Media releases

A new tool to measure social inclusion to save lives

Work, housing and friendships are core factors to feeling included.

A new tool developed by researchers at Orygen to measure and monitor social inclusion was tested with more than 500 young people.

By identifying the early signs of isolation and loneliness, support can be provided to prevent more serious mental ill-health.

In mental healthcare, simple screening tools for common conditions like depression and anxiety make it possible to diagnose people quickly and get help sooner.

A new tool developed at Orygen does the same, but for social inclusion: the F-SIM (Filia Social Inclusion Measure), developed by Dr Kate Filia and being presented in Hobart this week at the Society for Mental Health Research conference, could help to pinpoint the causes of isolation and social exclusion,

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$185 million investment to fast-track treatments for rare and ‘untreatable’ cancers

A private public partnership to strengthen Australia’s position at the forefront of the cancer treatment revolution.

Announced by the Australian Government at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research today.

Over the past decade, immunotherapy and other new treatments have transformed outcomes for thousands of Australians diagnosed with cancer. However, 46,000 Australians a year are diagnosed with cancers with limited treatment options.

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Ancient campfires reveal a 50,000 year old grocer and pharmacy

For the first time in Australia, archaeobotany has been used by researchers from UWA to examine charcoal from ancient campfires in the Western Desert.

They found wattle and other Acacias which proves it was (and still is) used by Indigenous people for tools, food and medicine.

The iconic wattle isn’t just about sports uniforms and the coat of arms – new finds in the oldest archaeological site on the land of the Martu in the Western Desert shows how wattle has defined culture and been important to Australians for over 50,000 years.

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Single test for over 50 genetic diseases will cut diagnosis from decades to days

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  • A single DNA test has been developed that can screen a patient’s genome for over 50 genetic neurological and neuromuscular diseases such as Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophies and fragile X syndrome.
  • The new test avoids a ‘diagnostic odyssey’ for patients that can take decades.
  • The team, from Australia, UK and Israel, has shown, in a paper today in Science Advances that the test is accurate. They are now working on validations to make it available in pathology labs.
  • They expect it to be standard in global pathology labs within five years.

A new DNA test, developed by researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and collaborators from Australia, UK and Israel, has been shown to identify a range of hard-to-diagnose neurological and neuromuscular genetic diseases quicker and more-accurately than existing tests.

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What ingredients went into the galactic blender to create the Milky Way?

Our galaxy is a giant ‘smoothie’ of blended stars and gas but a new study tells us where the components came from

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In its early days, the Milky Way was like a giant smoothie, as if galaxies consisting of billions of stars, and an enormous amount of gas had been thrown together into a gigantic blender. But a new study picks apart this mixture by analysing individual stars to identify which originated inside the galaxy and which began life outside.

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Building a silicon quantum computer chip atom by atom

An atomic array in silicon paves the way for large scale devices

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A University of Melbourne led team have perfected a technique for embedding single atoms in a silicon wafer one-by-one. Their technology offers the potential to make quantum computers using the same methods that have given us cheap and reliable conventional devices containing billions of transistors.

“We could ‘hear’ the electronic click as each atom dropped into one of 10,000 sites in our prototype device. Our vision is to use this technique to build a very, very large-scale quantum device,” says Professor David Jamieson of The University of Melbourne, lead author of the Advanced Materials paper describing the process.

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Too much heavy metal stops stars producing

Stars evolve according to the elements they manufacture

Stars are giant factories that produce most of the elements in the Universe – including the elements in us, and in the Earth’s metal deposits. But what stars produce changes over time.

Two new papers published in MNRAS shed light on how the youngest generation of stars will eventually stop contributing metals back to the universe.

The authors are all members of ASTRO 3D, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions. They are based at Monash University, the Australian National University (ANU), and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

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Closing in on the first light in the Universe

Research using new antennas in the Australian hinterland has reduced background noise and brought us closer to finding a 13-billion-year-old signal

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The early Universe was dark, filled with a hot soup of opaque particles. These condensed to form neutral hydrogen which coalesced to form the first stars in what astronomers call the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR).

“Finding the weak signal of this first light will help us understand how the early stars and galaxies formed,” says Dr Christene Lynch from ASTRO 3D, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.

Dr Lynch is first author on a paper published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. She and her colleagues from Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research have reduced the background noise in their observations allowing them to home in on the elusive signal.

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2021 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research

More ‘good cells’, safer treatments for leukaemia patients – Siok Tey, Brisbane

Making a virtual human cell to explore how we’re made and how we can regenerate damaged organs – Pengyi Yang, Sydney

WINNERS OF THE NATIONAL STEM CELL FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA’S METCALF PRIZES ANNOUNCED TODAY

SCIENTISTS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS:

Research to improve bone marrow transplantation and to use computer science to understand how stem cells work has won two Australian researchers $55,000 each in the annual Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research, awarded by the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

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