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Who funds GM research trials?

Genetically modified (GM) foods are expensive to develop. They are often created through research partnerships between publicly funded scientists and private corporations. This offers advantages but also raises concerns about research objectivity and potential bias. Explore some of the issues surrounding the commercialisation ...

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Spanning the generations in an unlikely friendship

Do you think strangers with 60 years of age between them can become friends? When eighteen, George Baker found out that they can when he befriended Geoff, a man in his eighties. Could you write or record a story about yourself and/or your community? The ABC's Heywire competition calls for stories from 16-22-year-olds in ...

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Nanotech rising

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of very tiny particles to create new products, and it has many current and future applications. Explore this rising new field, see many everyday things that use or contain nanomaterials, and find out about some of society's concerns about nanotechnology.

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Harnessing stem cells to grow new cells

Have you ever wanted to know what the fuss about stem cells is? Watch this 2009 clip to find out what stem cells are and why they are valuable to medical research. Learn about a breakthrough that might defuse the ethical debate.

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GM bananas

Meet a scientist who is genetically modifying bananas to make them more nutritious. Learn about some of the benefits and concerns about using gene technologies to modify foods.

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Make no bones about ocean acidification

Extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is posing a real problem for the world's oceans. It's leading to ocean acidification and coral reefs are the big losers. See how acidification of the water leads to less calcium carbonate, a vital ingredient corals use to build their skeleton. Watch this clip to find out more.

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Confabulating on 'Cold Comfort Farm'

Join in the debate about whether the 1932 novel 'Cold Comfort Farm' by Stella Gibbons should be considered a classic. The novel follows Flora Poste, a young woman who moves in with her country relatives in a village called Howling. It parodies other novels that represented rural life as woeful, and is filled with delightfully ...

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Writing from the fringe

Imagine a mysterious island with a wild, rugged landscape and a history of tragedy and hardship. But it is also an island of unrivalled beauty with a purity of nature rarely found today. Sound like something out of a novel? Well, it's Tasmania and it has inspired the writing of many novels, not the least of which are those ...

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Ronald Reagan: commemorating heroism

Few things reveal both the best and worst of humanity more than war. The D-Day landings of World War II were full of horror and heroism and are commemorated in this speech by former President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan. Explore the construction of this speech and how it is shaped to suit audience and purpose.

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Navigating 'The Secret River'

Kate Grenville's multiple-award-winning novel 'The Secret River' explores an earlier period of Australian history. What is it that makes this novel so compelling and troubling for its many Australian readers? As you watch this clip, consider how this book encourages readers to re-evaluate their beliefs and values.

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Going into battle for graphic novels

Many readers love comic books and graphic novels. According to the four graphic novelists in this discussion, not everybody shares this enthusiasm! As you listen to their discussion, consider how the language we use in everyday conversations can work to judge and even disempower others. This clip is one in a series of four.

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Feverish activity stops dengue's spread

Why have the number of cases of dengue fever in Australia quadrupled in recent years? The disease is spread by mosquitoes, so will injecting the 'Wolbachia' bacterium into mosquitoes solve the problem? Follow the scientists on the case.

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'The Great Gatsby' and Baz's blockbuster

Have you ever been drawn into one of those arguments about which is better: the film or the book? In this clip, explore some responses to Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of 'The Great Gatsby' and discover some of the factors that influence people's evaluations. It would be boring if we all had the same opinions, but have ...

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The woman behind Harry Potter: JK Rowling

JK Rowling's life is something of a 'rags to riches' tale, almost worthy of a character in one of her novels! Explore how media texts can be constructed to represent people, such as wildly successful authors, in very particular ways.

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Graphene: the new wonder material

Graphene is perhaps the most significant new material produced in recent years. It has many potential applications in electrical devices, biomedical technology and solar energy. Graphene is a form (allotrope) of carbon with some special chemical and physical properties. Watch this clip to explore the molecular structure, ...

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NASA celebrates Aura's ten-year orbit!

Aura is a NASA satellite that in 2014 celebrated ten years orbiting Earth, collecting data about the planet's atmosphere and climate. Aura is helping scientists better understand global systems, including the composition of gases in the ozone layer, air pollution and climate change. Watch to learn more about this space ...

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A moral minefield: Christos Tsiolkas's 'The Slap'

'The Slap', a novel from Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, created plenty of controversy when it was published. Why is it that some novels seem to stir people up more than others? Learn how the novel affected a group of panel members discussing popular Australian books.

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Indian history reveals more ancient civilisations

How far back in time does our knowledge of Indian civilisation extend? In this clip we investigate the Vedic civilisation, which emerged around 1500 BCE, and then turn to the much earlier Indus Valley civilisation. The Mauryan Empire of Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka, by comparison, arose in the fourth century BCE. ...

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Endangered Mala returned to natural habitat

Have you ever heard of the Australian marsupial called a Mala? Perhaps not, because this creature (also known as the Rufous Hare-wallaby), has been extinct in the wild for decades. Find out about a project to re-introduce the Mala into Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Learn also about the significance of this marsupial ...

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Forensics track drugs back to their origin

Scientists are helping police to identify the place of origin of illicit drugs that arrive on Australian shores. Watch this clip to find out how scientific analysis, computer databases and police investigation are used together to determine the source of drugs such as cocaine. Discover that international efforts are involved ...