12 Stories

This Might Be the World's Oldest Beer

Researchers say they made it from 220-year-old yeast

(Newser) - One sip of Preservation Ale and you'll be transported to a time long past—kind of. Researchers at an Australian museum have brewed what might be the "world's oldest beer," using yeast salvaged from a bottle that spent nearly two centuries on the seafloor, they say... More »

UN Axes Australia's Plan to Log Ancient Rainforest

World Heritage site not the place for logging: UNESCO

(Newser) - Australia's plan to log "one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world" has fizzled to the acclaim of conservationists the world over. Two years after requesting that logging be allowed in parts of the Tasmanian Wilderness to boost the local economy, the country received a... More »

Cruise Ship Rescues Sailor on Around-the-World Try

Alain Delord was adrift for 3 days after losing yacht

(Newser) - A 63-year-old sailor was rescued today after three days adrift off the coast of Tasmania, reports the BBC . Frenchman Alain Delord was picked up by a cruise ship returning from Antarctica after he was forced to abandon his yacht on Friday when the mast broke during his around-the-world attempt. Authorities... More »

London Olympics Blasted for Using Endangered Wood

Team USA will use basketball court for training

(Newser) - At next year’s London Olympics, the US basketball team will train on some pretty rare ground. The court is being made from eucalyptus wood logged in a 1,000-year-old Tasmanian forest that's home to endangered species such as the Tasmanian Devil, activists allege. The UN World Heritage Committee... More »

'High as a Kite' Wallabies Draw Circles in Poppy Fields

It raises concerns about crop safety in Tasmania

(Newser) - Crop circles popping up in Australia aren’t the work of extraterrestrial visitors, but of stoned wallabies, Livenews reports. Marsupials have been breaking into poppy fields—which supply 50% of the world’s opium to pharmaceuticals—and munching on the crops. Then, “high as a kite,” they spin... More »

Tumor-Stricken Tasmanian Devils Now 'Endangered'

Australia ups protections for devastated, iconic species

(Newser) - The Tasmanian devil, the iconic inhabitant of the island off Australia and the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, is now officially endangered, reports the BBC. Under attack by a virulent disease characterized by facial tumors, the devil population may be as low as 20,000, down 70% since the... More »

Aussies Herd Beached Whales Back to Sea

194 animals beached; dozens returned to water

(Newser) - Rescuers using boats, stretchers, and a jet ski hauled dozens of whales and dolphins back to sea after 200 were beached on an Australian island, the Daily Telegraph reports. Some 59 animals were saved, ABC notes, as rescuers dug trenches and draped cloths over the whales to keep them cool... More »

Devils Breed Earlier to Stave Off Cancer

Attempt to outlast disease could be evolutionary

(Newser) - Tasmanian devils are reproducing at a younger age to offset a contagious cancer epidemic, the Daily Telegraph reports. The ill-tempered marsupials, suffering from tumors that cut their lifespan in half, are now breeding at age 1 instead of 2 or 3. "We could be seeing evolution occurring before our... More »

Tasmania Moving Its Devils

As cancer decimates critters, Aussies quarantine them on old prison peninsula

(Newser) - The Australian government is stepping in to prevent the Tasmanian Devil from extinction, the Wall Street Journal reports, as the ill-tempered beasties have been dying off thanks to the world’s first contagious cancer, which they transfer by biting each other in the face. So zoologists are now working to... More »

Cancer Can Be Contagious

Tasmanian Devils transmit it by biting, dogs with sex

(Newser) - Contrary to long-held opinion, cancer can be contagious—and Darwin is to blame, a science reporter told NPR. It turns out cancer cells evolve as species do, and in some rare cases—a cancer affecting Tasmanian devils, two others in dogs and hamsters—the cancers have evolved to allow direct... More »

Giant Squid Storms Australia

Mysterious 26-foot sea beast is longer than a bus and weighs a quarter-ton

(Newser) - A giant squid that weighs 550 pounds and measures 26 feet from the tip of its body to the end of its fearsome tentacles washed up on an Australian beach today. The rarely spotted sea creature is the largest specimen encountered since February, when fishermen in New Zealand netted a... More »

Tasmanian Devils Face Extinction

Iconic marsupials hit by contagious facial cancer

(Newser) - Tasmanian Devils, the largest marsupial carnivore and the island's main tourist attraction, are threatened with extinction due to a contagious and fatal form of facial cancer spreading rapidly through the population. "Once they've got a lump, it's a one way trip,"  one expert  says. More »

12 Stories