is tipping plenty of rain and chilly days ahead but nights could be warmer.

Astronauts into orbit on history-making space flight

SpaceX Demo-2 Dress Rehearsal
space

UPDATED Two NASA astronauts have launched in a SpaceX rocket and arrived safely at the ISS, the first time in nearly a decade that the US has launched astronauts into orbit from the US

Insulin that mimics venom of deep-sea snail

Insulin Case Study
science

Scientists in Australia have described as possibly life changing the invention of human insulin that mimics cone snail venom insulin, working almost instantly to lower blood sugar levels

Australian megafauna died out with climate change

environment

Giant kangaroos, enormous crocodiles, massive wombats and a marsupial “lion” that lived 40,000 years ago in tropical Northern Australia died out because of climate change, a study has found

Big boost to birdwing butterflies in the wild

animals

A successful captive breeding and release program of more than 500 Richmond birdwing butterflies means the species could soon be taken off the threatened species list

Astronomers watch birth of a new planet

space

For the first time, astronomers have watched what they believe was the birth of a new planet, seen within a huge disk of gas and dust surrounding a newly formed star bigger than our Sun

Caring for the billions of microbes in your mouth

Museum sugar drink ban
health

Donations of spit from about 1500 people are helping scientists understand how the billions of microbes in our mouths work to keep us healthy and what you can do to keep them healthy too

What makes eyes different colours?

explainers

Do you have brown eyes? If that’s a yes, you’re in the majority. In fact, it’s thought that 10,000 years ago, every human had brown eyes. Kids News researched the science of eye colour

Rare dinosaur fossil found in Australia

Eric the Elaphrosaurine (Reduced) Ruairidh Duncan 2020
animals

A fresh look at a fossil found at a Victorian beach and thought to belong to a pterosaur has resulted in the discovery of the first elaphrosaur dinosaur ever from Australia

Mystery of koala drinking habits solved

animals

In a big win in the battle to save this species from extinction, scientists have observed koalas drinking in the wild for the first time, watching them lick rain running down tree trunks

Human urine could help make concrete on Moon

space

Scientists have found that urea, the main chemical ingredient in urine, would make a good lunar concrete for building a Moon base, reducing the need to launch supplies from Earth

Astronomers find closest black hole to Earth

space

Two stars dancing in the night sky and visible without a telescope have led astronomers to find a black hole so close to Earth it’s “just around the corner” in space terms

River ‘monster’ to topple T-rex as top dinosaur

This is an artist's illustration of the terrifying creatureCredit: University of Portsmouth / Davide Bonadonna
animals

Fast, ferocious Spinosaurus is the first aquatic dinosaur known to science. Experts believe it could topple T-rex to take the title as the most famous and exciting meat-eating dinosaur

Football-sized chunk of the Moon for sale

A piece of Moon rock
space

One of the largest Moon rocks on Earth is up for sale, probably chipped off the surface of the Moon by a collision with an asteroid or comet and then plunging down in the Sahara Desert

Halley’s comet dust trail lights up night sky

Moon rising on Tuesday May 7 2013 - Photographer Grant Schwartzkopff - searching for Halley's Comet meteor shower.
space

Ancient debris from Halley’s comet will zoom across the night sky this week, creating the eta Aquariid meteor shower with up to 20 meteors an hour to watch out for

Aussie helps build ‘time machine’ to study Big Bang

Big Bang Theory. Source: Thinkstock.
science

An Australian-made radio telescope is preparing to look back 13 billion years in time to the Big Bang and discover the secrets of our universe. It will be the closest thing we have to a time machine

‘Crazy beast’ prehistoric mammal found

Supplied Editorial The Adalatherium was a bizarre creature that lived around 66 million
 years ago on the island of Madagascar. Picture: Facebook/Denver Museum of
 Nature & Science
animals

The skeleton of a backward-toothed mammal nicknamed “crazy beast” that existed alongside dinosaurs 66 million years ago has been unveiled by Australian palaeontologists

Dolphins dance through glowing algal bloom

Glowing dolphins swim through algae
science

A pod of dolphins has been filmed dancing and surfing through waves full of bioluminescent plankton. Kids News looks at the science behind the living things that glow

US military releases UFO videos to prove they’re real

news

Three videos of UFOs have been officially released by the US navy, sparking new interest in the hobby of researching sightings of flying objects that can’t be explained by science

Found! Antarctic frog fossils from warmer times

Dr Jodi Rowley with James Alcock
animals

Experts have discovered cold-blooded frogs once lived on a warm Antarctica 40 million years ago PLUS Australian scientists need your help for a frog-finding mission closer to home

Best pictures to celebrate Hubble’s happy birthday

NASA has released images to celebrate Hubble's 30th year
space

The Hubble Space Telescope has reached its 30th year in orbit and we’re celebrating with a look at some of Hubble’s best photos of our incredible universe. Which is your favourite?

Earth’s insect numbers shrink over 30 years

Funny laughing curly girl with a butterfly on his nose.
animals

New scientific research has shown the number of insects living on land has fallen dramatically in the past 30 years, putting the world’s ecosystems — and human lives — at risk

Big find about origins of human language

A three-dimensional model of the 3.2 million-year-old hominid known as Lucy is unveiled at the Houston Museum of Natural Science Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007. The sculpture, showing a scientific estimation of what Lucy may have looked like in life, is part of an exhibition featuring the original fossilized remains of the oldest and most complete adult human ancestor from Africa. Houston is the first stop on an American tour for the famous fossil. The exhibition will open Aug. 31. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
science

By comparing brains of humans and apes, scientists have discovered the origins of human language could be 25 million years old — 20 million years older than previously thought

Lyrid meteor shower to light up the night sky

A composite image of meteors in the Lyrid shower over the US state of Texas in 2012. Picture: NASA
space

One of the world’s oldest meteor showers is taking place again in our night sky this week. You will be able to see the glorious Lyrid meteor shower at its best tonight at your place

How flamingoes hang out with their friends

Flying flamingo
animals

Despite being part of a large flock, flamingoes mostly spend time with a small group of close friends and others avoid certain individuals, suggesting some just don’t get along

Earthquakes signal Iceland’s volcanoes waking up

science

Scientists warn that a volcanic area of Iceland is becoming active, with more than 8000 earthquakes recorded since January 21 and 10cm of land uplift as magma pushes up from below

NASA reveals high-resolution photos of the Sun

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire unveil highest-ever resolution images of the Sun from NASA's solar sounding rocket mission.NASA/UCLan
space

A space telescope has taken the most detailed photos of the Sun, revealing surface spots filled with plasma strands hundreds of kilometres long and as hot as a million degrees Celsius

Painting clouds and other ideas to save our Reef

environment

Action on climate change and ideas such as painting clouds with water and growing heat-tolerant coral are being considered to help the Great Barrier Reef be healthier in 30 years’ time

Procession of caterpillars sign of frosty time ahead

The procession of caterpillars. Picture: Still from video
animals

A 7m-long procession of caterpillars parading through Alice Springs is fascinating and touching them dangerous, but to the Arrernte people, it can be a sign of a harsh winter on the way

Mystery of Death Valley’s sliding stones

This is Nasa's Astronomy Picture of the Day featuring a sailing stone and the Milky Way Credit: KEITH BURKE
science

NASA has sparked renewed interest in the mystery of Death Valley’s sailing stones that seemingly move on their own across the desert with no human or animal help and no obvious explanation

Astronauts recall flawed Apollo 13 mission

space

It is 50 years since the near-disastrous Apollo 13 mission and though younger generations may think of it as a failure, its astronauts and others regard it as NASA’s finest achievement

Massive stringy clone colony filmed off WA

the siphonophore
animals

Researchers off WA have filmed a long, glowing, stringlike, predatory underwater creature made up of millions of interconnected clones, the largest of its type ever discovered

NASA reveals camp plans for life on the Moon

Space agencies have their sights set on colonising the Moon
space

NASA is making plans for humans to live on the Moon and has revealed its early thinking on where a base camp should be built and how astronauts would travel on the lunar surface

AI chefs and robotic playmates in our hi-tech future

LG showed off several types of CLOi robots at CES 2020, including robots that in a mock restaurant take your order and robotic arms that prepare meals. Picture: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
technology

Top technology companies have revealed their ideas for our homes of the future — and they include smart robotic balls as playmates, machinery arms as chefs and robots to serve coffee

Scientists to make the Murray River sing

The Helping the Murray Sing project. Picture: Jason Macqueen
science

The sounds of Australia’s Murray River will soon be heard in song after scientists and audio specialists captured its sights and sounds in a project aimed at improving the waterway’s health

Oldest fossil of early human species is discovered

history

Australian and international scientists have unearthed a two-million-year old skull bone — the oldest known fossil of the earliest human species named Homo erectus

‘Spider-Man’ identifies seven new peacock spiders

Maratus consteallatus. Picture: Joseph Schubert/Museums Victoria
animals

They’re the hit spiders of the internet, with their fancy colouring and cool courtship dancing. And now there are seven new peacock spider species to get to know

Why do grey seals clap like humans?

Wild grey seal. Picture: Ben Burville
animals

Amazing video captured by a marine biologist after 17 years of waiting shows breeding grey seals clapping at each other underwater to warn off competitors and attract mates

Exploring the lost city of Pompeii

history

On April 1, 1748, a Spanish engineer rediscovered Pompeii, changing the way we thought about historical artefacts and beginning the longest archaeological dig in the world

Big old meteorite rediscovered in basement

Meteorite removalists
space

The massive 4.5 billion-year-old Huckitta meteorite from the NT, hidden from the public in a basement in SA for more than 20 years, is about to be rediscovered by a new generation

Baby boom for endangered snapping turtles

Turtle
animals

The future of Australia’s critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtle is a little more secure after 35 baby turtles hatched at Taronga Zoo

Twin polar bear cubs venture out in empty zoo

animals

Three-and-a-half-month-old twin polar bear cubs have made their public debut at a zoo in the Netherlands, but without the public because of coronavirus restrictions

Mars InSight lander hits itself with shovel

space

NASA engineers are confident they’ve fixed the Mars InSight lander by telling it to hit itself with its shovel after its 38cm digging mole became stuck in the soil on the Martian surface

Big COVID-19 questions and simple answers

explainers

Using World Health Organisation information, we answer important questions about COVID-19, such as: "What is a virus?"  and "Why are there new rules for everyday life?"

Fish with fingers shows how human hand evolved

Supplied Editorial Fwd: FW: Reuters/image permission
animals

A slippery predator that lurked in lagoons 380 millions years ago had fins with finger bones that could teach us about the origins of the human hand

Aussie-made food on the menu for astronauts

Space food research
space

Australian scientists are cooking up astronaut food to send to space for a year before testing how tasty it is using an electronic nose and tongue in preparation for Moon and Mars missions

Shutdowns across Australia to slow Covid-19

Sydneysiders Adjust To New Social Distancing Rules Introduced To Restrict Coronavirus Spread
health

PM Scott Morrison has urged Australians to take social distancing seriously as he announced tough restrictions on how we live and closed non-essential businesses to slow the spread of coronavirus

Early humans ‘ate no meat, swung in trees’

history

The careful scanning of a 3.6 million year old skull belonging to a fossil named ‘Little Foot’ has proven that early humans had small brains, swung between trees like monkeys and ate vegan diets

NASA wants your help to dig on the Moon

Partial Lunar Eclipse Canberra
space

NASA has challenged the public to design a better robot to dig on the Moon. The space agency has been working on a model but believes it can be improved and wants bright citizens to help them

Lego lost at sea could survive 1300 years

environment

Scientists studying plastic Lego blocks lost in a storm then washed up on the coast of southwest England find they could survive in the ocean for 1300 years

Mystery ‘Bonehenge’ woolly mammoth ring

Artist's impression of woolly mammoth
history

Archaeologists are uncovering a mysterious collection of mammoth bones arranged by our ancient Palaeolithic ancestors 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age

Clam tells story of prehistoric Earth and moon

The fossilised mollusc from the Cretaceous period
history

A fossilised mollusc alive alongside the last of the dinosaurs 70 million years ago has shown scientists that a day on Earth once lasted only 23-and-a-half hours

Hand washing: How does soap work?

Washing hands - Coronavirus
explainers

As people around the world work to slow the spread of the virus called COVID-19, everyone is telling us to wash our hands with soap. Kids News explains how soap works

Miracle change after double hand transplant

Shreya Siddanagowder gestures during an interview with AFP at her home in Pune, more than two years after she had both hands transplanted
health

A woman who received two hands from a male donor has found her new hands have transformed to be slimmer and like her own skin tone, in an incredible development that has pleased doctors

Curious case of great white sharks passing by

animals

Human holiday-makers love the beautiful seaside town of Port Macquarie but great white sharks refuse to stay there, though scientists know a record number swim right past

World’s smallest dinosaur found embedded in amber

animals

The world’s smallest dinosaur has been discovered embedded in amber. The 100 million-year-old bird, just 5cm long, had bulging lizard-like eyes and a beak packed with 100 sharp teeth

Komodo dragon mum has three sons, solo

The Komodo dragon
animals

A female komodo dragon has produced three baby dragons without a male mate through a rare process called parthenogenesis

Farewell Aurora Australis, our beloved Antarctic ship

science

The Australian Antarctic Division’s famous bright orange research ship Aurora Australis departed for Macquarie Island this week on one last voyage before its retirement

Has Yoshi the turtle swum home to Australia?

Yoshi the turtle when she was still in the aquarium. Picture: Two Oceans Aquarium
animals

An endangered turtle has reached WA after a two-year, 37,000km swim, possibly the longest animal journey recorded by a satellite tag, which has scientists wondering if she was born here

Why do leaves change colour and fall in autumn?

Autumn leaves
explainers

The leaves on deciduous trees turn forests, parks and gardens a rainbow of yellows, oranges, reds and browns. Why do leaves change colour? And why do the trees let them fall?

Very hungry caterpillar eats Earth’s plastic pollution

science

Scientists have been feeding waxworms polyethylene — one of the most common plastics used in shopping bags — and found that just 60 little caterpillars can eat more than 30 sqcm in a week

Underwater Photographer of the Year

arts

Five Australian photographers have blitzed the international Underwater Photographer of the Year competition with their incredible pictures of life under the sea

Australia’s long, hot summers the new normal

weather

Our summers are now twice as long as our winters as climate change has increased temperatures since the middle of last century, according to a new study of Australian weather data

Would you eat butter made from maggots?

environment

Scientists in Belgium are experimenting with larva fat to replace butter in waffles, cakes and cookies, saying using grease from insects is more sustainable than dairy produce

New type of ancient lion found in Australia

An artist impression of marsupial lion now known as Lekaneleo roskellya. Picture: Peter Schouten
animals

A new type of ancient marsupial lion has been discovered in Queensland after palaeontologists discovered its teeth were like nothing ever seen before

Biggest explosion ever seen in universe

space

Australian scientists have helped US astronomers discover the biggest explosion ever seen in the universe — and it came from a supermassive black hole

Tomb radar may solve Egyptian Queen mystery

history

A hidden chamber near the tomb of Egypt’s King Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings may contain the long-lost remains Queen Nefertiti

Scorching hot planet heading for destruction

Picture released 04/10/2006 by the European Space Agency shows an artist's impression of a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of its parent star. Such events are called transits. When the planet transits the star, the star?s apparent brightness drops by a few percent for a short period.
space

Astronomers have discovered a planet where temperatures frequently hit 1000C, that has an 18-hour year and that will likely soon be destroyed when it spirals into its star or tidal forces tear it apart

‘Pink Panther’ manta ray spotted off Qld

Pink manta ray Inspector Clouseau
animals

Scientists are studying an ultra-rare pink manta ray — maybe the only one in the world — that has been photographed during a dive on the Great Barrier Reef

Space tourists to go into super-high orbit in 2021

space

Up to four tourists could launch into a super-high space orbit in an autonomous SpaceX capsule by the end of next year, with ticket prices expected to be in the millions of dollars

Violinist plays during her own brain surgery

health

A musician has played her violin during a six-hour, lifesaving operation to remove a brain tumour, helping calm the woman’s fears the surgery would ruin her ability to play

Why do we cry and what are tears?

explainers

Crocodile tears are real – though humans are the only animals that cry emotional tears – and babies don’t cry tears at all. Kids News explains tears and crying

Doctors keep heart alive in jar for 24 hours

Stethoscope and heart
health

Doctors have kept a heart beating for 24 hours in a jar with the new life-changing ULiSSES device, bringing hope to thousands of patients needing the lifesaving treatment

‘Snowman’ space rock may have sparked life

space

Scientists believe a space rock shaped like a snowman that formed 4.6 billion years ago may have sparked life on Earth. It is the farthest, most primitive object we’ve ever explored in the solar system