Australia’s computing pioneer

In the late 1940s and into the ’50s, Australia was at the international forefront of computer design and construction. One of the key figures was expatriate British scientist Trevor Pearcey. Pearcey was born in London in 1919 and graduated from Imperial College London in 1940 with first-class honours in physics and mathematics. He emigrated to … Continue reading Australia’s computing pioneer

The AI making waves in complex mathematics

Artificial intelligence is used across myriad disciplines to trawl through troves of data too complex for the human brain – and indeed the average computer – to process, as well as to solve seemingly unsolvable problems. It’s posited that these technological super-brains could help us develop medicines and vaccines, solve economic problems, or engineer next-generation … Continue reading The AI making waves in complex mathematics

How to use drones responsibly in Kakadu

Drones have transformed conservation and land management over the past decade, making it easier than ever to collect high-quality data. But like all new technologies, they come with new ethical quandaries – particularly when used on country managed by Indigenous Australians. A group of researchers, Jawoyn Traditional Owners, and Indigenous Rangers, have addressed this with … Continue reading How to use drones responsibly in Kakadu

To see the world in a grain of salt

What’s the size of a grain of salt, and could diagnose disease from inside your body? A microscopic camera, of course. It’s long been thought that microscopic cameras could revolutionise diagnostic capability in medicine, enabling doctors to spot problems inside the human body, or even to augment sensing by super-small robots. But while scientists have … Continue reading To see the world in a grain of salt

Power outage: closing polluting power stations could save six million lives.

Retiring specific power stations around the world could save six million lives over the next 30 years, according to a team of researchers from Tsinghua University in China. In a study published in Nature Climate Change, the researchers examined the health effects of individual power plants around the world – in regard to heat-related deaths … Continue reading Power outage: closing polluting power stations could save six million lives.

Heading for Mars? Not until a lot of work on novel space materials is completed

“This is space. It does not cooperate.” This quote – by stranded astronaut Mark Watney in The Martian – encapsulates the challenge of the new era of space industry and the NASA-led journey back to the Moon and on to Mars, known as Project Artemis. The Martian demonstrated – at least through literature and cinema … Continue reading Heading for Mars? Not until a lot of work on novel space materials is completed

As soft as jelly, as hard as glass

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have invented a ‘super jelly’ so strong it can hold its shape even with the equivalent of an elephant treading on it, despite being 80% water. Jelly-like materials, or hydrogels, have many applications in soft robotics, tissue engineering and wearable tech, but it is difficult to make strong jellies … Continue reading As soft as jelly, as hard as glass

Adelaide facility opens; ready and willing to make mRNA vaccines

A potential mRNA manufacturer has thrown wide its doors in Adelaide with the official opening of BioCina’s manufacturing facility today. The facility has been operating on the fringe of Adelaide’s city centre, for nearly four decades, under several different operators. BioCina purchased the plant from Pfizer in August 2020, and is now operating the facility … Continue reading Adelaide facility opens; ready and willing to make mRNA vaccines

Australian Academy of Science welcomes new head

Australian National University Distinguished Professor Chennupati Jagadish has been named as the next president of the Australian Academy of Science. Jagadish, a world-renowned physicist and nanotechnology expert, will serve a four-year term. Jagadish was born in humble circumstances in Andhra Pradesh, south-eastern India, and was largely educated there. He grew up without electricity and studied … Continue reading Australian Academy of Science welcomes new head

Ultra-thin material mimics quantum entangled rare earth compounds

Finnish physicists have created an ultra-thin, 2D material with quantum properties that would usually only be made possible using rare earth minerals. But this new material was fabricated using only common materials. “Studying complex quantum materials is hindered by the properties of naturally occurring compounds,” says atomic physicist Peter Liljeroth from Aalto University. “Our goal … Continue reading Ultra-thin material mimics quantum entangled rare earth compounds