This week at Science in Public

This Week

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We’re looking for a science communicator to join our team at Science in Public. We need someone who is organised, loves science and wants to help scientists get their work into the public space.

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Media kit: 2017 CSL Florey Medal

CSL Florey Medal, Media releases

Using viruses to restore sight

 

Researcher restoring sight Elizabeth Rakoczy (UWA) wins $50,000 CSL Florey Medal for lifetime achievement


Press materials available

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Improving rail safety in Indonesia and Australia

Media releases, The Australia-Indonesia Centre

The sweet spot for rail repair vs efficiency

Computer models to predict how railcars will respond to different track conditions are being developed by Indonesian and Australian researchers, to improve rail safety and efficiency in both countries.

They’ve already created a successful model for passenger carriages, which has been validated against the performance of trains in Indonesia. Now the researchers are working on models for freight trains.

“For railways, it’s standard practice to measure the conditions of the track periodically,” says Dr Nithurshan Nadarajah, a research engineer at the Institute of Railway Technology at Monash University.

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2017 Metcalf Prizes – Media release

Media releases, National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Building a blood cancer treatment from the ground up – Mark Dawson, Melbourne

How we and our stem cells get old – Jessica Mar, Brisbane

Winners of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s Metcalf Prizes announced

Scientists available for interviews

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How we and our stem cells get old

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Jessica Mar is analysing stem cells to discover the changes that influence ageing.

We all started life as a stem cell. Throughout our lives, stem cells repair and replace our tissues, but as we age they stop working as well. Understanding how this decline occurs is fundamental to understanding—and influencing—how we age. [click to continue…]

Building a blood cancer treatment from the ground up

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Mark Dawson has helped to build a new drug to fight an aggressive form of blood cancer, discovering the basic science of gene expression in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), developing the drug to block that action, and leading an international clinical trial to test it.

Mark first explored how genes function in leukaemia, then identified molecules that interrupt the key genetic instructions that perpetuate cancer cells. The drug subsequently developed to treat AML is now the subject of more than 50 clinical trials around the world. [click to continue…]

Tiny diamonds light the way for new quantum technologies

Media releases

Dr Thomas Volz in the Diamond Nanoscience Lab

Nature Communications paper Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Background information below.

Macquarie University researchers have made a single tiny diamond shine brightly at room temperature, a behaviour known as superradiance.

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2017 Prime Minster’s Prizes for Science announced

Media releases, Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Photos and videos of the winners available. And photos from the award presentation. 

Read the Minister’s media release.

The winners of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are:

  • Jenny Graves (La Trobe University, Melbourne)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • Eric Reynolds (The University of Melbourne/Oral Health CRC)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
  • Jian Yang (The University of Queensland)—Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
  • Dayong Jin (University of Technology Sydney)—Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • Neil Bramsen (Mount Ousley Public School, Wollongong)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
  • Brett McKay (Kirrawee High School, Sydney)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools

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Minister’s Media Release: The 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

18 October 2017

Joint media release with the Prime Minster, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognises the extraordinary contribution that Australia’s scientists and science teachers make to our nation.

These awards celebrate excellence and innovation and offer us an opportunity to bring the entire industry together to celebrate Australia’s world leading role.

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2017 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

What can kangaroos and platypus tell us about sex and humanity?

Jenny Graves (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)

Distinguished Professor Jenny Graves AO FAA

Professor Jenny Graves AO has transformed our understanding of how humans and all vertebrate animals evolved and function. In the course of her work, she has kick-started genomic and epigenetic research in Australia, and predicted the disappearance of the male chromosome.

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2017 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

How Australian dairy milk is saving the world’s teeth

Eric Reynolds (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)

Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO FICD FTSE FRACDS

Thirty years ago, a young dental researcher discovered a protein in dairy milk that repairs and strengthens teeth. Today, that protein, sold as Recaldent, is used by millions of people every day as they chew gum and visit the dentist.

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2017 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Unravelling the complexity of height, intelligence, obesity and schizophrenia

Jian Yang (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)

Professor Jian Yang

The publication of the human genome near fifteen years ago revealed that the human genome is complicated. Jian Yang has created pioneering new techniques to unravel that complexity and solve the ‘missing heritability paradox’.

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2017 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Watching the processes of life

Dayong Jin (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)

Professor Dayong Jin

We need new ways to detect the early stages of disease and cancer. Dayong Jin believes the key is for physicists, biologists, engineers and doctors to work together. And that’s what he’s doing with his team at the University of Technology, Sydney.

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2017 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

The outdoor classroom

Neil Bramsen (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)

Mr Neil Bramsen

In the outdoor classroom at Mount Ousley Public School in Wollongong, primary students are watching and recording bird sightings. They’re down at the beach assessing the level of marine debris. They’re reading, or just thinking, in the butterfly garden.

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2017 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Bringing science alive

Brett McKay (Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear)

Mr Brett McKay

Kirrawee High School has a rich history in sport and music. Its alumni include six Olympic athletes and several leading musicians. Today, thanks to the work of Brett McKay over the past twenty years, Kirrawee has become a force in science education as well.

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Videos: 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Final broadcast quality videos with and without music are now available for download via:

http://files.wildbear.tv/

Username: PMSCIENCE17

Password: PMSCIENCE17

Please note that both the username and password are case sensitive.

Once logged in you will be able to download either the final master videos or the master videos with no music.

YouTube links for embedding in websites and sharing via social media available below.  [click to continue…]

Microbial mass movements: the millions of species we ignore at our peril

Media releases

Michael Gillings (Credit: Chris Stacey, Macquarie University)

Science paper Friday, 15 September 2017

Background information below.

More high-res images available below.

Wastewater, tourism, and trade are moving microbes around the globe at an unprecedented scale. As we travel the world we leave billions of bacteria at every stop.

As with rats, foxes, tigers and pandas, some microbes are winners, spreading around the world into new ecological niches we’ve created. Others are losing, and might face extinction. These changes are invisible, so why should we care?

“Yes, our survival may depend on these microbial winner and losers,” say a team of Australian, Chinese, French, British and Spanish researchers in a paper published in Science today.

“The oxygen we breathe is largely made by photosynthetic bacteria in the oceans (and not by rainforests, as is commonly believed),” says Macquarie University biologist Michael Gillings.

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A 3D printed rocket engine – made in Melbourne

Media releases, Monash University Technology Research Platforms

Monash engineers have designed, printed, and test-fired a rocket engine.

Media call 9.30 am, Monday 11 September, Woodside Innovation Centre, New Horizons Building, 20 Research Way, Monash University, Clayton

HD footage of static rocket testing and metal printers at work
Media contact: Niall Byrne, 0417-131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au

The new rocket engine is a unique aerospike design which turns the traditional engine shape inside out.

Two years ago, Monash University researchers and their partners were the first in the world to print a jet engine, based on an existing engine design. That work led to Monash spin-out company Amaero winning contracts with major aerospace companies around the world.

Now a team of engineering researchers have jumped into the Space Age. They accepted a challenge from Amaero to design a rocket engine, Amaero printed their design, and the researchers test-fired it, all in just four months. Their joint achievement illustrates the potential of additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) for Australian industry.

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Monash rocket engine test firing

3D printed rocket engine – backgrounder and links

Media releases, Monash University Technology Research Platforms

Quick facts

  • A joint Monash University/Amaero team of engineers successfully designed, built, and tested a rocket engine in just four months
  • The engine is a complex multi-chamber aerospike design
  • Additively manufactured with selective laser melting on an EOS M280
  • Built from Hasteloy X; a high strength nickel based superalloy
  • Fuel: compressed natural gas (methane); oxidiser: compressed oxygen
  • Design thrust of 4kN (about 1,000 pounds), enough to hover the equivalent of five people (about 400 kg)

The 3D printed or Additive Manufactured aerospike rocket engine is the result of a collaboration between a group of Monash University engineers and Amaero Engineering, supported by Woodside Energy and Monash University.

Engineers at Amaero approached a team of Monash engineering PhD students, giving them the opportunity to create a new rocket design that could fully utilise the near limitless geometric complexity of 3D printing.

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