Latest news in science as it happens from around Australia and the world.
Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago
PLASTIC PILE UP: The beaches of World Heritage-listed Henderson Island are littered with more plastic debris than anywhere else in the world, a survey of the remote South Pacific wilderness finds.
ANCIENT EARTH: Ancient red rocks in Western Australia's Pilbara contain traces of a hot spring that hosted the earliest-known life on land 3.5 billion years ago.
HISTORIC MISSION: NASA's Cassini spacecraft begins the first of 22 historic dives between Saturn and its rings to collect valuable data about the environment, before it ends its mission by plunging into the planet in September.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE: Thousands of people marched in support of science - but what does that mean? Why asked some of the people who marched in Sydney.
ALIEN LIFE: The likelihood of one of Saturn's moons harbouring life has been boosted with the discovery by NASA's Cassini spacecraft of molecular hydrogen spewing from the moon's surface.
DISTANT PAST: Astronomers discover the faintest galaxy ever glimpsed in the early universe, shedding light on a critical period of time just 700 million years after the Big Bang.
DREAM ZONE: Scientists have found a "hot zone" in the back of the brain that is active during dreaming at all times, challenging long-held beliefs about what happens in our brains while we sleep.
ALIEN SOLAR SYSTEM: Australian volunteer citizen scientists find four previously unknown planets orbiting a nearby star thanks to a crowd-sourcing project aired on the ABC's Stargazing Live.
MARINE BIOLOGY: A unique messaging system used by the crown-of-thorns starfish to 'talk' to each other could hold the key to developing a bio-control to help save the Great Barrier Reef from the marine predator's devastating attacks.
LOST IN SPACE: A large portion of Mars' atmospheric gases have been literally lost in space, according to a new study.
CORAL GRAVEYARD: Parts of the Great Barrier Reef will never fully recover from repeated bleaching of its corals by spikes in sea surface temperatures, scientists say.
ANCIENT ALGAE: New scanning technology gives scientists an extraordinary view inside the cells of what may be 1.6 billion-year-old red algae, the oldest plant-like fossils ever found.
ABORIGINAL HERITAGE: Members of the Stolen Generations may finally find a way back to their country thanks to new research that reveals differences in Aboriginal DNA can be linked to specific geographic areas.
PALEO DIET: We might think of Neanderthals as meat-eating cave men, but DNA from prehistoric dental plaque shows some of our palaeo cousins were vegetarians who used plant-based medicines.
Between Mars and Jupiter is an asteroid that's like nothing else in the solar system. And the odds of it even existing are tiny.
EARLY LIFE?: Tiny mineralised filaments smaller than a human hair found in rocks more than 3.77 billion years old may be evidence of one of the oldest lifeforms on Earth.
TASK MASTERS: They may have tiny brains, but it turns out that bumblebees can not only learn to use tools by observing others, they can improvise and make the task even easier.
ALIEN SOLAR SYSTEM: Seven Earth-sized planets, some of which could harbour life, have been discovered orbiting a dwarf star in our own galactic neighbourhood.
DAWN DISCOVERY: Simple organic molecules have been detected on the dwarf planet Ceres, adding to evidence it contains key ingredients essential for life.
REWRITING REPRODUCTION: The discovery of a fossil of a pregnant marine reptile has provided the first evidence that an ancestor of modern-day birds and crocodiles gave birth to live young.