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World View

Be a part of Global Change!

✦ ✦ Unlabelled ✦ One place the Higgs boson isn't

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15 Dec 2011
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We've got another wonderful prize to celebrate the end of the year - 5 double passes to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney! (If you can't make it to Sydney, these would make a lovely gift...) The exhibition runs from 10 December to the 18 March 2012 and features 108 stunning images. To win one of the double passes, answer the question below.

Question: What is your favourite wildlife photograph of all time?

Email your answers - INCLUDING A LINK TO YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPH - to to win! Competition closes at 5:30pm on 21 December 2011. Terms and conditions here. Keep an eye out - we've got a COSMOS netbook to give away in next week's newsletter!

And congratulations to Andrew Pigram, Robb Gurr and Adam A. Ford for winning last week's competition! Please email your addresses to to receive your Underwater MP3 Players from the COSMOS gadget shop!


The numbers of those who definitely would or wouldn't eat insects in an effort to be more environmentally friendly were pretty evenly split, while the biggest percentage (43%) say they'd have to try a sample first. Eight percent of you will stick to your vegetarian/vegan diets. View the full results and add your comments.

NEW POLL: Were you excited by CERN's latest Higgs boson announcement? Have your say.


Higgs boson ATLAS

Physicists catch a glimpse of Higgs boson

The Higgs boson, a subatomic particle thought to provide mass to the universe, is closer than ever to being found.
fear of snakes

Fear of snakes? This could be why

Our early relatives would have made an easy meal for large snakes, according to new research that provides solid evidence for the threat snakes posed to primitive humans and other primates.
mercury's spin

Giant asteroid crash altered Mercury's spin

Mercury may once have orbited the Sun in a synchronous rotation, according to new calculations that suggest a collision with a large asteroid may have knocked Mercury into its unusual orbit.
plastic brain

Taxi driver training changes brain structure

Learning the locations of London's 20,000 landmarks and the 25,000 streets and 320 routes that connect them has changed the growth of taxi drivers' brains.
black hole

Milky Way's black hole to devour gas cloud

A doomed gas cloud accelerating towards the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way has been observed for the first time.
Antarctic climate change

Rapid CO2 drop froze the Antarctic

Thirty four million years ago, the first big freeze in Antarctica coincided with a dive in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Your Science Degree begins at the University of Western Sydney in 2012
Choose from a range of Science programmes that are practical and hands-on which will set you apart from other science graduates. Study alongside world-leading researchers and academics in state-of-the-art facilities. Visit our website to see how UWS will set you on the right path for a successful career. Click here for more info.


empty bar.

One place the Higgs boson isn't

~ Becky Crew

It's pretty exhilarating to learn about a significant new discovery in the company of every science journalist and scientist in the world. Of course that's figuratively 'in the company of', because unlike the lucky few who packed themselves into the Filtration Plant room at CERN on Tuesday to hear the latest announcement regarding the elusive Higgs boson, I was sitting on my bed at midnight, urgently trying to stop my black and white cat from slumping all over the keyboard. If I'd moved my arm away, he would have poured himself all over it like a spilled bottle of coke, likely navigating away from my webcast as his heft wrought havoc on the keys.

Judging from my Twitter feed, which is an absolute must in this kind of situation, I was one of the lucky few whose webcast was actually working. It was pretty heartbreaking to watch the Guardian's live blogger, Alok Jha, live blog about how he couldn't live blog:

1.15pm: Still trying to get onto the Cern webcast and failing. This is like trying to buy tickets for the Stone Roses* or something.


Our breakthroughs: your chance to discover your best. Macquarie University is about innovation and discovery. When you study engineering, science, IT or environmental science with us you learn from the best - people whose research has changed the big picture and made a real difference. Our researchers were instrumental in the development of the wireless technology we now take for granted and our Professor Tim Flannery has even changed the way we think about the planet. You may not change the world while you’re here but you will learn to think in ways that could. So if you’re into discovering things, discover your best at Macquarie. Go here for more info.


GM wheat

Brave new wheat

Booming populations, new disease threats and a changing climate are forcing scientists into a desperate race to boost wheat yields and avoid a global crisis. And yet, it’s a race some environmental activists seem intent on thwarting.


Your Minute Starts Now

Your Minute Starts Now

It was no secret: the student body considered the experiment fast cash - sign up and strap in for a quick fifty before heading to the bars. Hangovers were often called Leglums. Leglum didn't mind.
Higgs boson

All The Wrong Places

"I saw it," he said. "The Higgs boson. It was here, in the bar." - A brilliant fiction piece from the archives.



What are we searching for?

If the recent success of NASA’s Kepler mission is any indication, finding life elsewhere in the universe may be easier than we once thought. Recognising it will be the bigger challenge.
World's oldest predator

World's oldest predator

Seeing the eyes of an ancient killer is the culmination of my lifelong fascination with Anomalocaris, the world's oldest predator.
Brain workout

Becoming a mythbuster

Sci-fi television and films go under the microscope in COSMOS intern Jenna Hanson's first week.



Engineering smarter drug delivery

In the drug delivery world, "The body is a very difficult thing to trick," says material scientist Georgina Such.
kathleen harvey

Fighting the flames

Kathleen Harvey, a geologist and volunteer with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, helped battle the 2003 inferno that was brought on by a lightning strike.


Eaten by a Giant Clam: Great Adventures In Natural Science

Eaten by a Giant Clam: Great Adventures In Natural Science

A must for anyone curious about the people who pioneered natural science, this book chronicles the discoveries and bizarre personal habits of 22 adventurers.

Build a career and a better world.
A QUT degree offers you a winning combination of theory and practical learning. You’ll benefit from industry connections, student-led projects, work placements, international study tours and have access to multimillion dollar research facilities. To find out more about our courses in science, technology, engineering and maths visit


REVERSE AGEING As we face a global ageing epidemic and the prospect of brain deterioration, a revolution in genetics is transforming the way we'll live in the future. Are you ready for a smarter, longer lifetime? It may be closer than you think. Plus, we look at the shaky foundations for putting the science of predicting earthquakes on trial, meet the world’s most astonishing predator, discover a clock so precise it would lose less than a second in the entire history of the universe and travel to South Australia to find out about the cutting-edge science and technology transforming this resource-rich state. Order your copy now! Read the digital edition immediately, or have a print edition sent to you.

Don’t miss our special COSMOS guide exploring the science, innovation and engineering developments in South Australia, a state brimming with capacity in R&D, training and careers. Rich in mineral wealth, SA has a strong focus on engineering, IT, food science, environment, mining, defence and astronomy. This 7-page special looks at career success stories, key technology areas, green initiatives, hot topics and more, mapping the best the festival state has to offer. Click here for more info.


Would you switch to a diet based on insect proteins to help conserve the Earth's resources?
Yes, I'm all for it
No, I'd never eat insects
Maybe, I'd have to try a sample before committing
No, I'm a vegetarian/vegan

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