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On Sunday 14 February for journalists at the 2016 AAAS, Washington DC

Forty of the world’s leading science journalists will join me for a good dinner, Australian shiraz, and a briefing on some of the best of Australian science on Sunday 14 February 2016 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

Science in Public’s Australian Dinner has become a minor tradition during the AAAS. It enables Australia to build on the links with international science reporters which were created when Melbourne hosted the World Conference of Science Journalists back in 2007.

Our guests in 2015 included:

  • The science editors of the Economist, BBC TV News, Financial Times, Asahi Shimbun, The Sun, and reporters from the BBC, Daily Mail, the London Times and others.
  • The executive producer of PBS Nova, the ABC’s Robyn Williams and David Fisher.
  • Freelancers filing for dozens of publications and websites including Science, Nature, Discovery, National Geographic.
  • The heads of Research America and Research Sweden, the director of the World Federation of Science Journalists, representatives of the UK and Australian Science Media Centres, of the EuroScience Open Forum, RIKEN, and the IgNobels.
  • Australian scientists speaking at AAAS including representatives of CSIRO and ANU.

Our partners in past dinners have included the Australian Government’s industry department, Australia’s SKA team, Inspiring Australia, COSMOS and the Australian Science Media Centre. We welcome partners who share our interest in sharing the best Australian science achievements with the world.

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Footy player, netballer and ballet dancer available for interview

Re-training the brain with painless exercises may be the key to stopping recurring tendon pain, according to Melbourne researchers.

Dr Ebonie Rio

Dr Ebonie Rio

AFL, basketball and netball players are the major sufferers, with tendon pain in the knee debilitating and long-lasting. The injury can sideline a player or cause them to give up the sport entirely.

“More than 50 per cent of people who stop sport because of tendon pain still suffer from that pain 15 years later,” says Dr Ebonie Rio of the Monash University Tendon Research group.

“Our simple exercise is revolutionising how we treat tendinopathy.”

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Melbourne and Indonesian scientists work to improve shipping efficiency

Scientists available for interview in Bahasa Indonesia and English. Video overlay and photos of ferry available below.

Read the release in Bahasa Indonesia.

Every shipping manager wages an endless battle against fouling – the bacteria, seaweed, barnacles and other marine life that take residence on the hull of ships. This biofouling is thought to add more than 20 per cent to the fuel costs of commercial shipping. That’s a big cost for the maritime trading nations of Australia and Indonesia.

Using lasers and a window in a ship’s hull, researchers will assess how quickly the efficiency of the ship declines, and then how to balance fuel efficiency and the cost of putting a ship in dry dock to clean it.

A ship travelling between Java and South Samatra has had 30 centimetre windows installed in its hull for the research. Credit: Nadia Astari

A ship travelling between Java and South Samatra has had 30 centimetre windows installed in its hull for the research. Credit: Nadia Astari

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Para ilmuwan Surabaya dan Australia bekerja sama untuk meningkatkan efisiensi perkapalan

Para ilmuwan bersedia diwawancarai dalam Bahasa Indonesia dan Bahasa Inggris. Liputan video dan foto kapal feri dapat dilihat di http://australiaindonesiacentre.org/media

Setiap manajer perkapalan terus-menerus berjuang memerangi fouling (proses menempelnya biota pada permukaan kapal) – yaitu bakteri, rumput laut, teritip, dan mahkluk laut lain yang mendiami lambung kapal. Biofouling ini dianggap dapat menaikkan biaya bahan bakar kapal komersial lebih dari 20 persen. Ini merupakan biaya yang besar bagi aktivitas perniagaan maritim antara Australia dan Indonesia.
Dengan menggunakan laser dan jendela di lambung kapal, para peneliti dapat menilai seberapa cepat efisiensi kapal berkurang, dan bagaimana cara menyeimbangkan antara efisiensi bahan bakar dan biaya parkir di dok apung (dry dock) untuk membersihkan kapal.
The window needs cleaning periodically by a diver. Credit: Nadia Astari

The outside of the window in the hull will need cleaning periodically by a diver. Credit: Nadia Astari

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Pain relief during childbirth may soon be delivered via a self-administered nasal spray, thanks to research from University of South Australia midwifery researcher, Dr Julie Fleet.

Well known for its use in delivering pain relief to children and in managing pain in patients being transferred by ambulance, the nasal spray analgesic drug, fentanyl, has now been shown to be effective in relieving labour pain.

Julie Fleet, University of South Australia)

Julie Fleet, University of South Australia

In fact Julie and her colleagues at Flinders University and the University of Adelaide have found that fentanyl nose spray is just as effective as pethidine injections, which are commonly used, but fentanyl has fewer side effects for both mother and baby.

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A new diagnostic system used to detect cancer cells in small blood samples could next be turned towards filtering a patient’s entire system to remove those dangerous cells – like a dialysis machine for cancer – says an Australian researcher who helped develop the system.

Dr Majid Warkiani at the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at the University of New South Wales

Dr Majid Warkiani, Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, UNSW

The technique was developed for cancer diagnosis, and is capable of detecting (and removing) a tiny handful of cancer-spreading cells from amongst the billions of healthy cells in a small blood sample.

The revolutionary system, which works to diagnose cancer at a tenth of the cost of competing technologies, is now in clinical trials in the US, UK, Singapore and Australia, and is in the process of being commercialised by Clearbridge BioMedics PteLtd in Singapore.

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