Who will win the Oscars of Australian science?

Bulletins, Media bulletins

The Eurekas – the Oscars of Australian science – announced this Wednesday evening

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes will be announced this Wednesday evening, 4 September at Sydney Town Hall in the presence of 700 science, government, cultural and media leaders.

There are 52 finalists. They know who they are, but they won’t know if they’ve won until each of the 18 prizes is announced on the evening. As each prize is announced we’ll tweet from @eurekaprizes with the hashtag #Eureka13

The finalists are from every state and are available for interview now.

We also know who will win, and where they’ll be so we can line up interviews for them for Thursday. If you have a critical need to know about any winners on embargo then we may be able to brief you. We’re very cautious about damaging the atmosphere of the evening.

Want to chat with the Eureka Prize winners and finalists?

To line up interviews with winners or finalists, contact:

There are short videos featuring each finalist online – which you’re welcome to use in your coverage of the Eurekas. Watch them at the Australian Museum’s YouTube playlist.

And there’s a full list of finalists with a bit of background at the Australian Museum website.

The 2013 Eureka Prizes finalists have discovered:

  • Better bulls emit less methane (Armidale)
  • How to use car tyres to make steel (Sydney/Newcastle)
  • The causes and effects of catastrophic firestorms (Sydney/Canberra)
  • How bats can help us treat deadly diseases (Geelong)

They’ve invented:

  • A hypodermic camera to guide surgeons (Perth)
  • A bionic eye to proof-of-concept stage (Melbourne/Sydney)
  • Nanotechnologies to deliver drugs to their targets (Melbourne)

They’ve revealed:

  • The sinister effects of micro-plastics in the oceans (Sydney)
  • How to personalise leukaemia therapy (Sydney)
  • How to slow the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Melbourne)
  • The mysteries of locust swarming (Sydney)

The 2013 L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships

Last week in Melbourne, three early-career women researchers were awarded the 2013 L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships.

They’re part of L’Oréal’s global program to celebrate and support women in science. Each year three Australian women are awarded $25,000 Fellowships, which may be used for any expenses they incur, including childcare.

The three remarkable young women who’ve won this year’s Fellowships are:

Read more about their work at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal, and if you’d like to chat with them, drop a note to Tamzin Byrne on tamzin@scienceinpublic.com.au.

Misty also had a paper published over the weekend.

Watching assassin cells at work

L’Oréal Fellow Misty Jenkins and her colleagues at the Peter Mac have a paper published on Sunday that reveals how our immune cells kill damaged, virus-infected or cancerous cells taking between one and two minutes to make the hit. Then these serial killers are free to strike again. And although the killer cells themselves are vulnerable to the poisons they use, they are somehow able to protect themselves from damage.

That’s the chilling picture painted in the paper in the 1 September edition of the The Journal of Immunology of which Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute researchers Dr Jamie Lopez and Dr Misty Jenkins are joint first authors. Jenkins was last week was awarded a prestigious L’Oréal Australian and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship for her work on killer T cells.

The findings should open the way to better understanding and more efficient cooperation with the immune system in treating disease.

Read more at  www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal

Sept 9: bringing better wheat to growers faster than ever

Victorian wheat growers are set to benefit from Aussie-grown technology – researchers at the University of Queensland have developed a strain of wheat which is resistant to stripe rust and pre-harvest sprouting.

It’s one of the first products of a new breeding strategy which slashes the time needed to introduce useful genes into existing crop varieties from 10 or 20 years to about five years.

They’re now working with local Ballarat grower-owned seed company GrainSearch, and these elite wheat lines are currently being grown in field trials in Victoria and New South Wales.

Meet one of the farmers who’ll benefit from the technology at a press call in Inverleigh, Victoria.

When: Monday 9 September, 2013

Where: Cnr Hamilton Hwy & Brocks Rd, Inverleigh, Victoria (field trial site)

Email Tamzin Byrne on tamzin@scienceinpublic.com.au for more details.