Media releases

New coating cuts barnacle build-up to keep ships at sea longer

Footage of HMAS Canberra  available. Photos and video below.

A new corrosion-resistant coating that halved the build-up of algae and barnacles on ship hydraulic components is now being trialled on HMAS Canberra, one of the Royal Australian Navy landing helicopter dock ships.

Corrosion-resistant coating that halved the build-up of algae and barnacles.
Credit: Defence Science Technology

Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology are collaborating with experts from the Defence Materials Technology Centre, MacTaggart Scott Australia, United Surface Technologies and the Defence Science and Technology Group to advance the new technology.

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Slipped discs: robot shows it’s not all bending and twisting

High res photos available below.  

Video of Dhara and the bending robot available here

Dhara hopes her work will lead to improved guidelines on repetitive and heavy lifting. Credit: Flinders University

Some slipped disc injuries might be caused by movements other than the commonly blamed bending and twisting, according to new research by South Australian engineers.

It’s a finding that will lead to a better understanding of the motions that put people at greatest risk of a slipped disc and help develop more robust guidelines for safe lifting.

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Kid-friendly chocolate formula helps the medicine go down

FOR VIDEO AND IMAGES CLICK HERE

Researchers from The University of Western Australia have developed a winning medicine formula that makes bad-tasting medicine taste nice, making it easier to treat sick children.

The UWA study published by the journal Anaesthesia tested 150 children and found that the majority of children who were given the new chocolate-tasting medicine would take it again, unlike the standard treatment, while they still experienced the same beneficial effects.

UWA Clinical Senior Lecturer Dr Sam Salman said the poor taste of many medicines, such as Midazolam, a sedative used prior to surgery, presented a real difficulty in effectively treating children.

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Bugs’ burps for efficient hydrogen production

Bacteria that turn sugar into hydrogen are being engineered by Macquarie University researchers who received a $1.1 million grant from ARENA, the Australian government’s renewable energy agency.

“There’s global interest in using hydrogen gas to produce electricity in hydrogen fuel cells, for example to power vehicles, heat buildings or provide electricity for industry,” says Professor Robert Willows, who is one of the project leaders. “It’s a clean and efficient energy source.”

While 95 per cent of the hydrogen used worldwide currently is produced from fossil fuels, increasingly people are looking at how to produce hydrogen from renewables.

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Overcoming knee pain with the help of a digital twin

Scientists use computer simulations of joint and muscle movements to teach us to exercise smarter

Image: Dr Pizzolato is making digital twins to help improve how people move in real life. Credit: Gold Coast Orthopaedic Research Alliance, Griffith University

Researchers have developed computer simulations of joint and muscle movements that can teach us how to exercise smarter and prevent knee pain and further damage.

One in five Australians over the age of 45 suffer from painful and debilitating osteoarthritis, with the knee being the most commonly affected joint.  

Dr Claudio Pizzolato from Griffith University is making computer avatars or ‘digital twins’ of individual patients to see how their muscles and joints work. [click to continue…]

Turning coffee waste into coffee cups

Dominik Kopp in the lab.

A Macquarie PhD student believes he’s come up with a way to turn coffee waste into biodegradable plastic coffee cups.

He’s developed a method to turn coffee grounds into lactic acid, which can then be used to produce biodegradable plastics, and is now refining the process as he finishes his PhD.

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Aussie citizen scientists unite to help the Great Barrier Reef

Citizen scientists from around Australia are helping scientists and reef managers get a much better picture of the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

So far, they have looked at over 2.7 million points on more than 170,000 underwater images of the Reef and told us whether they can see coral, algae or sand.

They’re all taking part in Virtual Reef Diver—the ABC’s online citizen science project for National Science Week.

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Coober Pedy under the sea, Perth’s slug census, what makes us human?

Sunday 19 August 2018

Highlights from the final day of National Science Week

110 events and exhibitions, 13 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Adelaide

  • Why does food taste different when you have a cold? And how do your neurons communicate? Meet your brain and find out
  • Revisit Coober Pedy when it was under sea: paeleontology meets musical theatre

Sydney

  • Art explores what makes us human, now and in the future
  • What can Western science learn from 60,000+ years of Indigenous knowledge and culture?

Perth

  • The science of living more sustainably: expo on the Canning
  • Counting minibeasts: it’s census time for Perth’s bugs and slugs
  • Science and recipes for feeding yourself and your microbiome

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The wine doctor, women’s brains, drones, and the science of snot

Friday 17 August 2018

Highlights from day seven of National Science Week

344 events and exhibitions, 21 online activities, and dozens of great stories.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Hobart

  • A prospective Martian, the science of snot and other gross stuff, insect vision, cats, and more at Princes Wharf 1

Sydney

  • A glass of Dr Penfold: ask the ‘Wine Doctor’ about Australia’s history of wine as medicine
  • Getting into women’s heads: how the brain
    affects women’s health and wellbeing

How virtual reality helps biomedical researchers ‘walk’ through the human body

Melbourne

  • Comedy meets the brainstem (the ‘arse end of the brain’)
  • Meet the UK plasma physicist firing the world’s most powerful laser and making it useful

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Whisky, money in muck, the invisible Universe, and the search for junior weather presenters

Thursday 16 August 2018

Highlights from day six of National Science Week

382 events and exhibitions, 22 online activities, and dozens of great stories.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Melbourne

  • There’s money in waste – turning our rubbish into new products, Melbourne
  • A virtual reality tour of the invisible Universe, over a beer with astrophysicists

Adelaide

  • Can we edit away epilepsy? And is it as easy as it sounds?
  • The revolution in cancer treatments

Canberra

  • The Element in the Room: a radioactive musical comedy about the death and life of Marie Curie
  • Whisky business: what happens to whisky when combined with liquid nitrogen?

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Frozen fossils, superbugs, humans 2.0, and the Ultimate Drone Challenge

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Highlights from day five of National Science Week

422 events and exhibitions, 22 online activities, and dozens of great stories.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Sydney

  • Bob Brown’s battle for the planet, from the Franklin River to Federal Parliament
  • Will coral reefs survive climate change? Ask the scientists
  • Superbugs: what we need to do to become resistance fighters

Melbourne

  • Humans 2.0: what’s the future look like for humanity?

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Environment stories in Science Week

The search for Australia’s next top junior weather presenter

The Great Barrier Reef is huge! How citizen scientists across Australia can help monitor its 350,000 square kilometres

Can science + business help us fight the war on waste? Melbourne

Face-to-face with Frill Collins the frill neck lizard and Frida the tawny frogmouth, Darwin

Bob Brown’s battle for the planet, from the Franklin River to Federal Parliament, Sydney

Dozens of interesting environment stories, people and events around Australia for National Science Week this August, including:

  • Bringing Queensland’s coast inland with virtual reality, Mt Isa and Longreach
  • How Indigenous knowledge can help with urban planning, saving species and fighting climate change, Canberra
  • Saving the Great Barrier Reef with super corals and mangroves, Sydney
  • Scitech, solar science and sustainable homes, Perth
  • Solar-charged kids and race cars, Hunter Valley
  • Moving climates: theatre, dance and digital art that deals with the data of disaster, Canberra.

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists and event organisers are available for interview throughout Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

More than 2,000 events are registered for National Science Week 2018, which runs until Sunday 19 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au, public event listings at www.scienceweek.net.au.

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Merlot-making microbes, health tech, hangry, fifty shades of cray, and more

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Highlights from day four of National Science Week

347 events and exhibitions, 20 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Adelaide

  • How do microbes turn grape juice into wine?
  • Why giant cuttlefish do so well in the water near Whyalla

Canberra

  • How are mobile devices and apps affecting our mental health and how can they be used as a force for good?
  • How will climate change affect whisky?

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Gene editing, superbugs, wine as medicine: a healthy dose of Science Week

  • How will apps, mobiles and sensors transform healthcare? Harvard professor in Melbourne
  • Wine as medicine and why vineyards were planted in lunatic asylums, Sydney
  • Hangry? Ask an expert how hunger influences behaviour, Melbourne
  • Technology: good or bad for your mental health? Canberra
  • What’s the latest in cancer research and can we find a cure? Adelaide & Sydney

Dozens of interesting health stories, people and events around Australia for National Science Week this August, including:

  • Gene editing is as simple as cutting and pasting, Adelaide
  • Superbugs: what we need to do to become resistance fighters, Sydney
  • The beauty of killers and cures under the microscope, Melbourne
  • Assessing your own health in a pop-up laboratory, Darwin
  • Recipes to feed yourself and your gut bacteria, Perth
  • Young scientists with healthy advice for senior Australians, Adelaide
  • Talk about your health for the Health Box Stories podcast, Hobart.

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia. [click to continue…]

The science of politics, pond slime, superbugs, and more

Monday 13 August 2018

Highlights from day three of National Science Week

300 events and exhibitions, 19 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Adelaide, Darwin & Melbourne

  • Are we alone in the Universe? Are there habitable planets outside our solar system? Ask the NASA scientists and planet hunters

Melbourne

  • What turns a normal bug into a ‘superbug’? Ask an antibiotic resistance fighter

Sydney

  • What makes cancer cells immortal and how will genetics and big data change cancer treatment in the future? Ask Prof Roger Reddel
  • How virtual reality helps biomedical researchers ‘walk’ through the human body

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Could nose cells treat spinal cord injuries?

Scientists developing robust method to treat spinal cord injuries using nose cells

Researchers have designed a new way to grow nose cells in the lab heralding hope for sufferers of spinal cord injuries, including those who are wheelchair bound.

Griffith University’s Mr Mo Chen grew nose nerve cells in the lab, which can treat mice with spinal cord injuries.

“My colleagues placed the nerve cells into mice that were suffering from spinal cord injuries,” says Mr Chen. “The mice quickly recovered and could walk again, but we’re still working on improving the therapy”.

One of the difficulties of this kind of research is growing cells effectively in the laboratory.

“Our bodies are 3D not 2D so the best way of growing cells in the lab, is 3D,” says Mr Chen. “With our method we can grow healthier 3D cultures in a shorter time.”

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AI, astro-stars, arachnid art, and more

Sunday 12 August 2018

Highlights from day two of National Science Week

129 events and exhibitions, 12 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Melbourne

  • A virtual reality tour of the invisible Universe with astrophysicists Alan Duffy and Rebecca Allen at the State Library
  • Meet your wild neighbours at Coolart Wetlands

Sydney

  • How will humanity live with intelligent machines? Good and bad robots at the Opera House

Bega

  • Virtual reality and robotics, Questacon activities, game development, music technology, 3D printing, citizen science, science films, and threatened species at Bega’s Science Festival

Adelaide

  • Meet NASA scientist Andrew Rushby, an astrobiologist and planet hunter

Perth

  • Can dance help disadvantaged girls to engage with science? Visiting US dancer says yes!
  • Census time for Perth’s bugs and slugs

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Art and science

Dozens of art performances and exhibitions around Australia for National Science Week starting 11 August

  • The first robot story, staged in a working medical research lab, Melbourne
  • Meet the American ballet dancer using dance to get disadvantaged girls into science, Perth
  • You’re never alone when you’ve got a parasite, comedy in Sydney, digital art in Ballarat
  • Art explores what makes us human, now and in the future, Sydney
  • Moving climates: theatre, dance and digital art that deals with the data of disaster, Canberra

Plus:

  • Dissecting the anatomy of a flower, Sydney
  • When weather broadcasts become high drama, Darwin
  • The power of music for the memories of dementia patients, Sydney
  • Australia’s lost megafauna back from the dead as shadow puppets, Darwin
  • Bringing dead scientists to life on stage—South Brisbane and Canberra
  • Comedy meets the brainstem (the ‘arse end of the brain’), Melbourne
  • Painting with light, long exposure photography and 100 volunteers, Sydney

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, artists, performers and event organisers are available for interview throughout Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

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Science and Indigenous Australia

Sci-fi and the sounds of the Universe in Gingin, WA

Gula Guri mayin: Aboriginal art exploring parasites and your health, Ballarat

Music meets Indigenous astronomy in Perth, Canberra and Sydney

Dozens of Indigenous science stories, people and events around Australia for National Science Week starting 11 August, including:

  • How Indigenous knowedge can help with urban planning, saving species and fighting climate change, Canberra
  • HealthLAB clinic on wheels tours the Territory
  • The wisdom of Elders and knowledge of contemporary Indigenous scientists, Wagga Wagga and Redfern
  • Koori youth become science communicators in Bendigo
  • 60,000 years of technological advancement and eco-sustainable practices at the MAAS Indigenous Science Symposium, Sydney

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists and event organisers are available for interview throughout Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

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Radioactive comedy, illusions, beautiful killers, science in the garden, and more

Saturday 11 August 2018

Highlights from day one of National Science Week

162 events and exhibitions, 12 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Hobart

  • 100+ roving scientists, talks on eating insects or the dirty side of wellbeing, a forensic murder mystery and more at TMAG’s pop-up science bar and festival

Sydney

  • A night of illusions: why your senses play mind games
  • ‘See like a bee’ with UV, dissect a flower, and ask experts about the secrets of seeds—inside the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney’s Living Laboratory

Brisbane

  • The Element in the Room: a radioactive musical comedy about the death and life of Marie Curie
  • Street Science with smoke cannons, liquid nitrogen, flame tests, explosions and cool chemistry

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