Fresh Science is a national competition that has been helping early-career researchers find, and then share their stories of discovery for the past 22 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.
Read some of the fresh science we discovered in 2021 here.
Click here to visit the Fresh Science website
Half of people who have ACL knee surgery get arthritis by 40, but exercise therapy study by La Trobe researcher / ex-AFLW footballer shows we can keep people active
- Meet researchers, physios and patients
- Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre (60 Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne)
- Monday 24th Jan, 10.30am
Australians have the highest rates of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) knee injuries worldwide, and young Australians are most at risk, with a 74% increase in knee surgery in people under 25 since 2000. Half the people who’ve had a knee reconstruction develop knee arthritis in their 30s, which means a less active lifestyle and potentially even a knee replacement in middle-age.
La Trobe University researcher Dr Brooke Patterson, a former basketballer and AFLW footballer, is driven by her own ACL injury to prevent the rise of this crippling condition and keep people playing sport for longer.
RMIT researchers call on Melburnians to plant the right plants and create the right homes for native pollinators.
They say we’ll get better tomato crops, more flowers and boost urban biodiversity.
- Meet RMIT researchers, community gardeners, native bees and wasps
- South Melbourne BEE Gardens, part of the Heart Gardening Project
- Corner of Moray and Cobden Streets in South Melbourne
Link for footage from Botanic Gardens and images of native bees
As Melbourne’s gardens burst into life after a wet spring, native insects are out looking for flowers and pollen. City gardeners rely on bees, butterflies and other insects to pollinate their plants, which is how flowering plants reproduce and grow fruit or seeds.
But city gardens often don’t have the right types of food and homes for these helpful native bees and flies, with knock-on effects for our gardens and for biodiversity. Urban ecologist Katherine Berthon from RMIT University found that only 43% of flowers in the Melbourne city gardens she studied were being used by bees and other pollinating insects.
Research conducted by former Fresh Science participant Dale Robinson has been covered in the 2020-2021 edition of Defence Science and Technology’s Outlook magazine.
Dr Robinson is a biomedical engineer at the University of Melbourne.
Minimising severe injury from blast events on military vehicles
Blast events inflicted on military vehicles are a consistent threat in contemporary conflicts. Developing equipment that better protects soldiers from this threat has become the focus of significant military research. It is critical to understand how severe injuries are inflicted and how forces from blast events are transmitted to the human body in order to strengthen blast protection for soldiers.
Researchers have been able to pick a water leak within 1 percent of its location within seconds.
Artificial intelligence combined with pressure waves has been used to find faults in major water pipelines faster and more cheaply than existing methods.
Jessica Bohorquez and researchers from the University of Adelaide have developed a system that utilises the deep learning capability of AI and has dramatically increased the chances of detecting cracks in underground pipes.
“In a country where water is scarce, there is an urgent need for this type of technology,” says Jessica.
Using a face mask, Adelaide researchers have a new way to detect a major hidden equine health issue.
Up to 80 percent of horses – including racehorses and showjumpers – suffer from a form of asthma that affects their performance and wellbeing.
Researchers led by veterinarian Surita Du Preez from the University of Adelaide are designing a way to detect the condition – which often produces no obvious symptoms – without adding further stress to the affected animals.
“Currently the methods that are available to diagnose the mild to moderate form of horse asthma are invasive,” says Surita.
A new type of concrete that is
made out of waste materials and can bend under load has been developed by
researchers from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.
This material, which
incorporates industrial waste products such as fly ash produced by coal-fired
power stations, is especially suited for construction in earthquake zones – in
which the brittle nature of conventional concrete often leads to disastrous
Using zircon crystals, researchers have discovered the route of a massive ancient river that could help find new reservoirs of fossil fuels and suggest how modern rivers might change over time.
More than two thirds of the worlds’ major cities are located in coastal deltas. How they change over time can impact communities that live around them.
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.
Written by Akila Rekima and the University of Western Australia. For the full UWA press release, click here.
A research team at UWA is investigating the complex
interactions of breast milk with allergens and baby’s gut immune system.
They’ve found that food-derived but also airborne allergens are present in breast milk. Some do give protection and reduce allergies later in life.