University of New South Wales

Hungry galaxies grow fat on the flesh of their neighbours

Full paper available here, read on for media release, photos, captions and background information.

Modelling shows big galaxies get bigger by merging with smaller ones

Distribution of dark matter density overlayed with the gas density. This image cleanly shows the gas channels connecting the central galaxy with its neighbours. Credit: Gupta et al/ASTRO 3D/ IllustrisTNG collaboration.

Galaxies grow large by eating their smaller neighbours, new research reveals.

Exactly how massive galaxies attain their size is poorly understood, not least because they swell over billions of years. But now a combination of observation and modelling from researchers led by Dr Anshu Gupta from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) has provided a vital clue.

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Whooping cough is fighting back.

Researchers discover how whooping cough is evolving paving the way to a new vaccine.

Whooping cough strains are adapting to better infect humans, a team of Sydney researchers has found.

The scientists, led by microbiologist Dr Laurence Luu of the University of New South Wales, may have solved the mystery of why, despite widespread vaccinations, the respiratory disease has been resurgent in Australia across the past decade. There have been more than 200,000 cases recorded during the period.

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Using quantum dots and a smartphone to find killer bacteria

Australian scientists develop cheap and rapid way to identify antibiotic-resistant golden staph (MRSA).

Researchers Anwar Sunna (right) and Vinoth Kumar Rajendran with their smartphone-enabled MRSA detector.
Credit: Sunna Lab

A combination of off-the-shelf quantum dot nanotechnology and a smartphone camera soon could allow doctors to identify antibiotic-resistant bacteria in just 40 minutes, potentially saving patient lives.

Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), is a common form of bacterium that causes serious and sometimes fatal conditions such as pneumonia and heart valve infections. Of particular concern is a strain that does not respond to methicillin, the antibiotic of first resort, and is known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.

Recent reports estimate that 700 000 deaths globally could be attributed to antimicrobial resistance, such as methicillin-resistance. Rapid identification of MRSA is essential for effective treatment, but current methods make it a challenging process, even within well-equipped hospitals.

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Baby blue-tongues are born smart

Australian research finds little lizards learn very quickly.

Young Australian eastern blue-tongue lizards (Tiliqua scincoides) are every bit as clever as adults, researchers have found.

Life is hard for baby blue-tongues. As soon as they are born, they are on their own, with neither parental support nor protection. Adults of the species can grow to 600 millimetres long and enjoy the benefits of thick scales and a powerful bite, but the young are much smaller and thus more vulnerable to predation.

And that means they have to box clever if they are to survive.

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Writing to a single atom; when did shyness and PMT become mental illnesses; and more‏

Today Australian engineers reveal in Nature how they have written information to a single electron opening the way to a quantum computer based on silicon.

Quantum computers promise to solve complex problems that are currently impossible on even the world’s largest supercomputers if only we could make one. Many esoteric approaches have been tried.

Researchers at UNSW said, “We can do this using silicon – and computer makers already know how to use that.

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Mini-strokes provide health warning

Patients who suffer stroke-like attacks can have mortality rates 20 per cent higher than the general population, new research finds, leading to calls for better stroke prevention strategies for those who experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA). In one of the largest studies of its kind ever conducted, more than 20,000 adults hospitalised in New South Wales between 2000-2007 with a TIA were compared against the general population for mortality rates.

Dr Melina Gattellari, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW

Stroke

http://www.unsw.edu.au/news/pad/articles/2011/nov/mini_strokes.html

Five years of L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellows

2011 marks the fifth year that L’Oréal Australia will award its For Women in Science Fellowships to Australian early-career female scientists.

Since its inception in 2007, the Fellowships, worth $20,000 each, have been awarded to 14 outstanding female scientists who have used the award to increase their impact in their chosen field of science, provide support to managing both families and lab work, and jumpstart their independent careers in science.
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L’Oréal For Women In Science November 2009 Bulletin

In this bulletin:

2010 Laureates announced
Two former Laureates win Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Chemistry
Prime Minister recognises L’Oréal Fellow with physical sciences prize
Updates from our 2007 and 2008 Australian Fellows – Tara Telescope in business, and more
Applying for Australian Fellowships for 2010

International Laureates announced
The winners of the 2010 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards were announced on 14 October 2009.
The […]