Something for everyone today:
- the world’s smartest aquarium in Townsville
- protecting the world’s beer supply
- junk DNA and cell development
- Eureka Prizes finalists – from every state
- ten stunning science images available for publication
In Queensland, the world’s smartest research aquarium has just opened. It will help us fight the crown-of-thorns starfish.
Innovation Minister Kim Carr has just launched SeaSim, a $35 million research aquarium that can get closer to replicating the conditions of the open ocean, a reef lagoon, or flooding rivers, that any other facility in the world.
“It’s awesome,” says marine researcher Mike Hall from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
“When we started planning SeaSim we visited over 40 marine aquariums around the world to identify key attributes of the perfect research facility. What we’ve built takes the best in the world and adds new technologies and an incredible level of automation and control.”
“Fighting the crown-of-thorns starfish is one of the highest priorities for SeaSim. We need to understand why starfish populations periodically boom, leading to massive reef destruction,” says John Gunn, AIMS CEO.
More information, including factsheets, print-quality images and broadcast quality videos, is available at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/marine
- Sarah Brooker, Science in Public on firstname.lastname@example.org, 0413 332 489, (03) 9398 1416
The biggest celebration of the best of Australian science: Eureka prize finalists announced tomorrow at 9:00am.
Across Australia, the 52 finalists for the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are crossing their fingers.
Chosen from more than 1,000 entries, they’re competing for a share of $170,000 in 17 prize categories, from research to commercialisation, journalism to education.
Finalists from every state in Australia will be announced tomorrow, Friday 2 August – and they’ll find out if they’ve won at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 4 September.
Details of the 2013 Australian Museum Eureka Prize finalists will be online tomorrow morning from 9:00am at http://eureka.australianmuseum.net.au
Also revealed tomorrow: ten stunning science images
The photographs are startling images that capture the essence of scientific discovery, illustrating the workings of nature or showing things never seen before – such as this image of humpback whales which won last year’s prize.
High res photos from the ten finalists will be available for publication from tomorrow morning, Friday 2 August.
- AJ Epstein, Science in Public on email@example.com, 0433 339 141, (03) 9398 1416
Using genes to counter rust
An international study led by a Queensland scientist has found a way to better safeguard an important food crop — and the world’s beer supply.
Embargo and press call at a barley farm: 10:00am, Monday 5 August
The study, led by University of Queensland geneticist Dr Lee Hickey, identified a gene that protects barley against leaf rust – a disease that each year could destroy almost a third of the national crop.
In Australia, barley is used primarily for beer and stockfeed. The situation is much more significant in North Africa and Southwest Asia, where barley is a critical human food, and rust commonly attacks vulnerable plants.
Lee’s findings, which were published in the journal Theoretical and Applied Genetics, could provide an important boost to global barley production. He has declined to patent the DNA marker, preferring the information to be freely available.
Contact AJ Epstein for more information and interviews:
firstname.lastname@example.org, 0433 339 141, (03) 9398 1416
Sydney scientists have figured out how ‘junk DNA’ can control cell development
Strictly embargoed until 2am Friday morning AEST
Researchers from the Centenary Institute have a significant paper in the journal Cell tomorrow morning.
A release is available on embargo at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/centenary
Contact: Tamzin Byrne for the password and to line up interviews:
email@example.com, 0432 974 400, (03) 9398 1416