As partners in the $245 million SmartSat CRC announced in Adelaide this morning.
research and industry partners are contributing $190 million investment in cash
and in kind to the new Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Satellite
Technologies and Analytics, and the Australian government is contributing a
further $55 million. The CRC is led by the University of South Australia.
new generation of low-cost smart satellite technology has the potential to
enhance agriculture, mining, communication and national security,” says
Associate Professor Sam Reisenfeld, who leads Macquarie University’s
contribution to the CRC.
Nature Materials paper Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Artist’s impression of the polaritonic photon conversion platform. Laser photons enter through the top mirror and leave through the bottom mirror exhibiting quantum ‘granularity’ – after interacting with the semiconductor layer. Image: Andrew Wood
An international team of researchers led out of Macquarie University has demonstrated a new approach for converting ordinary laser light into genuine quantum light.
Their approach uses nanometre-thick films made of gallium arsenide, which is a semiconductor material widely used in solar cells. They sandwich the thin films between two mirrors to manipulate the incoming photons.
The photons interact with electron-hole pairs in the semiconductor, forming new chimeric particles called polaritons that carry properties from both the photons and the electron-hole pairs. The polaritons decay after a few picoseconds, and the photons they release exhibit distinct quantum signatures.
The teams’ research was published overnight in the journal Nature Materials.
The flooded gum or rose gum (Eucalyptus grandis). Photo: Geoexplore
An Aussie eucalypt can ‘remember’ past exposure to extreme heat, which makes the tree and its offspring better able to cope with future heatwaves, according to new research from Macquarie University.
This finding could have important implications for restoring ecosystems and climate-proofing forestry, as the number of hot days and heatwaves increase due to climate change.
A slightly exaggerated impression of the real shape of our warped and twisted Milky Way. Image: Xiaodian Chen (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The first accurate 3D map of our galaxy reveals its true shape: warped and twisted.
Background information and further images below.
Astronomers from Macquarie University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have used 1339 ‘standard’ stars to map the real shape of our home galaxy in a paper published in Nature Astronomy today.
They found the Milky Way’s disc of stars becomes increasingly ‘warped’ and twisted the further away the stars are from the galaxy’s centre.
A juvenile cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Emma Gorge, Western Australia. Photo: M.G. Swan
Cane toads are picking up some shady habits, according to a new study co-authored by a Macquarie University researcher.
Toads in Western Australia have been spotted awake and active during the day in deeply shaded habitats, despite the species usually being nocturnal in Australia and other parts of the world.
However nearby cane toad populations at more exposed sites remained only active at night.
A promiscuous female fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) marked with paint. Photo: The Wigby Lab
Males have to make less of an effort to mate with promiscuous female fruit flies, making the quality and quantity of their semen all the more important in the competition to fertilise the females’ eggs.
This also leads to male flies repeatedly mating with the same female, according to a paper published overnight in Nature Communications, by researchers from Macquarie University, the University of Oxford and the University of East Anglia, who looked into the eyes of thousands of fruit flies.
Scientists available for interview – details and photos below.
Correction: an earlier version stated the tool is being formally trialed by the NSW Rural Fire SERVICE. It is currently in use, but formal trials ended in 2016.
A fully developed pyrocumulus cloud, formed from the smoke plume of the Grampians fire in February 2013. Credit: Randall Bacon
Firestorms are a nightmare for emergency services and anyone in their path. They occur when a bushfire meets a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental conditions and creates a thunderstorm.
Dr Rachel Badlan and Associate Professor Jason Sharples are part of a team of experts from UNSW Canberra and ACT Emergency Services that has found the shape of a fire is an important factor in whether it will turn into a firestorm.
Fires that form expansive areas of active flame, rather than spreading as a relatively thin fire-front, are more likely to produce higher smoke plumes and turn into firestorms, the researchers found.
This finding is being used to underpin further development of a predictive model for firestorms. The model was trialed in the 2015 and 2016 fire seasons by the ACT Emergency Services Agency and the NSW Rural Fire Service, and now forms part of the national dialogue around extreme bushfire development.
Rice (Oryza sativa) is the major food source for more than half the world’s population. Photo: Pille-Riin Priske/Unsplash CC
Researchers have identified over 5,700 new proteins in rice and are calling for a global effort to find the remaining missing proteins, in a new study co-authored by Macquarie University.
The international team of scientists from Australia, Iran and Japan say there’s an estimated 35,000 proteins encoded by the rice genome, and yet we still don’t have experimental evidence for 82 per cent of them.
This is important because rice is the major food source for more than half the world’s population, and in order for it to grow in warmer climates and with less water we will need to better understand rice at the molecular level. [continue reading…]
From Sydney to Cairns to Darwin to Perth, we want to hear about your sightings – a live fish, a saw on the wall of your local pub, or a photo from your family album.
“Your sightings, no matter how long ago they happened, will help us work out how many sawfish there used to be, how many remain, and how we can help them recover,” says Dr Barbara Wueringer, a zoologist and the director of Sharks and Rays Australia (SARA).
A sawfish caught at Manly, Sydney in 1926.
Photo source: Queensland State Library.
Forty years ago, sawfish were regularly seen off Sydney and the east coast, and Perth and up the west coast. Today they’re rarely seen outside of the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT and the Kimberley.
Oxygen halves child pneumonia deaths
A Melbourne student researcher and doctor has helped Nigerian hospitals halve the number of children dying from pneumonia—just by improving training and access to oxygen.
Dr Hamish Graham has been awarded with the inaugural $20,000 CSL Florey Next Generation Award for top PhD candidate in health and biomedical sciences. [continue reading…]
Canberra, Hobart and Melbourne young health and medical researchers vie for $20,000 top PhD student award
- Eradicating gut worms: a path out of poverty
- Oxygen halves child pneumonia deaths
- Smart blood pressure measurement to cut heart risk
Scientists available for interviews
Media contacts: Tanya Ha, email@example.com, 0404 083 863;
Niall Byrne, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0417 131 977, (03) 9398 1416
Winners of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s Metcalf Prizes announced.
Why do some cancer cells get away? – Heather Lee, Newcastle
Newborn babies offer clues for healing hearts – Enzo Porrello, Melbourne
Scientists available for interviews
A jumping spider commonly found in Australian backyards. Photo: Jim McLean
Do you love or loathe your creepy-crawly house guests? Are you an insecticide at the ready kind of person? Or do you take a more live and let live approach?
Researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney want to know about the insects and spiders living in and around your home, how you feel about them, and what you do to control them. [continue reading…]
Footage of HMAS Canberra available. Photos and video below.
A new corrosion-resistant coating that halved the build-up of algae and barnacles on ship hydraulic components is now being trialled on HMAS Canberra, one of the Royal Australian Navy landing helicopter dock ships.
Corrosion-resistant coating that halved the build-up of algae and barnacles.
Credit: Defence Science Technology
Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology are collaborating with experts from the Defence Materials Technology Centre, MacTaggart Scott Australia, United Surface Technologies and the Defence Science and Technology Group to advance the new technology.
High res photos available below.
Video of Dhara and the bending robot available here.
Dhara hopes her work will lead to improved guidelines on repetitive and heavy lifting. Credit: Flinders University
Some slipped disc injuries might be caused by movements other than the commonly blamed bending and twisting, according to new research by South Australian engineers.
It’s a finding that will lead to a better understanding of the motions that put people at greatest risk of a slipped disc and help develop more robust guidelines for safe lifting.
FOR VIDEO AND IMAGES CLICK HERE
Researchers from The University of Western Australia have developed a winning medicine formula that makes bad-tasting medicine taste nice, making it easier to treat sick children.
The UWA study published by the journal Anaesthesia tested 150 children and found that the majority of children who were given the new chocolate-tasting medicine would take it again, unlike the standard treatment, while they still experienced the same beneficial effects.
UWA Clinical Senior Lecturer Dr Sam Salman said the poor taste of many medicines, such as Midazolam, a sedative used prior to surgery, presented a real difficulty in effectively treating children.
Bacteria that turn sugar into hydrogen are being engineered by Macquarie University researchers who received a $1.1 million grant from ARENA, the Australian government’s renewable energy agency.
“There’s global interest in using hydrogen gas to produce electricity in hydrogen fuel cells, for example to power vehicles, heat buildings or provide electricity for industry,” says Professor Robert Willows, who is one of the project leaders. “It’s a clean and efficient energy source.”
While 95 per cent of the hydrogen used worldwide currently is produced from fossil fuels, increasingly people are looking at how to produce hydrogen from renewables.
Scientists use computer simulations of joint and muscle movements to teach us to exercise smarter
Image: Dr Pizzolato is making digital twins to help improve how people move in real life. Credit: Gold Coast Orthopaedic Research Alliance, Griffith University
Researchers have developed computer simulations of joint and muscle movements that can teach us how to exercise smarter and prevent knee pain and further damage.
One in five Australians over the age of 45 suffer from painful and debilitating osteoarthritis, with the knee being the most commonly affected joint.
Dr Claudio Pizzolato from Griffith University is making computer avatars or ‘digital twins’ of individual patients to see how their muscles and joints work. [continue reading…]
A Macquarie PhD student believes he’s come up with a way to turn coffee waste into biodegradable plastic coffee cups.
He’s developed a method to turn coffee grounds into lactic acid, which can then be used to produce biodegradable plastics, and is now refining the process as he finishes his PhD.
Citizen scientists from around Australia are helping scientists and reef managers get a much better picture of the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
So far, they have looked at over 2.7 million points on more than 170,000 underwater images of the Reef and told us whether they can see coral, algae or sand.
They’re all taking part in Virtual Reef Diver—the ABC’s online citizen science project for National Science Week.