Media releases

Where does it hurt, Rover?

Adelaide invention revolutionises veterinary x-rays

Your best friend can’t tell you where it hurts but now, thanks to an invention by Adelaide company Micro-X, vets have a better tool to diagnose your pet’s health problems.

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Dying Moorabool River needs big drinks of water

Issued on behalf of the People for a Living Moorabool

Farmers, conservationists, and others available for interview + photos and HD overlay

Film premiere on Saturday 26 June in Ballarat

A cleared and desiccated stretch of the east branch of the Moorabool River
Credit: People for A Living Moorabool

“The Moorabool River will continue to deteriorate and die unless we give back some of its water,” says Cameron Steele, coordinator of river protection group, People for A Living Moorabool.

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Milky Way not unusual, astronomers find

Detailed cross-section of another galaxy reveals surprising similarities to our home

The first detailed cross-section of a galaxy broadly similar to the Milky Way, published today, reveals that our galaxy evolved gradually, instead of being the result of a violent mash-up. The finding throws the origin story of our home into doubt.

The galaxy, dubbed UGC 10738, turns out to have distinct ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ discs similar to those of the Milky Way. This suggests, contrary to previous theories, that such structures are not the result of a rare long-ago collision with a smaller galaxy. They appear to be the product of more peaceful change.

And that is a game-changer. It means that our spiral galaxy home isn’t the product of a freak accident. Instead, it is typical.

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Innovation Award for ADF’s new mobile medical X-ray

Using unique carbon nanotube technology, hospital grade X-ray imaging now available for field hospitals and humanitarian missions

Adelaide company Micro-X (ASX: MX1) has won the Land Forces 2021 National Innovation Award for inventing and manufacturing Rover, a lightweight go-anywhere X-ray machine ruggedised and optimised for high intensity use in field hospitals and remote locations.

Military doctors aim to provide combat soldiers who go in harm’s way with no less a standard of medical care than they can expect at home. However, conventional, hospital-grade mobile x-ray machines are heavy (typically 400 to 600kg), power hungry and very hard to move around on uneven surfaces.

So, prior to the Rover’s development, only small-animal veterinary x-rays units were light enough to be deployed by military forces.

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More than 60 years to achieve gender equity?

Modelling shows urgent need to revamp hiring and working conditions for astronomers

It will take until at least 2080 before women make up just one-third of Australia’s professional astronomers, an analysis published today in the journal Nature Astronomy reveals.

“Astronomers have been leaders in gender equity initiatives, but our programs are not working fast enough,” says Professor Lisa Kewley, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D).

Professor Lisa Kewley.
Credit: ASTRO 3D

Kewley is also an ARC Laureate Fellow at the Australian National University’s Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics. She developed workforce forward modelling that can predict the fraction of women at all levels in astronomy from 2021 to 2060, given different initiatives in hiring or retention. The models show that Australia’s university leadership need to adopt 50:50 or affirmative action hiring and introduce exit surveys and retention initiatives.

“With these initiatives we can reach one-third women in 11 years, growing to 50 per cent in 25,” she said.

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Can we guarantee supply of essential drugs in a global crisis?

Flow chemistry trial will test new way to make drugs locally and fast

Australia may soon be able to produce essential drugs – including anaesthetics and treatments for antibiotic resistant superbugs – rapidly and entirely onshore, ending the need to import them.

A collaboration between Melbourne chemical company Boron Molecular and DMTC Ltd (formerly the Defence Materials Technology Centre) is testing a new system capable of synthesising drugs at scale, quickly and continuously.

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Dr Josh Boyle from Boron Molecular working with a flow reactor

Can a brain scanner fit into an ambulance?

Innovative Adelaide-based manufacturer Micro-X has received funding to develop a game-changing portable brain scanner from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund.

The scanner will be small enough to be placed in ambulances or Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft and will give more Australians rapid access to treatment in the crucial first “golden hour” after a stroke.

It is expected to revolutionise stroke care particularly for rural and remote Australians who are twice as likely as city stroke survivors to be left with a serious, lifelong disability.

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Vaccine comments from the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

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COVID-19 vaccines will protect individuals, families and communities

Expert health and medical science leaders welcome vaccine roll-out, but caution that the vaccines alone are not enough.

See here for comments from Tania Sorrell, Tony Cunningham, Fran Baum, and other health experts.

The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is a major development for Australia. It will enable people to take action that will help to protect themselves, their families and the wider community from a disease that has killed millions of people and impacted everyone, says the country’s expert body in the health and medical sciences.

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) is an independent body comprising more than 400 senior researchers and health leaders. It has been active in monitoring and guiding the nation’s pandemic response.

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