From meat myths to magpies: our most read blogs of 2016

By Eliza Keck

12 December 2016

As 2016 draws to a close (and celebrities draw a collective sigh of relief), we decided it would be fun to find out what were the 10 most interesting, entertaining and informative blogs as voted by you, our readers.

1. You can thaw and refreeze meat: five food safety myths busted

Myth 1: if you’ve defrosted frozen meat or chicken you can’t refreeze it

Myth 1: if you’ve defrosted frozen meat or chicken you can’t refreeze it

In what was by far our most read blog, we busted five common food myths. With the holiday season around the corner it’s well worth a re-read, unless of course you enjoy salmonella with your seafood.

2. Big Ben erupts: Australia’s active volcano cluster blows its lid

Heard Island Big Ben Erupting

Big Ben expresses himself, giving researchers a bang for their investigatory buck. Image: Pete Harmsen.

In this explosive blog, the RV Investigator team capture rare footage of Australia’s only two active volcanoes releasing vapour, and one — Big Ben — erupting lava.

3. Using herpes virus to eradicate feral fish? Carp diem!

carp 3 shutterstock_2985737

Carp-free ecosystems will be a breath of fresh air. Image: Benjamin F. Haith/Shutterstock.com

Carp are one of the most invasive and damaging pests of our freshwater ecosystems. After years of research, we uncovered that a herpes virus that has been killing carp overseas could do a similar job here. Naturally, with any talk of a biocontrol agent, there is public debate and speculation. So we went fishing for answers to the most common questions in this blog.

4. Egg-splaining egg safety

eggy in a basket feature

Did you know as eggs age, the yolk becomes larger and flatter, until it eventually breaks? Image credit – Scott Feldstein/Flickr

We’re not egg-aggerating: our blog on egg safety was extremely popular. In this blog we unpacked how to identify a quality egg as well as discussed a heap of fast facts and safety tips for storage and cooking. Another good one to read as we approach the silly season.

5. Got milk? Australia’s lactose intolerance is getting dangerous, especially for women

Milk is an important source of calcium in our diets.

Milk is an important source of calcium in our diets.

PSA – Google isn’t a Doctor.

We published this blog in response to a worrying trend of people excluding food groups without being tested for allergies. While these people may very well have an intolerance, by visiting Dr Google instead of a real doctor they are likely to miss out on a whole heap of nutritional information that would keep them healthy.

6.You make me wanna swoop: dispelling magpie myths

U wot m8? Not even our Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is safe.

U wot m8? Not even our Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is safe.

Only Australians will understand the importance of attaching zip-ties to your helmet in spring. In this blog we featured a series of highly scientific tests completed by our researchers in Canberra to discover what makes magpies more likely to attack some people, and not others.

7. Why foods that make you fart are a good thing

fart

Need we say more?

8. What the consistency of your poo says about your health

What does it mean when it’s too hard or too soft? Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock

What does it mean when it’s too hard or too soft? Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock

It seems everyone is very interested in food; from when you eat it to when you excrete it. Find out how you can assess your health from looking in the loo.

9. Things that sting: how do Aussie insects measure up on the pain scale?

Tropical fire ants (Solenopsis geminata) get their name from their powerful sting, which results in a painful burning sensation.

Tropical fire ants (Solenopsis geminata) get their name from their powerful sting, which results in a painful burning sensation.

Nothing quite like reading “widespread in Australia” and “like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut” in the same sentence.

10. The blue bottles are coming, but what exactly are these creatures?

Beautiful to look at… but perhaps not so much if you’ve been stung before.

Beautiful to look at… but perhaps not so much if you’ve been stung before.

In this blog, we answer one of life’s most important jellyfish questions: to pee or not to pee.

 

Well, there you have it, the best reads of 2016. We’re thrilled to see that you, our beloved audience, are enjoying our blogs in all their science geekiness! We’ll do our best to continue to share lots of exciting, innovating, fascinating and sometimes confronting information in the new year so be sure  to subscribe so you don’t miss out!