This week at Science in Public

This Week

Science in Public is open for business with a full suite of services including our training, which is available via Zoom, Teams, Skype etc: Our team of six salaried staff are all working from home and we’re working hard to ensure that we can keep everything rolling.

Whale shark story, Embargoed to 6 April, paper available on page, contact Andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au for password.

ATSE health technology report, Embargoed to 7 April, full report available on page, contact Tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au for password.

Detecting asthma in horses: Using a face mask, Adelaide researchers have a new way to detect a major hidden equine health issue.

Solving a mystery in 126 dimensions: After 90 years, scientists reveal the structure of benzene.

New bendable cement-free concrete: Swinburne researchers have developed a new cement-free concrete that can potentially make safer, long-lasting and greener infrastructure.

Ghostly traces of massive ancient river revealed: Using zircon crystals, researchers have discovered the route of a massive ancient river that could help find new reservoirs of fossil fuels and suggest how modern rivers might change over time.

We’re open for business

Other

Science in Public is open for business with a full suite of services including our training, which is available via Zoom, Teams, Skype etc.

The Science in Public team pre-COVID

Our team of six salaried staff are all working from home and we’re working hard to ensure that we can keep everything rolling. Government support is helping.

A few weeks ago, we thought we would be badly affected by COVID and its impact on universities. Today, we realise that we’re luckier than most small businesses. You, our clients, are successfully transitioning to home working. Our work and our products are largely created, stored and distributed online.

The Science in Public team post-COVID

And we hope that there will be a renaissance of interest in science as people recognise its importance in guiding and protecting society. Although many labs are now closed, the business of science goes on: results are still being correlated, and analysed, papers are still being written, submitted and going through peer review; journals are still being published; grant applications are still being compiled; award nominations are still being written.

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Detecting asthma in horses

Fresh Science

Using a face mask, Adelaide researchers have a new way to detect a major hidden equine health issue.

Up to 80 percent of horses – including racehorses and showjumpers – suffer from a form of asthma that affects their performance and wellbeing.

Researchers led by veterinarian Surita Du Preez from the University of Adelaide are designing a way to detect the condition – which often produces no obvious symptoms – without adding further stress to the affected animals.

“Currently the methods that are available to diagnose the mild to moderate form of horse asthma are invasive,” says Surita.

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Solving a mystery in 126 dimensions

Other

After 90 years, scientists reveal the structure of benzene.

One of the fundamental mysteries of chemistry has been solved by Australian scientists – and the result may have implications for future designs of solar cells, organic light-emitting diodes and other next gen technologies.

Ever since the 1930s debate has raged inside chemistry circles concerning the fundamental structure of benzene. It is a debate that in recent years has taken on added urgency, because benzene – which comprises six carbon atoms matched with six hydrogen atoms – is the smallest molecule that can be used in the production of opto-electronic materials, which are revolutionising renewable energy and telecommunications tech.

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New bendable cement-free concrete can potentially make safer, long-lasting and greener infrastructure.

Fresh Science, Media releases

A new type of concrete that is made out of waste materials and can bend under load has been developed by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

This material, which incorporates industrial waste products such as fly ash produced by coal-fired power stations, is especially suited for construction in earthquake zones – in which the brittle nature of conventional concrete often leads to disastrous building collapses.

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Ghostly traces of massive ancient river revealed

Fresh Science

Using zircon crystals, researchers have discovered the route of a massive ancient river that could help find new reservoirs of fossil fuels and suggest how modern rivers might change over time.

More than two thirds of the worlds’ major cities are located in coastal deltas. How they change over time can impact communities that live around them.

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You saw sawfish!

Media releases, Other

Hundreds of citizen science sightings reveal opportunities to protect Australia’s four iconic sawfish species

Green Sawfish (P. zijsron) – Weipa, QLD 2019
  • New hotspots for green sawfish in Weipa and Karratha.
  • A sawfish nursery in the Brisbane River until about 1950.
  • Evidence that sawfish have not completely disappeared from NSW waters, with a Newcastle sighting.
  • Juvenile sawfish reported down the WA coast.
  • More action needed in Queensland as only one species reported south of Cooktown.
  • A new call to action to step up conservation and assess the impact of net-free zones in Weipa and Queensland’s east coast.
  • And keep reporting your sightings. Together we can save sawfish.
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Making light work more cheaply

ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, Media releases
Dr Girish Lakhwani, chief investigator for the Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science.

Australian researchers unlock the key to cheaper high-tech telecom and medical diagnostic devices.

Scientists and engineers will soon have a much cheaper way of stabilising, blocking and steering light – potentially lowering the costs of high-tech equipment used in telecommunications, medical diagnostics and consumer electronics.

Researchers led by Dr Girish Lakhwani, a chief investigator for the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (ACEx), have found a way to manipulate light produced by lasers at a fraction of the cost of existing methods.

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Innovative projects to help Australians celebrate science

National Science Week

Media release from The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

Forensic science, ocean sustainability and pop-up health lab projects are among those being funded by the Morrison Government’s 2020 National Science Week Grants.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said 33 projects across Australia will share in $500,000 of funding to support creative and engaging events during National Science Week in August.

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Brain temperature can now be measured using light

Fresh Science, Media releases

Nanotech technique could revolutionise neurological treatments.

Light could replace invasive techniques to measure brain temperature– eliminating the need to place a thermometer in the brain when treating a range of neurological disorders.

Researchers from Victoria’ Swinburne University have teamed up with Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain and Stanford University in the US to develop a technique for measuring sub-degree brain temperature changes using near-infrared light. 

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