Filtering out social bots can help critical response teams see what’s
happening in real time
Researchers have created an algorithm that distinguishes
between misinformation and genuine conversations on Twitter, by detecting
messages churned out by social bots.
Dr Mehwish Nasim and colleagues at the School of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Adelaide say the algorithm will make it easier
for emergency services to detect major events such as civil unrest, natural
disasters, and influenza epidemics in real time.
“When something really big is going on, people tweet a
huge amount of useful information,” says Mehwish.
Cognition is influenced by siblings, researchers find.
Autistic children with autistic siblings have better
cognition than those who are the only family member with the condition, researchers
Importantly, the outcome does not depend on birth order.
Although previous studies have identified that having
autistic siblings leads to better cognition for individual children with the
condition, it was assumed that the order in which the children were born was a
A technique adapted from telecommunications promises more effective cancer treatments.
Drugs can be delivered into individual cells by using
soundwaves, Melbourne researchers have discovered.
Adapting a technique used in the telecommunications
industry for decades, Dr Shwathy Ramesan from RMIT, and colleagues, used the
mechanical force of sound to push against cell walls and deliver drugs more
effectively than treatments currently in use.
The new technique aids in silencing genes responsible for
some diseases, including cancer, by switching them on or off.
Data gathered by NASA’s now defunct Kepler telescope provides a solution to an astronomical mystery.
Star-quakes recorded by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have
helped answer a long-standing question about the age of the “thick disc” of the
In a paper published in the
journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,
a team of 38 scientists led by researchers from Australia’s ARC Centre of
Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D) use data
from the now-defunct probe to calculate that the disc is about 10 billion years
Academic journal rules are
penalising citizen scientists and indigenous knowledge, say US and Australian
Citizen scientists should be
included as authors on journal papers, researchers say.
In a paper published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, a team led by biologist Dr Georgia Ward-Fear from Macquarie University in Australia and Dr Greg Pauly from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles argues that newfound respect for indigenous knowledge and changes in technology mean that non-professionals are taking greater roles in science work.
Researchers find familiar species pave the way for coral regrowth
contrast to most other species, reef-dwelling parrotfish populations boom in
the wake of severe coral bleaching.
surprise finding came when researchers led by Perth-based Dr Brett Taylor of
the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) looked at fish populations in
severely bleached areas of two reefs – the Great Barrier Reef in the western
Pacific and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
Andreas Strasser and David Vaux win $50,000 CSL Florey Medal for Lifetime Achievement for identifying cell death triggers and using them to fight cancer.
Past CSL Florey Medallists include Graeme Clark, Ian Frazer, and Nobel Laureates Barry Marshall and Robin Warren.
In the late 1980s to early 1990s, two Melbourne scientists, Andreas Strasser and David Vaux, discovered the molecular processes that cause billions of cells in each of us to die every day. They showed that some cancer’s cells can evade this process of programmed cell death and ‘fail to die’. So far, their findings have led to powerful new treatments for leukaemia and opened a new field of research which generates 25,000 papers every year. And, they say, there is still much to learn.
Sky survey provides clues to how they change over time.
The direction in which a galaxy spins depends on its mass, researchers have found.
A team of astrophysicists analysed 1418 galaxies and found that small ones are likely to spin on a different axis to large ones. The rotation was measured in relation to each galaxy’s closest “cosmic filament” – the largest structures in the universe.
Filaments are massive thread-like formations, comprising huge amounts of matter – including galaxies, gas and, modelling implies, dark matter. They can be 500 million light years long but just 20 million light years wide. At their largest scale, the filaments divide the universe into a vast gravitationally linked lattice interspersed with enormous dark matter voids.