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5 July: 74 per cent of Norway’s new cars are electric. Australia? Just 0.7 percent. Tax tweaks needed to fast-charge EV take up

Buying and running electric vehicles for business fleets is too costly under Aussie tax rules, say researchers from Griffith University and Monash University.

Clinical trial to test potential new combination therapy for aggressive breast cancer – Researchers are recruiting volunteers for a clinical trial they hope will improve survival rates for an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects about 1,500 women each year in New South Wales.

Massive X-ray blasts, thousands of black holes revealed; a universe in a computer and more – A Sydney student, early-career researchers from Perth and Melbourne, and a fast telescope have received awards for changing our view of our galaxy and the Universe.

DeadlyScience and Merck to bring physics, chemistry, and biology experiments to young Indigenous scientists – The kits will explore chemistry, physics, and biology with experiments based in Indigenous science.

Sharkskin’ makes planes faster, smoother, cheaper – A sharkskin-inspired coating on planes will save thousands of dollars per flight and slash carbon emissions.

Stem-cell models reveal glaucoma secrets – Australian researchers uncover hidden genetic markers of glaucoma.

Rocks smashing into planets give clues about planetary evolution – Planetary scientist Katarina Miljkovic is discussing how she uses “space rocks” to understand how planets form on Women in Physics lecture tour.

Backyard astronomers win recognition from the professionals – Two amateur astronomy projects were awarded the 2022 Page Medal on Saturday 16 April at the National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers held online.

An immune ‘fingerprint’ reveals path for better treatment of autoimmune diseases – using your unique immune cell fingerprint to rapidly identify which treatments will work for your autoimmune disease.

Smart glove to train young surgeons – A glove designed at Western Sydney University gives surgical trainees instant and accurate feedback.

Work, housing, friendship – New tool from Orygen measures social inclusion to prevent more serious mental illness and ultimately save lives.

Ancient campfires reveal a 50,000 year old grocer and pharmacy – Archaeology in the Western Desert shows how wattle has defined culture and been important to Australians for millennia.

Cutting surgery time in half with digital ‘twins’ – A speedier recovery after children’s hip deformity surgery as computerised models help surgeons virtually plan complex operations.

74 per cent of Norway’s new cars are electric. Australia? Just 0.7 percent.

Griffith University, Monash Energy Institute, Monash University

Tax tweaks needed to fast-charge EV take up

Electric share of new car market in 2020 (%). Australians bought just under a million new cars in 2020. Less than 7,000 were electric.

Buying and running electric vehicles for business fleets is too costly under Aussie tax rules, say researchers from Griffith University and Monash University.

Their report, published today by the RACE for 2030 Cooperative Research Centre, proposes practical tax changes to support home charging and allow fleet managers to quickly adopt battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

“Some of our recommendations could be implemented right now,” says Griffith University tax law expert and lead researcher Dr Anna Mortimore.

“Because of the turnover of business fleets, these vehicles would start flowing into used car markets within three to four years, so more Australians could afford to go electric.”

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Clinical trial to test potential new combination therapy for aggressive breast cancer

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Media releases

Media call 11 am, Garvan Institute with researchers and the late Rebecca Wilson’s brother, Jim Wilson

Meet in the foyer of the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, 370 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Researchers are recruiting volunteers for a clinical trial they hope will improve survival rates for an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects about 1,500 women each year in New South Wales.

The trial will test a new strategy in cancer treatment: using a new therapy to target a ‘defence switch’ on cancer cells that alerts cancer to the threat of chemotherapy.

The trial aims to improve survival rates for patients with triple negative breast cancer, a treatment-resistant form of cancer that can quickly adapt against chemotherapy. It will commence in August.

It will be led by Associate Professor Christine Chaffer and Dr Beatriz San Juan from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Senior Staff Specialist in medical oncology Dr Rachel Dear of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. The trial will be conducted at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst.

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Massive X-ray blasts, thousands of black holes revealed; a universe in a computer and more

Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA), Media releases

Next generation astronomers win national recognition

A Sydney student, early-career researchers from Perth and Melbourne, and a fast telescope have received awards for changing our view of our galaxy and the Universe.

The Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) will honour the five at its Annual Scientific Meeting in Hobart 27 June – 1 July.

“Australian astronomers are among the best in the world, and the breadth of these prestigious awards shows why we lead the world in so many areas. It is a pleasure to recognise these examples of individual brilliance, as well as teamwork, and technical innovation,” says ASA President Professor John Lattanzio.

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DeadlyScience and Merck to bring physics, chemistry, and biology experiments to young Indigenous scientists

Media releases, Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, is proud to support DeadlyScience’s new program DeadlyLab to create STEM learning kits for students in remote areas. The kits will explore chemistry, physics, and biology with experiments based in Indigenous science.

DeadlyScience was founded in 2019 by proud Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt OAM, and has delivered more than 20,000 books, 500 telescopes and countless other learning tools to students in remote communities.

Now, Merck and DeadlyScience are partnering with Indigenous communities, Elders, and Indigenous subject-matter experts to create experiments, complete with worksheets and video tutorials, that can be used in school classrooms or at home.

“We work with hundreds of remote schools, who collectively have more than 28,000 students. Over 75% are Indigenous.

“We want to get them engaged with science, help them learn with play and hands-on experience, and show them Indigenous scientists. You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Corey.

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‘Sharkskin’ makes planes faster, smoother, cheaper

Australian National Nanofabrication facility, Media releases

A sharkskin-inspired coating on planes will save thousands of dollars per flight and slash carbon emissions, says Aussie start-up, MicroTau.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) today announces a $5.6 million investment in MicroTau’s ‘sharkskin’ technology developed with the help of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF).

Sharks famously swim smoothly and quietly, helped by their unique skin with thousands of overlapping layers of tiny ‘scales’ or denticles to reduce their drag in the water.

Mimicking this structure on airplanes reduces turbulence, increases flying speed, and cuts fuel emissions and cost. Unfortunately, it is excruciatingly difficult to replicate the microscopic grooves and bumps with traditional manufacturing.

MicroTau have solved this puzzle using specialist laser manufacturing technology to rapidly produce the shark skin pattern in a light-curable material onto large, self-adhesive patches. Today’s funding announcement will allow them to scale-up manufacturing and grow their team of scientists, engineers, and business development specialists.

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Stem-cell models reveal glaucoma secrets  

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Media releases

Australian researchers uncover hidden genetic markers of glaucoma.

Stem cell models of the retina and optical nerve have been used to identify previously unknown genetic markers of glaucoma, in research jointly led by scientists from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Eye Research Australia. The findings open the door to new treatment for glaucoma, which is the world’s leading cause of permanent blindness.

“We saw how the genetic causes of glaucoma act in single cells, and how they vary in different people. Current treatments can only slow the loss of vision, but this understanding is the first step towards drugs that target individual cell types,” says Professor Joseph Powell, joint lead author at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

The research, published today in the journal Cell Genomics, comes out of a long-running collaboration between Australian medical research centres to use stem-cell models to uncover the underlying genetic causes of complicated diseases.

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Rocks smashing into planets give clues about planetary evolution

Australian Institute of Physics

Images and media kit download

Planetary scientist Katarina Miljkovic is discussing how she uses “space rocks” to understand how planets form. She’s available for interview and is giving free public talks this week in North Sydney, Wollongong, and Canberra.

The planets in our solar system are vastly different although they all formed from the same cloud of gas and dust around a star – our sun. Why is this?

Associate Professor Katarina Miljkovic works at Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre and School of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

She thinks the answers lie in studying how asteroids, comets and meteors bombarded the planets in the past, changing the surface conditions.

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Backyard astronomers win recognition from the professionals

Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA), Media releases

200 supernovae found by six mates – enabling discoveries about the evolution of stars and the ingredients of life

Ex-miner from Broken Hill discovers a massive electrical storm on Saturn and guides NASA mission

Two amateur astronomy projects were awarded the 2022 Page Medal on Saturday 16 April at the National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers held online.

The six friends who make up The Backyard Observatory Supernova Search (BOSS) Team monitor distant galaxies to detect the death throes of massive stars as they explode in brilliant supernovae. The team then alerts professional telescopes to swing into action and study these phenomena at the crucial moment. The sooner those observations begin, the more is learnt about the lead up to the star’s final moments.

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An immune ‘fingerprint’ reveals path for better treatment of autoimmune diseases

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Media releases

Most autoimmune diseases are easy to diagnose but hard to treat. A paper published in Science proposes using your unique immune cell fingerprint to rapidly identify which treatments will work for your autoimmune disease.

‘We analysed the genomic profile of over one million cells from 1,000 people to identify a fingerprint linking genetic markers to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease,’ says Professor Joseph Powell, joint lead author at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. ‘We were able to do this using single cell sequencing, a new technology that allows us to detect subtle changes in individual cells,’ he says.

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