Niall

A 380-million-year-old heart

New Curtin-led research discovers the heart of our evolution

Ventral stomach wall and liver of arthrodires (L) and 
reconstruction of arthrodire internal anatomy (R). Source: 
Trinajstic et al. 2022.

Researchers have discovered a 380-million-year-old heart – the oldest ever found – alongside a separate fossilised stomach, intestine and liver in an ancient jawed fish, shedding new light on the evolution of our own bodies.

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Wow, wow, wow. Galaxies collide and tumble in a cosmic dance: Webb reactions

Aussie astronomers react to NASA Webb first images.

Media contacts: Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, or
Jane Watkins, jane@scienceinpublic.com.au,

Nearly 40 researchers across Australia are eagerly awaiting data from Webb for their projects. Many of them are available to talk on Tuesday about what they hope to see with Webb and about their reaction to the first pictures

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Source of ancient Martian rocks found using Perth supercomputer

Now we can sample other planets without leaving home
Published in Nature Communications

Five to ten million years ago an asteroid smashed into Mars. It created a massive crater and propelled a chunk of ancient Martian crust into space as a new meteorite, which eventually crashed into Africa.

We now know where on Mars that meteorite came from, thanks to a supercomputer-powered technology that allows us to explore the geology of planets without leaving home.

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President Biden to release first pics from the $US10 billion James Webb Space Telescope Tuesday 12 July, 7.30 am AEST

What will Australians see with Webb?

Aussie astronomers available for interviews in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.

They’re using Webb to look for the first stars, the first galaxies, baby planets, massive black holes.

Media contacts: Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0417-131-977 or
Jane Watkins, jane@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0425 803 204

Over the past 30 years, Hubble has transformed science and culture, revealing a Universe of 200 billion galaxies. Webb will see further, solving today’s mysteries and creating new ones.

Image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Courtesy of NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

On Tuesday morning Joe Biden will release ‘the first picture’ then NASA will release a suite of images early Wednesday morning from the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble.

Nearly 40 researchers across Australia are eagerly awaiting data from web for their projects. Many of them are available to talk on Tuesday about what they hope to see with Webb and about their reaction to the first pictures.

Much of the Webb data is flowing back to Earth through Tidbinbilla, and some comes from an instrument designed by Peter Tuthill at the University of Sydney. He is relieved and excited. “This is a day I have been looking forward to for a big part of my career. Everything about the Webb is so over-the-top audacious – from the titanic articulated mirror down to its orbit out in the cold voids of interplanetary space.”

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First James Webb pictures – comments from Australian users

Professor Karl Glazebrook, Swinburne University/ASTRO 3D

Dr. Elisabete da Cunha, UWA/ICRAR/ASTRO 3D

Dr Nicha Leethochawalit, University of Melbourne/ ASTRO 3D,

Dr. Kathryn Grasha, ANU/ASTRO 3D

Professor Peter Tuthill, University of Sydney

Dr Benjamin Pope, University of Queensland

Professor James Miller-Jones, Curtin University

Dr Christophe Pinte, Monash University, Melbourne

Professor Simon Driver, UWA, Perth

Associate Professor Kim-Vy Tran, Astrophysicist, UNSW

Professor Orsola De Marco, Macquarie University

Tidbinbilla (Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex)

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Rethinking eating disorders from the inside out

Australia’s first national research and translation strategy for a mental health disorder

Online launch 10:15 am AEST, Tuesday 21 September 2021: media welcome, https://www.streamgate.co/insideout-institute/

At least a million Australians affected by eating disorders, but only about 200,000 receive evidence-based treatment

  • Leading psychiatric cause of death
  • Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa and other eating disorders are having a profound impact on individuals, families and communities
  • National research strategy launched today says we can improve early identification and treatments and even prevent eating disorders
  • The strategy outlines the ten questions that need answers for us to improve the quality of life for all affected Australians and their families.
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50+ countries, 300 physicists meet to address global shortage of women in physics

11 July 2021

We need all our best brains to solve global challenges.

And we need to empower women who want an intellectual life to explore big ideas. But,

  • over 99 per cent of physics students at Burkina Faso’s largest university are male
  • no women have graduated in physical sciences at The University of El Salvador between 2017 and 2020
  • in Chile, the percentage of women working full time in universities and research centres has stayed around 14 per cent for years
  • Cuba is doing better, where 20 per cent of physicists are women. But that’s less than a third of the overall percentage of women in the highly qualified workforce (68 per cent)
  • around 24 per cent of Germany’s physics PhDs are awarded to women. And they’re training thousands of physicists from other countries with 43% of women pursuing a PhD in physics being international
  • 95% of Irish students study science up to age 16 years, only four per cent of girls follow through with physics in their final years
  • the Netherlands is approaching 30% women in undergraduate physics enrolments, with steady increases
  • the United Kingdom has seen slight increases in women students from 21% in 2012/13 to 24% in 2017/18
  • Iranian women are leading the way in physics, making up around 55% of PhD candidates. And all physics teachers in female high schools are now women, further encouraging girls to pursue education in physics.

And in Australia? Women account for only 25% of Australian year 12 physics students. As they progress through university and research most fall away. A recent study in Nature noted that it will take until 2060 to achieve 33 per cent gender equity in astronomy research in Australia.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has recognised a need to foster the participation of women in physics. This is IUPAP’s seventh International Conference on Women in Physics.

From 11-16 July they’re bringing together 300+ physicists from over 50 countries for a virtual conference, co-chaired by Dr Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist of Australia, and Professor Sarah Maddison, Swinburne University.

“Over the next week we will discuss what’s working, what’s not working, and what can affluent nations do to support women into physical science careers in developing nations,” says Cathy.

“The impact of COVID on research has set back gender equity,” says Cathy. “But it’s also introduced new ways of working online that could benefit women. This conference is one example.”

Over the next week we will be bringing you stories from the conference, with women physicists from Australia, international and developing nations available for interview.

For more information and interviews visit www.scienceinpublic.com.au/iupap-women and contact:
Laura Boland, laura@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0408 166 426
Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0417 131 977