Michelle Starr, ScienceAlert

Michelle Starr


Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Recent articles by Michelle:

Turns Out Great White Sharks Are Really Scared of One Other Ocean Creature

Just when you think orcas couldn't possible be any more awesome, they get even better. New evidence shows these whales are really good at scaring off the most feared beast in the sea. Yep. Orcas have toppled the great white shark off their 'apex pred → Read More

These 2 Spectacular Egyptian Tombs Still Look Freshly Painted After Thousands of Years

Two incredible tombs in Egypt have been discovered in such an exceptional state of preservation that even the murals on the walls have retained their dazzling hues. → Read More

Astronomers Just Found a New Way to Detect Elusive Colliding Neutron Stars

On 22 March 2015, NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory recorded a blip in its data. Not far from the southern constellation of Fornax, something brightened, then slowly faded away. → Read More

Infographic: The Lyrid Meteor Shower Is About to Kick Off, Here's How to Watch

As Earth makes its annual passage through the tail of comet C/1861 G1, or Thatcher, we're treated to the spectacular sight of meteors burning up in the atmosphere. This is the Lyrid meteor shower, and it comes around every April. → Read More

For The First Time Ever, Scientists Restore Some Cellular Function in Dead Brains

For the first time, scientists have managed to bring a flutter of life back into dead brains. With a new system, neuroscientists have restored some cellular and molecular function to the brains of pigs that had been dead for four hours. → Read More

A Piece of Comet Has Been Discovered in The Last Space Object You'd Think to Check

Meteorites are a bit like fruitcake - chunks of mineral held together by a stone matrix. Those mineral inclusions can contain some pretty fascinating glimpses into the stuff of the Solar System - but now scientists have found something they've neve → Read More

Dozens of Neolithic 'Human Sacrifice' Victims Have Been Found in England

An archaeological survey in Oxfordshire, England has produced another macabre mystery: 26 ancient skeletons in burial pits, suspected to be around 3,000 years old, dating back to the Iron Age before the Roman occupation of Britain. → Read More

Ethically Fraught Experiment Has Produced Monkeys With Added Human Brain Genes

In a bid to learn more about the way the human brain develops, scientists in China have added a human brain gene to the genome of rhesus monkeys. It's called MC HP 1, or microcephalin, and it's involved in regulating the foetal growth of the brain. → Read More

Meteorite Impacts Reveal Moon Has Way More Water Than We Ever Realised

We think of the Moon as a dry and dusty sort of place, but over the years, scientists have learnt that Earth's satellite is actually rather loaded with water - in volcanic deposits, in its chilly poles, in the permanent shadows of its craters. → Read More

Anaesthesia Can Make Nerves Grow The Wrong Way in Unborn Rats

Every year in the US, up to 75,000 pregnant women undergo surgery under anaesthesia. How that affects the foetus is unclear - but new research has pinpointed a worrying possibility. → Read More

These Bizarre Worms Have No Mouth or Gut, But Have Found a Unique Way to Survive

In the sandy seabeds of temperate climates, a curious flatworm thrives. It's called Paracatenula, and it has neither mouth, butt, nor gut. These shortcomings don't slow the worm down, though - a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that live inside → Read More

Discovery of an Ancient Egyptian Woman's Teeth Reveals She Had a Surprising Profession

When we study ancient societies, it can sometimes be difficult to tell who fulfilled which of the various day-to-day roles. For Ancient Egypt, we have a wealth of information, including pictorial records along with sculptures and figurines, buried → Read More

NASA's Twin Study Results Just Changed What We Know About Long-Term Spaceflight

For a year, between March 2015 and March 2016, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent his life in the microgravity environment aboard the International Space Station, hundreds of kilometres above Earth. His identical twin and fellow astronaut, Mark, stay → Read More

Newly Discovered Ancient Sea Creature Is The World's Most Underwhelming Cthulhu

For 430 million years, nestled in some rocks in England, Cthulhu waited, dreaming. Now it's finally seen the light of day, and it's honestly a lot smaller than we were expecting. → Read More

Astronomers Are About to Make a Groundbreaking Black Hole Announcement

The European Southern Observatory has revealed that on April 10 there will be a huge announcement. Yes, we know how that sounds - but as far as we can tell, it appears the world is about to finally see the first ever photo of a black hole's event hor → Read More

LIVE: Scientists Reveal Groundbreaking Results From Event Horizon Telescope

Since 2006, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) consortium has been working on producing the world's first-ever photographs of the event horizon of a black hole. → Read More

It's Official: Astronomers Just Unveiled The First-Ever Direct Image of a Black Hole

No. Stop. Scroll back up. Look at that picture. Stop scrolling down and look again. What you're looking at is history. That is the very first direct image, ever, of the event horizon of a black hole. → Read More

Dramatic Medical Case Photo Shows What Happens if Your Iris Peels Off

Did you know that the iris - the round, coloured structure in your eye - can detach? Yeah. → Read More

A New 'State' of Matter Can Be Solid And Liquid at The Same Time

Matter takes many shapes, but most of us are familiar with the basic three states - solid, liquid, and gas. Now, for the first time, scientists have discovered that it's possible for matter to exist in two of these states at once. → Read More

Here's Why Deadly Pyroclastic Flows From Volcanoes Travel So Sickeningly Fast

It wasn't ash that killed the victims of volcano Vesuvius in Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 CE. It wasn't lava. It was something called pyroclastic flows - extremely hot clouds of volcanic gas and debris that can move at insane speeds. → Read More