Put the Lord of the Rings supercomputer on your desktop

From today, thousands of Australian researchers have access to the power of the computing cluster that created the Lord of the Rings and King Kong.

By using a new service called Green Button, professional scientists and students will get instant access on their desktop to a cluster of 3,000 processors based in Wellington, New Zealand, to perform fast genetic analysis. [continue reading…]

Holey fibres shine the light on safety: 2008 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

Tanya Monro

Optical fibres are the backbone of the internet, carrying vast amounts of data across cities, countries and oceans. Without them global communication would be more expensive and much slower.

Tanya Monro’s research has contributed to their performance. But she thinks that optical fibres can do much, much more for humanity. She’s dreaming of aircraft that know when they’re getting metal fatigue; water plants that react within seconds of cryptosporidium entering the water supply; tractors that know how much fertiliser every metre of the field needs; and wearable sensors that detect certain proteins or viruses.

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