Fresh Science is a national competition that has been helping early-career researchers find, and then share their stories of discovery for the past 18 years.
Taking young researchers with no media experience and turning them into spokespeople for science, Fresh Science gives its finalists a taste of life in the limelight, with a day of media training and a public event in their home state.
In 2015 Fresh Science ran in every mainland state, with 61 Fresh Scientists in six state events, and seven public events bringing Fresh Science to around 1000 members of the public.
Read some of the fresh science we discovered in 2015 here.
Nanotech technique could revolutionise neurological treatments.
Light could replace invasive techniques to measure brain temperature– eliminating the need to place a thermometer in the brain when treating a range of neurological disorders.
Researchers from Victoria’ Swinburne University have teamed up with Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain and Stanford University in the US to develop a technique for measuring sub-degree brain temperature changes using near-infrared light.
The iconic Australian tea tree (Melaleuca decora) is more vulnerable than native eucalypt species to extreme temperature and moisture stress, Western Sydney University researcher Anne Griebel has discovered.
To make the finding, Anne and colleagues fitted instruments that measure the exchange of carbon, water and heat at 10 times a second to an extendable mast on a trailer deployed in a critically endangered woodland in Western Sydney.
Animals play critical roles in ecosystems, but they are broadly overlooked in assessments of mine site restoration success says Sophie Cross, an ecologist at Curtin University.
She tracked Australia’s largest lizard species, the perentie, using VHF radio and GPS tracking, and walked hundreds of kilometres through unmined and restoration bushland on a mine site in the mid-west region of Western Australia for her study published in the Australian Journal of Zoology.
Researchers discover how whooping cough is evolving paving the way to a new
Whooping cough strains are adapting to better infect
humans, a team of Sydney researchers has found.
The scientists, led by microbiologist Dr Laurence Luu of the University
of New South Wales, may have solved the mystery of why, despite
widespread vaccinations, the respiratory disease has been resurgent in
Australia across the past decade. There have been more than 200,000 cases
recorded during the period.
We can’t easily monitor the health
of plants, by the time we see that they’re sick it’s usually too late to save
that. That’s an issue for your house plants, a field of wheat, orchards and
Karina Khambatta has developed a
way to use the waxy surface of leaves to monitor their health.
Currently the technique uses
infrared spectroscopy to study changes seen throughout leaf senescence. Karina
has had the opportunity to utilise the infrared microscopy lab located at the
Australian Synchrotron to help correlate her infrared studies undertaken at
Curtin University, but Karina believes it can be turned into a handheld device
that could be used on-farm, like reading a barcode.
Climbing trees reveals a housing shortage for tree-rats and other endangered animals.
Estimates of tree hollows – which form the houses of
several endangered species in northern Australia – are much too high,
researchers at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory have found.
And the discovery could be bad news for several of
Australia’s most vulnerable species, including the Black-Footed Tree-Rat (Mesembriomys gouldii) and Brush Tailed Rabbit-Rat (Conilurus penicillatus).
helps rangers protect national parks, despite tight budgets.
Mathematics can help reduce poaching and illegal logging in national parks, researchers have found.
team of applied mathematicians including Macquarie University’s David Arnold
has developed an algorithm that predicts which areas inside park boundaries
offer the greatest possibilities for criminals – and how rangers can most
efficiently combat them.
close in on an objective measure for physical distress.
A new microscope-based method for detecting a particular molecule in the spinal cord could help lead to an accurate and independent universal pain scale, research from Australia’s Macquarie University suggests.
An accurate way of
measuring pain is of critical importance because at present degrees of
discomfort are generally assessed by asking a patient to estimate pain on a
one-to-10 scale. The situation is even more acute in the treatment of babies,
the very old and animals, where speech is absent.