We achieved gender parity in astronomy in just five years

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

… all while discovering how the Universe evolved, how galaxies form and where the elements come from.

The ASTRO 3D team at the 2022 annual retreat. Credit: Cristy Roberts.

Around the world, research agencies are struggling to achieve gender parity.

A paper published in Nature Astronomy today reports how a national Australian astronomy centre achieved equal numbers of women and men using science.

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Gas-rich baby galaxies set the early universe alight

ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D), Media releases
Images of a distant extreme emission line galaxy. Seen by James Webb Space Telescope (left) and Hubble Space Telescope (right). This comparison highlights the clarity of JWST images.

New images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have helped Australian astronomers unlock secrets of how infant galaxies started an explosion of star formation in the very early Universe.

Some early galaxies were abundant with a gas that glowed so bright it outshone emerging stars. In research published today, astronomers have now discovered just how prevalent these bright galaxies were some 12 billion years ago.

Images from the JWST have shown that almost 90% of the galaxies in the early universe had this glowing gas, producing so-called ‘extreme emission line features’.

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Can stem cells make drugs to stop osteoarthritis? (Sydney); Stomach stem cells behaving badly (Melbourne)

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Winners of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s Metcalf Prizes announced today

Scientists available for interviews, see below for contact details

Researchers working with stem cells to find treatments for osteoarthritis and stomach cancer are the two winners of the 2023 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research, awarded by the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

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Record-breaking fast radio burst offers path to weigh the Universe

Macquarie University

An eight-billion-year-old burst of energy has been discovered, demonstrating that we can detect and measure matter between galaxies. The discovery opens a path to using fast radio bursts to explore the expansion of the Universe and ultimately even ‘weigh’ the Universe.

But it will require even more powerful telescopes.

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Will you see a sawfish next week?

Media releases
From Perth across the North to Sydney tell us if you do or don’t see a sawfish for National Sawfish Sighting Week October 23-29, 2023

Sawfish are remarkable creatures that detect the electrical impulses of fish, then slice and dice them for dinner.

“Today it’s rare to see large sawfish,” says Dr Barbara Wueringer, Principal Scientist and Director at Sharks And Rays Australia. “Most reports are three metres or smaller. But we could be wrong. There may still be some big ones out there.”

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New approaches to blood and liver cancer therapies recognised with $2.5 million CSL Centenary Fellowships

CSL

Boosting exhausted T cells: Dr Daniel Utzschneider, Melbourne and
On the path to a liver cancer vaccine: Dr Ankur Sharma, Perth are the two research programs selected as a part of the global biotechnology company’s long-standing promise to support scientists in Australia

MELBOURNE – 12 October 2023 – Two Australian scientists have each been awarded CSL Centenary Fellowships, valued at $1.25 million over five years. They are each developing new kinds of potential cancer therapies, based on their fundamental research into cancer biology.

The Fellowships were presented at the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Annual Meeting on Thursday 12 October 2023 in Brisbane.

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Shifting lifestyle trends boost Victorians’ demand for energy

Media releases, Monash Energy Institute

Monash University’s Emerging Technologies Research Lab unveils massive shifts in future household energy demands in a new report published today. The pivotal study offers energy distribution networks an invaluable glimpse into the future – empowering them to sharpen their forecasts, develop future business plans, and ensure the lights stay on.

The increase in home-based care, a rise in the energy needs to support study and work from home and the increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) are among the 51 specific trends found by the research to be affecting Victorians’ future energy needs.

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Finding the exact location of a power fault in minutes

Media releases, Monash Energy Institute

New technology that could help restore power quickly even on high bushfire risk days

Some of Victoria’s worst bushfires have been started by power lines. So, power distribution companies have installed devices that limit the energy flowing to the fault to cut the fire risk. However, in networks equipped with these devices, communities might experience power outages for hours while network operators attempt to track down a fault along tens of kilometres of power line.

“In trials in China and Switzerland we demonstrated that our technology can find the fault location to within hundreds of metres in a few minutes, instead of hours or days,” says Monash University engineering researcher, Dr Reza Razzaghi.

“In Australia, that would allow power to be restored to the community quickly, which can be vitally important for air conditioning during extreme heat, for people who rely on life-supporting electric medical devices, and for the many other home and business users.”

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Does a brain in a dish have moral rights?

Cortical Labs, Media releases

Inventors of brain-cell-based computer work with international team of ethicists exploring ethical applications of bio-computing

No longer limited to the realm of science fiction, bio-computing is here, so now is the time to start considering how to research and apply this technology responsibly, an international group of experts says.

The inventors of DishBrain have partnered with bioethicists and medical researchers to map such a framework to help define and address the problem in a paper published in Biotechnology Advances.

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HeadStartSwiss: early career opportunities to study or work in Switzerland

Other

Early career researchers and young professionals are invited to apply to undertake study, work experience and/or research in Switzerland, through the following programs:

  • Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships – for doctoral and postdoctoral candidates, as well as candidates wishing to undertake research in the realm of their PhD or medical specialisation. Open now.
  • Mertz Fellowship – for early-career researchers from the polar and high-altitude science fields. Now closed.
  • Young Professionals Programme – for Australian citizens aged 20-30 who have completed vocational training (apprenticeship or university degree) now working in the profession in which they trained. Open for applications year-round.
  • ThinkSwiss program for students who have completed their second year of under-graduate studies or are currently enrolled in a post-graduate (Master’s) degree. Open now.

Hear from past scholars below:

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