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  • Launch 15 October 2014 from 11 am at Building 75 (STRIP Building), Monash University, Clayton. Click for map.
  • With Professor Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council and MP Michael Sukkar.

The $39 million ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging launches today with the mission of changing the way we see the immune system.

Understanding our immune system is central to fighting cancer and infectious diseases. And understanding why our immune system sometimes over-reacts is critical to tackling auto-immune diseases.

Yet many of the workings of our immune systems are a mystery, especially at a molecular level – for example:

  • How does trauma and infection trigger inflammation?
  • How does a T-cell recognise an infected and cancerous cell?
  • And how does it persuade other T-cells to join the fight?
  • What happens when our immune system over-reacts?
  • How is coeliac disease triggered?
  • How do diabetes and other autoimmune diseases start?
  • How can we persuade the immune system to accept organ transplants?

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13 October 2014, launch at 3pm, Woodward Conference Centre, Level 10 Law Building, University of Melbourne, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton

Prof Bob Stimson_AURIN Launch 13 Oct 2014_2

Director, Professor Robert Stimson, at the launch of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). Photo credit: AURIN

  • Can Townsville secure the water and power to needed sustain a doubling in population?
  • Where are the hotspots for mortgage stress and the locations of affordable housing in Sydney?
  • What makes a walkable neighbourhood in Perth?
  • Can we plan new suburbs that work for residents, councils, and developers in our major cities?
  • What makes Melbourne the “world’s most liveable city”?
  • How can employment issues be managed in Adelaide as the industrial sector restructures?

A new national urban intelligence initiative is giving researchers, planners and policy-makers access to the numbers to answer these questions. AURIN, the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network, gives access to thousands of data sets—from Australian Property Monitors (Domain.com.au) to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, from Geoscience Australia to city councils. It allows researchers to jump in and ask big questions of big data without first spending years getting access to the data. Making sense, visualising and mapping big data will be made easier through AURIN’s online analytical tools.

This $24 million Australian Government research infrastructure investment will be launched by Dr Ron Sandland, AO and Mr David Gray, Chair of AURIN. Read the full article →

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Two citizen science projects and one project with exciting potential for citizen scientists were among winners of the 2014 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, announced at an Award Dinner held last night at Sydney Town Hall. Fifteen prizes were given for outstanding contributions to Australian science.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards. The Eureka Prizes have been rewarding science since 1990—celebrating 25 years in 2014.

For more information about all the winners visit australianmuseum.net.au/eureka. Read the full article →

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2014 Eureka Prize Award Dinner at Sydney Town Hall. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

2014 Eureka Prize Award Dinner at Sydney Town Hall. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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A $2 smartphone microscope and floaties for choppers: Australians rewarded for excellence in science

Last night the 2014 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes winners were announced at an Award Dinner held at Sydney Town Hall. A total of 15 prizes were given for outstanding contributions to Australian science. With so many fabulous entries it was difficult to pick the winners.

“I’m extremely impressed by the amazing scientific work happening around our country,” Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay said. “I want to extend an enormous thank you to all the sponsors and supporters of the Eureka Prizes for helping us continue to reward excellence in Australian science.”

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards. The Eurekas have been rewarding science since 1990—celebrating 25 years in 2014.

Full media releases for each prize winner are available at australianmuseum.net.au/eureka.

The 2014 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes: Read the full article →

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The shape of a centuries-old Buddhist singing bowl has inspired a Canberra scientist to re-think the way that solar cells are designed to maximize their efficiency.

Dr Niraj Lal, of the Australian National University,  found during his PhD at the University of Cambridge, that small nano-sized versions of Buddhist singing bowls resonate with light in the same way as they do with sound, and he’s applied this shape to solar cells to increase their ability to capture more light and convert it into electricity.

“Current standard solar panels lose a large amount of light-energy as it hits the surface, making the panels’ generation of electricity inefficient,” says Niraj. “But if the cells are singing bowl-shaped, then the light bounces around inside the cell for longer”. Read the full article →

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