Dog sniffing out koala droppings for research and more zedlines...

A research project aimed at keeping Queensland’s koala population safe has implemented an interesting method to conduct their genetic surveys. Picture source: Pixabay

Two detection dogs, Taz and Nutmeg, have been employed to sniff out koala droppings, which will then be sent off for genetic analysis in order to build a unique DNA profile of each koala in the area.

A dozen areas in south-east Queensland have been searched in the past three weeks, with the canines covering a total of 330 kilometers over the 23 day period.

Barnaby Joyce backs Adani project

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has spoken in favour of the Adani mining project when he addressed the Rural Press Club in Brisbane yesterday, accusing the Palaszczuk Government and The Greens of putting city-centric policy at the expense of the bush and the prosperity of Australia.

Mr Joyce said he supported the alleged "royalty holiday" agreement that would see Queensland lose out on about $320 million from the Indian mining giant.

The deputy prime minister’s support for the mining project follows the ABC report which revealed Adani was offered a deal by the State to pay only $2 million a year in royalties once the $21 billion project starts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the royalty arrangements for the project have not yet been finalised, and that the Adani project is vital for jobs in the region.

CSIRO leads breakthrough in oil extraction

Research conducted by CSIRO has led to a breakthrough in the extraction of oils from different parts of plants  amid predictions of a 50% global increase in plant-based oil demands over the next 20 years.

Dr Allan Green, the innovation leader within the agriculture and food sector of the organisation said it was previously only possible to extract oils from the seeds and fruits of particular plants such as canola, soybeans and sunflowers, however they are now able to obtain the oils from leaves and stems as well.

Using solar energy captured by the plant, the researchers are now able to convert starch reserves into more efficient oil molecules, meaning more opportunities for renewable biofuels.

King Island pushes to leave Tassie

Residents of King Island are pushing to secede from Tasmania and become part of Victoria following reports they are being neglected by the Tasmanian government.

A petition is currently being circulated, calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to put Victoria in charge after a reduction in shipping freight services to the island has led to many businesses on the small island struggling to make due.

King Island has a population of around 1,700 residents and attracts tourists around the world for its golf courses, beef and dairy farms.

New Zealand fault line under pressure

An investigation into New Zealand’s Alpine Fault has revealed extreme underground heat and high fluid pressures, which may represent an opportunity for a geothermic energy source.

The Alpine Fault, one of the world’s major plate boundaries, runs for 650 km along the South Island of New Zealand, and ruptures around every 300 years, with a magnitude 8 earthquake expected.

The Deep Fault Drilling Project, which involved over 100 scientists from 12 countries, drilled down almost a kilometre, and had the opportunity for the first time to look at a fault as it builds up to a rupture.

Iranian 2017 presidential election

Millions of Iranians will be heading to the polling booths today to vote for their next president.

Current president Hassan Rouhani, who is the expected front runner, is up against hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi.

The outcome will determine whether or not Iran is likely to uphold its 2015 nuclear agreement deal with the US, as Raisi claims that Rouhani is putting too much trust in the West.

The future of the deal is even more uncertain under the new Trump administration which is vowing to to axe the deal and is having a meeting with the Saudi Arabian government, Iran’s regional rival, this weekend.