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

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

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

Images and media kit download

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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Young adults with old knees: preventing arthritis after ACL knee injuries

Fresh Science

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

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.

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Quantum computing in silicon hits 99 per cent accuracy

Media releases, The University of Melbourne, UNSW

UNSW Sydney-led research paves the way for large silicon-based quantum processors for real-world manufacturing and application.

Images and media kit download

Australian researchers have proven that near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way to build silicon-based quantum devices compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing technology.

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Building a silicon quantum computer chip atom by atom

Media releases, The University of Melbourne, UNSW

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

Video and images: direct link

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

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

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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Mystery of children’s ‘chalky teeth’ explained

D3 Group

A blood protein blocks hardening of enamel on teeth growing inside the jaw

Australian and Chilean researchers solve a 100-year-old mystery and call for education and research to save millions of teeth worldwide.

Case studies available.

One in five children have chalky tooth enamel – visible as discoloured enamel spots – which often causes severe toothache and decay, and sometimes leads to abscesses, extractions and orthodontic problems.

Now, researchers from The D3 Group (based at The University of Melbourne, Australia) and the University of Talca in Chile, have discovered the mechanism causing molar hypomineralisation, the commonest type of chalky teeth.

They report today in Frontiers of Physiology that chalky molars arise when developing enamel is contaminated by albumin – a protein found both in blood and in the tissue fluid surrounding developing teeth. The trigger appears to be childhood illnesses.

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Closing in on the first light in the Universe

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases

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

Videos and images: direct link

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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Food and housing crisis for Melbourne’s native bees

Fresh Science

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.

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.

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2021 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research

Media releases, National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

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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Securing global net zero: universities have solutions

International Universities Climate Alliance
  • Zero carbon flight is possible, and could be ready by 2030 (Leeds University)
  • Where should I plant my grapes in 2100? (University of Tasmania)
  • Understanding wildfire management with virtual reality projections (Penn State)
  • Floods, droughts, heatwaves, polar vortexes – warming oceans drive extreme weather (University of Bergen)
  • Understanding heat uptake across the Southern Ocean (UNSW Sydney)
  • Open-source solutions for direct carbon capture (NYU)
  • What does ‘net zero’ mean if you don’t have electricity? (University of Southampton)

Speakers available from universities across the world available for interview.

The 50 universities across the world who form the International Universities Climate Alliance are all working on ways we can secure global net zero. The Alliance was established in April 2020 and is convened by the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

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