Sky survey provides clues to how they change over time.
The direction in which a galaxy spins depends on its mass, researchers have found.
A team of astrophysicists analysed 1418 galaxies and found that small ones are likely to spin on a different axis to large ones. The rotation was measured in relation to each galaxy’s closest “cosmic filament” – the largest structures in the universe.
Filaments are massive thread-like formations, comprising huge amounts of matter – including galaxies, gas and, modelling implies, dark matter. They can be 500 million light years long but just 20 million light years wide. At their largest scale, the filaments divide the universe into a vast gravitationally linked lattice interspersed with enormous dark matter voids.
Public events in Sydney 11 Nov, Melbourne 18 Nov and online
Case studies/patients also available from the Mito Foundation.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is
inviting all Australians to provide their views on the use of a new assisted
reproductive technology that might assist in preventing certain rare mitochondrial
diseases but which requires careful ethical and social consideration.
Consultation is open until Friday 29 November 2019.
Mitochondrial donation might be able to assist in the
prevention of mitochondrial DNA disease in an estimated 60 children born each
year in Australia. However, there are
social and ethical issues to consider including:
using mitochondrial DNA from a donor (using IVF technology) so that the child has DNA from three people
the rights of children to know their full genetic heritage
the potential risks and benefits of the technology, and
the implications for future generations.
donation is in limited use in the UK and some other countries, but not
law prohibits the creation of babies using DNA from more than two people and
also prohibits making changes to an embryo or egg that can be passed down to
future generations. NHMRC is asking the Australian community to consider the
social and ethical issues associated with mitochondrial donation. NHMRC will
then provide advice to the Australian Government.
asking the community to tell us what you think. Should Australia change the
legislation to allow the use of mitochondrial donation in clinical practice?”
says Professor Anne Kelso, CEO of NHMRC.
Read on for a list of experts and comments. All experts are
available for interview.
Issues paper available at: www.nhmrc.gov.au/mito Video with expert comments available at: http://bit.ly/2NeI7gW. Public forums in Sydney on 11 November and Melbourne on 18 November plus online briefing. Submissions close 29 November at www.nhmrc/gov.au/mito.
endurance of heart cells and remarkable plasticity of breasts have won two
Queensland researchers $50,000 each in the annual Metcalf Prizes, awarded by
the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.
A novel citizen science project in New Caledonia finds an ‘astonishing’ number of venomous reptiles in a popular swimming spot.
A group of snorkelling
grandmothers is helping scientists better understand marine ecology by
photographing venomous sea snakes in waters off the city of Noumea, New Caledonia.
Two years ago the seven women, all in their 60s and 70s, who call
themselves “the fantastic grandmothers”, offered to help scientists Dr Claire
Goiran from the University of New Caledonia and Professor Rick Shine from
Australia’s Macquarie University in their quest to document the sea snake
population in a popular swimming spot known as Baie des citrons.
Apex marine predators choose who they hang with, researchers reveal.
White sharks form
communities, researchers have revealed.
solitary predators, white sharks (Carcharodon
carcharias) gather in large numbers at certain times of year in
order to feast on baby seals.
These groupings, scientists had assumed, were essentially random – the result of individual sharks all happening to turn up in the same area, attracted by abundant food.
a group of researchers including behavioural ecologist Stephan Leu from
Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia, have used photo-identification
and network analysis to show that many of the apex predators hang out in groups
which persist for years.
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.