Research Check: do we need to worry about glyphosate in our beer and wine?

Research out of the US tested different varieties of beer and wine for the presence of glyphosate – but there’s lots to consider when interpreting the findings. From shutterstock.com Glyphosate is back in the news again. The common weed killer, which has previously attracted controversy for its...

How not to science: Lessons from flat earthers and climate change deniers

When I find evidence that my theories are wrong, it is as exciting as if they were correct Science is an amazingly powerful tool for disentangling fact and fiction. When done correctly, it is a systematic, objective, unbiased, and self-correcting method for understanding our...

Having a sense of meaning in life is good for you – so how do you get one?

There’s a high degree of overlap between experiencing happiness and meaning. Shutterstock/KieferPix The pursuit of happiness and health is a popular endeavour, as the preponderance of self-help books would attest. Yet it is also fraught. Despite ample advice from experts, individuals regularly engage in activities that...

Cloning monkeys for research puts humans on a slippery ethical slope

Can’t sleep: these cloned macaque monkeys are missing a gene involved in regulating the sleep/wake cycle.  Chinese Academy of Sciences via AAP Scientists have many tools at their disposal to study, manipulate and copy genes. Now it appears researchers at the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai, China, have combined techniques to produce a...

The environmental impact of music: digital, records, CDs analysed

Our favourite way of listening to music might have a bigger environmental impact than we think. patat/ Shutterstock Although streaming remains the most popular way people listen to music, old formats like cassettes and vinyl have both seen an increase in sales. In fact, vinyl has seen a...

‘Alexa, call my lawyer!’ Are you legally liable if someone makes a purchase using your virtual assistant?

If you have voice shopping activated on your voice assistant, anyone in your home could potentially purchase items in your name. Shutterstock When Amazon launched its Alexa virtual assistant in 2014, it probably didn’t think that a bird would expose a potentially significant legal...

How to take better photos with your smartphone, thanks to computational photography

A light-trails long exposure of London’s Tower Bridge, shot on iPhone8Plus using the NightCap app. Rob Layton, Author provided Each time you snap a photo with your smartphone – depending on the make and model – it may perform more than a trillion operations for just that single...

Message sent, received but no instant reply: how does that make you feel?

You wait and wait but still no reply. Shutterstock/Alex Ruhl Your phone chimes, it’s a message from your partner. You reply instantly because that’s what you always do. Then you decide to add another message: “By the way, I love you ☺” You see the “read” status...

Forget sharks… here’s why you are more likely to be injured by litter at the beach

Sadly, people plus beach equals litter,   so be careful out there. Wikimedia Commons Our beaches are our summer playgrounds, yet beach litter and marine debris injures one-fifth of beach users, particularly children and older people. Our research, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment,...

Why two people see the same thing but have different memories

We both see the same event but have   different conclusions. Shutterstock/Photographee.eu Does it ever strike you as odd that you and a friend can experience the same event at the same time, but come away with different memories of what happened? So why is...