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Preview: Dr Karl's Great Moments in Science

Great Moments In Science - with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

From the ground breaking and life saving to the wacky and implausible, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki reveals some of the best moments in science.

Copyright: Copyright 2018, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Phone porting and identity theft

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:30:00 +1100

Are you doing everything you can to stop thieves from stealing your identity and 'porting' your phone number?To break into your phone, thieves only need to track down your identity ( Faris Algosaibi (CC BY 2.0))

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Fat is a beautiful organ

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 11:30:00 +1100

There's currently a battle against the bulge — but is fighting fat really the healthiest path?Should fat be considered beautiful? Or at least useful? ( Randen Pederson (CC BY 2.0))

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Doomsday seed vaults

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:30:00 +1100

You may have heard of the Doomsday Vault — but scientists have gone even further to save the world's most important seed stocks.This tunnel leads deep into the Artic bedrock where the world's seed "back ups" are stored. (Flickr: Global Crop Diversity Trust)

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Arsonist birds

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 11:30:00 +1100

Birds have been known to use all sorts of tools — but surely they wouldn't be using fire?Birds circle a bushfire in Kakadu National Park (Getty Images)

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Dark matter

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:30:00 +1100

About 95% of the mass in the universe seems to be missing — what's going on!?A composite image showing the distribution of dark matter, galaxies, and hot gas (NASA, ESA, CFHT, CXO, M.J. Jee (University of California, Davis), and A. Mahdavi (San Francisco State University))

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A truck that's faster than the internet?

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 11:30:00 +1100

If you want to transport data quickly, could a truck be the best option?Truck lights blurred down highway ( jmiller291 (CC BY 2.0))

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Tennis grunting

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:30:00 +1100

Is there any evidence that grunting in a tennis match will improve your game?Roger Federer grunts through a shot in the 2012 World Tour Finals against Novak Djokovic (Flickr: Marianne Bevis (CC BY-ND 2.0))

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Super-hot planet

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +1100

Is it possible for a planet to be hotter than a star?Artist rendition of an extremely hot exoplanet candidate, known as UCF-1.01, which orbits a star called GJ 436 (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Chewing gum

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +1100

What really happens when you swallow chewing gum?Yep, that's a wall of chewing gum (Flickr: Jay Thompson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

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Alcohol & Antibiotics

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +1100

They're two drugs you shouldn't mix... right?Does alcohol actually muck with antibiotics? (Flickr: Czarina Alegre (CC BY 2.0))

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Asteroid belt 2

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +1100

Just how many asteroid belts are there in the solar system?Is this what an asteroid belt would really look like? (Flickr: kristian fagerström (CC BY-SA 2.0))

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Asteroid belt 1

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +1100

What does an asteroid belt actually look like?NASA has begun missions to near-Earth asteroids (Flickr: NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre (CC BY 2.0))

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Carrots & Night Vision

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 11:30:00 +1100

Do carrots really help you see in the dark? Or is it just a trick to get kids eating more veg?Will these veggies really help you see better at night? (Flickr: swong95765 (CC BY 2.0))

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Mpemba effect

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:30:00 +1100

If you want to freeze some water, you might want to heat it up first.Why would hot water freeze faster than cold water? (Flickr: Alfredo Ristol (CC BY 2.0))

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Why is it easier to 'erase' a magnetic hotel card than a credit card?

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:30:00 +1100

Surely all magnetic swipe cards are the same?How come it's easier to erase some magnetic swipe cards? (Flickr: frankieleon (CC BY 2.0))

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Coffee naps

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:30:00 +1100

Is it better to have caffeine, a nap, or both?Time for caffeine, or a nap? Why not both? (Flickr: TheNightRaven (CC BY-ND 2.0))

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Predicting earthquakes

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 11:30:00 +1100

Are scientists getting closer to being able to predict when massive earthquakes will strike?The aftermath of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti in 2010 (Flickr: Vicente Raimundo, European Commission DG ECHO (CC BY-SA 2.0))

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Mitochondria - Fiery Powerhouses

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:30:00 +1100

How do mitochondria convert food into fuel that our cells can use?Mitochondria are fiery factories in your body ( Kenneth Lu (CC-BY-2.0))

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Why we tell lies

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 11:00:00 +1100

There's a lot we still don't know about what's going on in the brain of a liar.Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies. (Unsplash: Kristina Flour)

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Min Min lights

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 11:30:00 +1100

There are floating, fuzzy orbs of light in Western Queensland - what are they?Mysterious lights from unknown sources? ( Al Ibrahim (CC-BY-SA-2.0))

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Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:30:00 +1100

Flying insects seem to be disappearing from the sky — in big numbers.Are flying insect numbers dropping? ( Niv Singer (CC-BY-SA-2.0))

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Killer cats

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:30:00 +1100

Your cute pet kitty cat may seem harmless — but Felis catus is also an efficient, highly flexible predator.Australian feral cats kill upwards of 300 million birds each year (Supplied: Hugh McGregor, Arid Recovery.)

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Why the sky is blue. For reals

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 09:57:31 +1100

For such a common question, this took a lot of answering.The Wiggles, the Flintstones and Raquel Welch all got it wrong. (Getty Images)

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The origin of spaghetti

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 09:54:32 +1100

An upturned bowl of 4000 year old noodles is the key to pasta evolution.Mucho pasta or oodles of noodles? (Getty Images)

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Can we detect lies?

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 09:30:00 +1100

Despite what TV says, can you trust a Lie Detector?How effective are lie detectors? (Getty Images)

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Four leaf clovers not so lucky

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:47:55 +1000

Are four leafed clovers really that rare?Lucky? (Getty)

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Dissing the dishwasher

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:45:44 +1000

Are dishwashers better than people when it comes to water, energy and cleaning?They're less thirsty and power-hungry than human dish washers - and cleaner to boot. (Getty)

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Dinosaurs and cave people

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 10:00:31 +1000

Shock! Fake dinosaur news!The Wiggles, the Flintstones and Raquel Welch all got it wrong. (Getty Images)

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Death by chocolate

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 10:39:39 +1000

Obviously chocolate is good for us - but what about for our pets?Death by chocolate really is a thing. (Getty Images)

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Tricks of the Menu Trade

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 10:24:14 +1000

A new kind of engineer has been born.Vegetarians might be in the best position to escape the lure of the engineered menu.

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Life after decapitation

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 11:37:20 +1000

When the guillotine was introduced, the French became very curious about how long a body-less head could survive.Surprisingly, the brain can survive for a few seconds after decapitation. (LouismiX. Getty Images)

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SOFIA: Holy flying telescope - part 2

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:27:48 +1000

What the Doctor saw when he flew in this baby, and the crazy engineering that let it happen.That's not a cargo door - it's a telescope! SOFIA in full flight. (NASA)

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Holy flying telescopes, part 1

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:18:53 +1000

You'd have to be crazy - or an astronomer - to get on board a plane with a jumbo-sized hole in it.An exit row like no other. SOFIA with telescope doors open. (NASA)

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Cane toads used for pregnancy test

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 11:46:06 +1000

Cane toads - like mice and rabbits before them - were used for human pregnancy tests.Honey, the cane toad didn't die

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Why spiders don't go commando

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:57:45 +1000

Spiders dropping down on their silk thread never get caught twisting in the breeze, like abseiling commandos do. Because ... chemistry.Commandos dropping from helicopter on ropes twist in the wind. But spider silk has a non-twist trick.

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Bird brains - dense, not dumb

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 11:51:42 +1000

Some birds, especially parrots, songbirds and the entire crow family, are surprisingly intelligent - and not just compared to other birds.Their brains are tiny, but like other parrots these rainbow lorikeets pack a surprising mental punch. (Imagevixen)

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Of mice, marijuana, memory and men

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:00:45 +1000

A recent study found that low dose THC from cannibas improved memory in older mice.(Getty Images)

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Origin of life

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 12:00:20 +1000

Did life begin on an invisible mountain range?Tubeworms related to this species are found in colonies around hydrothermal vents. (NOAA)

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Ocean ridge secrets

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:40:00 +1000

The ocean ridge is the biggest mountain range on Earth. And it could hold the secret to where life began.World distribution of mid-oceanic ridges (US Geological Survey)

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Childhood amnesia

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:03:30 +1000

No matter how memorable your childhood is, you probably won't actually remember it.It happened, but they probably won't remember it. (Getty Images: Westend61)

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Can you beat the pokies? (Part 2)

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 12:00:00 +1000

How did Russian gamblers cheat US casinos out of millions of dollars? Dr Karl explains their scam - and the Australian connection.An app, some quick fingerwork and a whole lot of maths let Russian gamblers fleece US casinos. (Getty Images (franckreporter))

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Can you beat the pokies? (Part 1)

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:21:29 +1000

Poker machines are built to only pay back about 10 cents for every dollar you put in. But thanks to Putin and maths, it's possible to win.Part of the 10 billion dollars Australians lose on the pokies each year. (ABC News: Diana Hayward)

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Artificial uterus

Tue, 30 May 2017 12:00:00 +1000

An artificial uterus has been trialled for lambs, but why do we need one in the first place?Artist's impression of artificial uterus with human foetus (Getty Images: Victor Habbick)

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Minus-calorie celery claim leaves food for thought

Tue, 23 May 2017 09:00:00 +1000

Celery is low in kilojoules but it's the energy it takes us to chew and digest that pushes us into negative calories.Not the most nutritious of foods, celery is about 95 per cent water (Dennis Amith; 2.0)

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Why we yawn

Tue, 16 May 2017 09:00:00 +1000

Yawning has all kinds of strange links to different aspects of human experience.Not bored, just needing some oxygen. German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting of the the German federal parliament. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

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Animal poo times

Tue, 09 May 2017 10:05:00 +1000

Headlines don't get much punchier than "All mammals poop in 12 seconds ...".Most mammals do take roughly the same time to poo - it's just not 12 seconds.

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Ponytail physics

Tue, 02 May 2017 12:00:00 +1000

There's a lot of maths - and a bit of astronomy - behind the sideways swing of a ponytail.How did the orbit of the Moon affect our understanding of ponytails? (NASA: supplied)

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The real cost of air pollution

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +1000

It kills millions, and it costs trillions. Air pollution is killer number 5Air pollution kills more than 4 million people each year, and costs trillions of dollars. (Getty Images: Mint Images)

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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +1000

Compared to other animals of the same size, humans just aren't that nutritious. Is that the only thing holding cannibalism back?Pork heart on a white plate with fork and knife (Getty Images: LemonSeed)

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Pregnancy while pregnant

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:00:00 +1000

Can a woman get pregnant, when she is already pregnant? In other words, can she have two foetuses in her uterus, at different stages of development?Superfetation is the phenomenon where offspring simultaneously develop in utero (Getty Images)

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Cleaning up space junk

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:00:00 +1000

The amount of junk in orbit is always increasing but cleaning it up is also essential for our future space operations, but it’s not going to be easy.Forcing junk to reenter our atmosphere causing it to burn up is one way of cleaning up space junk (NASA)

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How much space junk is out there?

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +1100

Space junk includes old satellites, spent rocket stages, dust from solid rocket motors and even coolant from obsolete Russian nuclear-powered satellites. But just how much is up there?There have been more than 5,000 space launches since the 50s, and they've left a lot of detritus behind. (Getty Images)

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How the Nobel Prize medals were hidden from the Nazis

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +1100

The gold in a Nobel Prize medal is dense enough to make a big impression when you try to take it through an airport X-ray scanner. It's also very resistant to being dissolved—but that didn't stop one chemist who needed to hide two medals from the Nazis, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.The gold Nobel medal awarded to Nobel Peace Prize winners (BERIT ROALD/AFP/Getty Images)

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What we know about misophonia, the 'hatred of sounds'

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +1100

A condition called misophonia — where people adversely react to particular sounds, often with feelings of rage, terror, fear and panic — was first identified 20 years ago, but is only now starting to be better understood.Certain sounds trigger rage, terror, fear, panic and anger in misophonia sufferers. (Getty Images)

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Paying service to the human lip

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 09:00:00 +1100

They can seal tight, suck, blow, whistle, hold and kiss. With hundreds of muscles and multiple layers of cells, the human lip serves a much greater role than we give them credit for.Our lips contain hundreds of muscles allowing them to perform complex actions (Getty Images)

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Is air conditioning sexist?

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +1100

For 50 years air conditioning in commercial buildings has been set using the Standard 55 guidelines. But many workplaces aren't staffed solely with 40-year-old men dressed in 60s business suits, and that's left women out in the cold, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki argues.A cold office experience is common for many women (Getty Images Composite)

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How humankind has changed our planet

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +1100

From the formation of Earth until now, many factors have contributed to its changing state. But humankind has been a major contributor in a relatively very small period of time, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki argues.Women visiting Tiananmen Square wear masks to protect against pollution. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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Could we capture and store energy from lightning?

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:30:06 +1100

Could lightning be used to power the planet instead of fossil fuels? Karl Kruszelnicki finds out.Parts of Venezuela have more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the world. (Gail Johnson/ Getty Images)

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The power of lightning

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +1100

It take a unique series of weather factors to create the awesome power of lightning but when it 'strikes' it comes to earth with 1000 times more energy that a household electrical system and with more heat than the sun but capturing this energy is difficult as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.Lightning strikes Sydney Tower during a storm. (Rob Henderson/ Getty Images)

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Why we need a leap second added to our clocks

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:00:00 +1100

As New Year's Eve ticked over to 2017, scientists added an extra second to atomic clocks to compensate for the Earth's variable rotation. But there are pros and cons to doing this, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.A second is added to atomic clocks every year and a half to compensate for the inconsistent rotation of the earth (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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What if the Earth stopped spinning?

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:00:00 +1100

We know that the rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing down. But what would happen if God, the devil or aliens suddenly and completely stopped our planet from rotating on its axis of spin? Luckily, thanks to improved knowledge about our planet, the geographers can now give us the answers.A high-resolution image of Earth from space (NASA)

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The collective intelligence of animals

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +1100

There are many reasons animals of the same species congregate in groups. The collective intelligence of a flock helps protect and save energy, keep them on track when migrating and share food discoveries, as Dr Karl explains.Seagulls use collective intelligence to share food discoveries. (Meghan Turner / EyeEm / Getty)

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It's complicated: the sex life of coral

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Being stuck in one spot, waiting for the full moon to pass and the perfect temperature to arrive, and your choice of mate left to the tide: when you're coral, reproduction is mind-boggling complicated, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explainsHard coral spawning at Lizard Island National Park on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. (Auscape/UIG/Getty)

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A brief history of coral

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Coral polyps appear totally helpless at first. So how do they manage to survive, breed and form giant structures like the Great Barrier Reef?Once every year, all the coral on the Great Barrier Reef do their "spawning", a giant sexual paroxysm dubbed "the world's biggest orgasm" by some. ( Dawid Zawila, CC-0)

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The earworm you can't get out of your head

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +1100

If you've ever had a song stuck in your head you'll know it's annoying. But as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains, it might be an evolutionary way of keeping us alert to attack or stay focused during repetitive tasks.Ways of removing an ear worm are chewing gum and listening to the same song over and over. (Getty Images)

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That new book smell

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Books, new and old, have a particular smell but what we call that 'new book smell' isn't always the same from book to book and even publisher to publisher as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.A book's smell comes from its paper, the ink and the glue used. (Carlo A/ Getty Images)

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Life on Saturn's moon Enceladus

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +1100

When the ancients looked to the stars and wondered if they were alone, they probably never imagined the possibility that Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus might host a strange underwater ecosystem, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.Enceladus photographed by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its closest-ever dive past the moon's active south polar region on Oct. 28, 2015. (By National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) / Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL))

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The 2016 Nobel prizes for Physics and Chemistry

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 11:00:00 +1100

This year's Nobel Prizes saw scientists recognised for their work on unusual states of matter and the world's smallest machines. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains the science behind the discoveries.John Michael Kosterlitz was part of the team that won the Nobel for work on exotic matter. (RONI REKOMAA/AFP/Getty Images)

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The strange science of autophagy or 'self-cannibalisation'

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +1100

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded for research into autophagy. The word literally means 'self-eating', and it refers to the phenomenon that happens inside cells where 'things' are broken down.Yoshinori Ohsumi was recognised for his work on autophagy—a process whereby cells 'eat themselves'. (Getty Images/Toru Yamanaka)

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Overcoming chronic lateness

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Are you a perfectionist, a crisis maker, a defier or a dreamer?Dr Karl Kruszelnicki discovers the four kinds of personalities that are especially prone to being chronically late—and what might help to change these habits.Some people are crisis makers who like the thrill of being late. (Getty Images)

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Loud sounds can kill hard drives

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +1100

In our complex world, the cure can sometimes be as bad as the original problem. For example, you would think that if you had a fire in a data centre, it would make sense to deprive the fire of oxygen by flooding the room with an inert gas. But what if the noise of the escaping gas is loud enough to kill the spinning hard drives—potentially causing more damage than the fire?Loud noises can stop hard drives operating and even cause permanent failure. (Getty Images)

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The Ig Nobel Prizes

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Most of us have heard of the Nobel Prizes, awarded for work that is unexpected, important—and deep. But not everybody has heard of the comedy version, the Ig Nobel Prizes. In 2016, they were given for research involving rats in tiny trousers, pseudoscientific gibberish, rocks with personalities—and seven other topics.The 2016 Ig Nobel for chemistry was awarded to Volkswagen for solving the problem of car pollution emissions. (Getty Images)

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Wi-fi is watching us

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Many of us access the internet, and the world wide web, via wi-fi. Wi-fi lets us into a fabulous world of shared knowledge and social interaction. On the flip side, it seems that wi-fi can look at us, and perhaps even spy on us. It can even recognize moving humans on the other side of a wall. And this happens by examining not the content of the wi-fi signal, but its strength and timing.City dwellers bath in wifi (Linghe Zhao/ Getty Images)

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Why do mozzies love some people but not others?

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Why are some people mosquito magnets, while others seem to be blissfully bite-free?A mosquito gorged with human blood (Michael Pavlic/EyeEm/Getty)

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Latin's most misused word: vomitorium

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Even without having ever learnt the language, there is probably one Latin word we all know—'vomitorium'. Dredging through our memory banks, we all 'know' that the vomitorium was the special room where, back in rather debauched Roman times, gluttonous eaters would go to vomit.You might find a vomitorium at a Roman theatre, but you wouldn't want to spew in it (Getty Images)

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Time travel is already possible

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:30:00 +1000

There are two types of time travel—into the future, and into the past. Past time travel might be impossible—but on the other hand, we already travel into the future all the time, as Dr Karl explains.The Hafele–Keating experiment showed that time slowed down with increased speed (Getty Images)

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How a chemical in sunscreen attacks coral

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:00:00 +1000

From the cradle to the grave, Australians are taught to use sunscreen to avoid sunburn and skin cancers. But the universe is complicated, with unexpected links—and so, everything has a cost. In this case, the cost appears to be that one popular sunscreen chemical seems to attack coral.A diver swims over damaged coral. (Getty Images)

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Electric motors in bacteria (part 2)

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:00:00 +1000

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is fascinated by how bacteria rotate their flagellum counter-clockwise, much like a manmade electric motor. But unlike the motors that humans make, this dynamic microscopic molecular machine is constantly being rebuilt and reconfigured on the run.Escherichia coli cells use long, thin structures called flagella to propel themselves. (Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images)

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The microscopic high-tech wizardry of bacteria

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:00:00 +1000

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains the microscopic but super-high-tech gee-wizardry of some bacteria that use propellers powered by self tiny assembling electric motors to swim in their environment.Salmonella bacteria are gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria that have flagella (hair-like structures) that they use for locomotion. (Getty Images)

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How dangerous is it to refuel with the engine running?

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 09:00:00 +1000

We're instructed to stop our cars before refuelling, but how dangerous is it really? Dr Karl Kruszelnicki dispels some myths while staying on the safe side.Is it better to be safe than sorry when it comes to refuelling your car? (Getty Images/Scott Barbour)

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Movie releases of a chemical kind

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 03:00:00 +1000

There are two pretty tense moments in Hunger Games: Mockinjay, and scientists know this just from the chemicals given off by the audience who watched the film. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains how a shared scary cinema experience led to a fundamental discovery about human biology.Humans watching scary films share a flight or fight chemical reaction (Getty Images)

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Immortal jellyfish

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 03:30:00 +1000

Down through the ages, there have always been myths about immortality—that god-like ability to live forever. Marine biologists found a creature that comes closest to immortality—a tiny transparent jellyfish. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.Turritopsis dohrnii is also known as the 'immortal jellyfish'. (Yiming Chen/ Getty Images)

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Double yolk eggs

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:00:00 +1000

If you buy a lottery ticket every time you get a double-yolk egg because you're having a lucky streak you'll be disappointed to learn it's not as uncommon as we'd made to believe, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.Don't buy a lottery ticket just yet. (Getty Images)

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Coffee can be good for us (part two)

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +1000

There is a growing body of evidence that coffee can have good effects our health but it's not a magic potion. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki looks at the evidence.Despite some health benefits, Dr Karl isn't recommending adding caffine to the water supply just yet. (JGI Jamie Grill/ Getty Images)

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Coffee, it's good for you

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +1000

There is a body of evidence that some of the side effects of coffee may actually be good for you, and they appear to have nothing to do with caffeine. But Dr Karl Kruszelnicki's grind is the observational studies that make up the 'statistics' behind the health benefits.Coffee might be OK for us, but the old adage still holds: 'GIGO', or 'garbage in, garbage out'. (Getty Images)

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Bitcoin and security

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +1000

The way we spend money is changing with electronic transactions and new 'strange' currency like Bitcoin, but security is important and mathematics central to that, as Dr Karl explains.Bitcoin grew out of disillusionment with 'conventional' finance. (Source: Science Picture Co/Getty Images)

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Bitcoin and mathematics

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +1000

The strange new virtual currency called Bitcoin relies on something more trustworthy than people or institutions. It relies on mathematics—in fact, 'trusty' one-way mathematics.A Israeli man buys Bitcoins at the first dedicated ATM machine installed in the Middle East in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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Value of money is based on trust

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +1000

The worth of all currencies from stone coins to Bitcoins is based on people trusting the transaction system. Just ask the people of Yap, writes Dr Karl.Stone money on Yap (Getty Images)

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Bitcoin: from the beginning

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +1000

How did the Bitcoin virtual money system get started? Dr Karl takes a bite out of history.Bitcoin grew out of disillusionment with 'conventional' finance. (Source: Science Picture Co/Getty Images)

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Can water burn leaves?

Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +1000

There may be a whole range of reasons why it's not good to water plants in the middle of the day, but is burning the plant's leaves one of them? Dr Karl investigates the physics of plants and water.Sam Mugraby ( Commons)

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How clean and green is our digital world?

Tue, 31 May 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Today's technology looks so slick and clean as it brings magic to your screen. But behind the scenes, our data comes at a cost, says Dr Karl.Behind the cloud is a bank of computers (Erik Isakson/Getty images)

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Zombies, pi and shotguns

Tue, 24 May 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Need to calculate pi while fending off zombies? Dr Karl has found a way to solve both your problems.Zombies, pi and shotguns: have you worked out the connection? (Getty Images)

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Raw milk: separating facts from fads

Tue, 17 May 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Not all raw foods are good for you. Dr Karl explains why raw milk is one of the world's most risky food products.Raw milk is one of the best culture mediums for growing bacteria (Getty Images)

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How long would it take a vampire to drain you of blood?

Tue, 10 May 2016 12:00:00 +1000

If you're a sucker for a good vampire movie, be warned ... Dr Karl takes two big bites out of the legend.That sucks: Keep this up and there'll be no-one left - human or vampire! (Getty Images)

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The time-travelling brain

Tue, 03 May 2016 12:00:00 +1000

What would it be like to only live in the moment? Or to relive the past over and over again? Dr Karl explores the extreme range of memory.Memories define us ((Source: Getty Images))

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Why do people talk louder when they drink alcohol?

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Alcohol may get the conversation going at a party, but as the drinks flow you'll find it harder to tune in. Dr Karl explains how alcohol affects your hearing.Alcohol effects on hearing are different for men and for women. (JW Ltd/Getty Images)

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Why did the US lose the height advantage?

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +1000

People in the US used to be among the tallest in the world, but now that honour goes to the Dutch. Dr Karl gets to the bottom of the slide in height.How tall? That depends upon 80 per cent genes and 20 per cent environment (Getty Images)

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How many places of pi do we need?

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Pi is a very long and a very important number, but how many decimal places of it do we really need to know?How much pi do we need? (Getty Images)

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Can you make our heart stronger?

Wed, 06 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +1000

Dr Karl puts his finger on the pulse of research that suggests your heart can become stronger if it runs out of sync for a short while before its rhythm is restored.A short period of running out of sync may strengthen the heart (Alfred Pasieka/Science Photo Library/Getty images)

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How does the heart work?

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +1100

Your life depends on the regular beat of your heart. Dr Karl explains how this mighty four-stage pump works.Your heart will pump around about 200,000 tonnes of blood around your body in your lifetime.  (Getty Images)

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