The extreme weather conditions that can turn an already dangerous bushfire into an explosive firestorm can now be better predicted, thanks to the work of a 30-year veteran of the Bureau of Meteorology.
Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre climate scientists believe they have part of the answer to significant declines in Australian regional rainfall and subsequent stream flow since the 1970s.
A team of Queensland researchers have discovered the genetics that underlies the one molecule that lobsters, prawns and other crustaceans use to make the complex coloured patterns appreciated by biologists and connoisseurs of seafood.
The work of Dr Nick Wade and colleagues will help with conservation and aquaculture, and may even lead to a new food colourant. The colour of seafood is directly linked to its acceptability as food. Highly coloured lobsters and prawns attract a premium price. And for the crustaceans themselves, it’s a matter of survival.
Most people recover from whiplash injuries within the first few months. However, some people have long term pain—lasting months or years. Until now there has been no way of diagnosing these more severe cases.
New research suggests that fat deposits in the neck muscles are the key.
“We’ve found that people with long term injury have large amounts of fat infiltration in their neck muscles,” says Dr James Elliott from the University of Queensland (and former US professional baseball player). “Something is causing that difference, and it isn’t their body weight,” he says.
Antarctica’s humble Adélie penguin is helping scientists shed new light on the process of evolution and may even hold the secret of how animals adapt to climate change.
Australian Rivers Institute’s Assoc. Prof. Peter Pollard has researched rainforest lakes and rivers to test a provocative theory. The respiration of bacteria living and ‘breathing’ in these freshwater ecosystems is a major pathway for the return of rainforest carbon back to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
An Australian researcher is leading an international team of scientists developing a clean source of energy from microalgae. The team have developed one algae that not only makes oil for biodiesel production but also generates hydrogen. Commercial hydrogen production uses fossil fuels and produces carbon dioxide.
Blood tests using nanoparticles carrying molecules which can detect breast cancer biomarkers could save millions of lives and open the way to mass screening for many cancers.
Prof. Matt Trau, of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland, and his team are using a combination of nanotechnology and molecular biology in the project, funded by a five-year $5 million grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
In 1998 astronomers made an astonishing discovery—the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. The discovery required a complete rethink of the standard model used to explain how the Universe works.
“Now we know that stars, planets, galaxies and all that we can see make up just four per cent of the Universe,” says Dr Tamara Davis, a University of Queensland astrophysicist.
“About 23 per cent is dark matter. The balance is thought to be dark energy, which we know very little about.”
The health of southeast Queensland’s rivers, creeks and catchment areas are under scrutiny with the release of the 2009 Ecosystem Health Report Card.