Two Australian scientists have each been awarded AUD$1.25
million CSL Centenary Fellowships over five years to improve treatments for two
of the world’s biggest health challenges: malaria and cancer. The Fellowships
will be presented in Perth at the Australian Academy for Health and Medical
Research Gala Dinner on 10 October.
We had a great run with the Prizes from 2004 to 2018. But all good things come to an end. So please don’t contact us for media information, go straight to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be at the dinner on 16 October waiting with bated breath to find out who the 2019 winners are.
15 years ago, Peter McGauran, Gemma Allman and Virginia Cook placed their trust in us to publicise the Prizes when Science in Public was in its infancy. As awareness of the Prizes has grown so has Science in Public. Please read on for some comments on our journey with the Prizes and for our thanks to the many people who contributed. Or jump to the next post to access profiles of past winners.
Researchers find evidence of a cataclysmic flare that punched so far out of the Galaxy its impact was felt 200,000 light years away.
titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black
hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a
cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into
the finding arising from research conducted by a team of scientists led by
Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for All
Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) and soon to be published in The
Analysis of reef damage in the Indo-Pacific during the 2016 El Nino reveals that several different stressors influence bleaching.
Scientists in the Indian and Pacific Oceans used the El Nino of 2016 – the warmest year on record – to evaluate the role of excess heat as the leading driver of coral bleaching and discovered the picture was more nuanced than existing models showed.
The findings were, in a word, complicated, according to marine researchers led by the US based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The international cohort included scientists from Macquarie University in NSW, the University of Queensland, University of WA and two western Australian state government departments.
The shape of immune cells plays key role in recognising invaders.
The way immune cells pick friends from foes can be described by a classic maths puzzle known as the “narrow escape problem”.
That’s a key finding arising from an international
collaboration between biologists, immunologists and mathematicians, published
in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The narrow escape problem is a framework often applied in cellular
biology. It posits randomly moving particles trapped in a space with only a
tiny exit, and calculates the average time required for each one to escape.
Members of at least one species choose mates and egg sites based on where they were born, research reveals
a lifelong influence on butterflies as well as humans, new research reveals.
In a paper
published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological
Sciences, Macquarie University ARC Future Fellow Associate Professor
Darrell Kemp reveals that the American passionfruit butterfly, Heliconius
charithonia, selects its mate and egg-laying site based on the species of
plant that hosted its own egg.
Researchers hunt for a 12-billion-year-old signal that marks the end of the post Big Bang “dark age”.
are closing in on a signal that has been travelling
across the Universe for 12 billion years, bringing them nearer to understanding
the life and death of the very earliest stars.
paper on the preprint site arXiv and
soon to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, a team led by Dr Nichole Barry from Australia’s University of Melbourne and
the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO
3D) reports a 10-fold improvement on data gathered by the Murchison Widefield
Array (MWA) – a collection of 4096 dipole antennas
set in the remote hinterland of Western Australia.
Collaboration investigates the link between changing sea levels, global warming and the health of marine wetlands.
Carbon dioxide capture by coastal ecosystems operates in direct relation
to the speed of sea level rise.
That was the conclusion of extensive research conducted by a team of
scientists from Macquarie
University, University of Wollongong and ANSTO – work that has now won the
scientists the NSW
Environment, Energy and Science (DPIE) Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.
Science In Public’s Michael Lucy wins a Eureka Prize
Michael won the award – presented at a glittering ceremony
at the Australian Museum in Sydney on Wednesday, August 28 – for a feature he
wrote on plastic pollution. The story was published in Cosmos magazine.
At the time of publication, Michael was also features
editor of the magazine, working alongside editor Andrew Masterson – who is now
editor-in-chief at Science In Public.
The NISEP program has helped almost 1000 Indigenous school children enter leadership roles.
The National Indigenous Science
Education Program (NISEP),
based at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Sydney’s Macquarie
University, won the inaugural the Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion at the 2019 Australian Museum Eureka
The awards were
held in Sydney on Wednesday, August 28.
Early results from Australia-wide experiment suggest being outdoors can be a good way to trigger “aha” moments.
People are most likely to have a sudden bright idea when
out in the bush – or lying in bed.
That’s one of the early observations arising from The Aha!
Challenge, the month-long Australia-wide science experiment that kicked off
during National Science Week and runs until the end of August.
The experiment, which revolves around a series of online
brainteasers, aims to explore sudden bursts of clarity and insight, and their
role in problem-solving. In effect, it’s a nationwide quest to find the things
that make you go “aha!”…
researchers identify ancient protein pumps that make bacteria tough to treat –
but could be key to new green polymers
The molecular machinery used by bacteria to
resist chemicals designed to kill them could also help produce precursors for a
new generation of nylon and other polymers, according to new research by
scientists from Australia and the UK.
“Resistance to artificial antiseptics
appears to be a lucky accident for the bacteria, and it could also be useful
for humans,” says Professor Ian Paulsen of Australia’s Macquarie University,
one of the leaders of the research group.
Researchers set up Australia-wide experiment to explore why and when the pennies drop.
Scientists want to know the things that make you go “aha!”.
Throughout August, researchers from the University of
Melbourne are conducting a country-wide citizen science project to better
understand how the human brain works.
The focus of the project, dubbed The Aha! Challenge,
is to investigate the kind of sudden problem-solving insight that makes you
spontaneously exclaim “yes!” or “at last!” or, indeed, “aha!”. It’s the ABC’s
community project for National Science Week.
Australian scientists develop cheap and rapid way to identify antibiotic-resistant golden staph (MRSA).
A combination of off-the-shelf quantum dot nanotechnology
and a smartphone camera soon could allow doctors to identify
antibiotic-resistant bacteria in just 40 minutes, potentially saving patient
Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), is a common form of bacterium that causes serious and sometimes fatal conditions such as pneumonia and heart valve infections. Of particular concern is a strain that does not respond to methicillin, the antibiotic of first resort, and is known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.
reports estimate that 700 000 deaths globally could be attributed to antimicrobial
resistance, such as methicillin-resistance. Rapid identification of MRSA is
essential for effective treatment, but current methods make it a challenging
process, even within well-equipped hospitals.
Chinese-Australian research finds climate change good news, and solves an evolutionary mystery
Baby turtles influence their gender by moving around inside
their eggs, research has revealed.
The idea that an embryo reptile can act in a way that
affects its chances of developing as male or female has long been thought
impossible, but findings by scientists from China and Australia have now provided
clear proof of the process.
The research, published in the journal Current Biology,
solves a long-standing evolutionary mystery – and offers hope that at least
some species thought especially vulnerable to effects of climate change will prove
more robust than thought.