Imagine if your exercise clothes could generate enough electricity to power your workout gadgets. This could be a reality in a few years with the development of a flexible, self-charging, non-leaky battery (or thermocell) that could convert body heat into power for devices such as fitness trackers. Continue reading Converting body heat into useable electricity
Ultra-thin boron nitride outshines gold and silver when used to detect contaminants in smart sensing technology.
It is 100 times more effective at detecting dangerous materials in our food and environment than noble metals.
Traditionally, detection surfaces of these devices have been made using gold and silver. But covering these metals with a microscopically thin layer of boron nitride greatly enhances their performance.
The findings are by a team from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science and China’s Wenzhou University. Continue reading When boron nitride outshines gold and silver
A transparent, silk-derived implant that looks like a contact lens and can fix damaged eardrums is giving hope to millions who suffer from recurrent ear infections.
Creators of the device—from the Australian Research Council’s Future Fibres Research Hub and the Perth-based —secured funding to start human clinical trials with it in Australia in 2018.
The implant, called ClearDrum, is made from silk protein that forms a see-through scaffold on which cells can grow to close eardrum perforations. Continue reading Touch of silk to repair ruptured eardrums
A star-shaped, large molecule is being harnessed by a University of Melbourne team to kill superbugs.
Professor Greg Qiao and his colleagues from the Melbourne School of Engineering have created a polymer that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria by ripping apart their cell walls. Continue reading Using stars to overpower superbugs
Saliva or blood tests may one day be used to detect when we’re too tired to drive or think clearly.
A team of scientists has found specific biological markers (biomarkers) linked to reduced alertness, including eye movement patterns, blood-based metabolites, chemiresistor signal responses and various speech parameters.
If these can be used to develop a test, they hope to see it on the road and in the workplace within the next two-to-five years. Continue reading Towards a portable test for tiredness
A new index on digital inclusion is setting out a path for all Australians to get the vital benefits that come with internet access.
Information and communication technologies have become near-essential for everyday life, but many people in low income, remote and vulnerable communities can’t access them. Continue reading The dream to get every Australian connected online
Special sponges that can clean toxic pollutants from waterways are being developed by Australian scientists. Continue reading Making pollution sponges out of nanoparticles
Assessing ageing bridges just got safer and easier, thanks to a high-tech radar device that fits inside a suitcase.
Developed by Dr Lihai Zhang of The University of Melbourne as part of a collaborative research project supported by The Australia-Indonesia Centre, the IBIS-S radar technology can scan a bridge in 15 minutes from a kilometre away with an accuracy of 0.01mm, quickly assessing its condition and stability.
Across America lives have been improved by Australian inventions—the cervical cancer vaccine, the bionic eye, gum that repairs tooth decay. What’s next?
Extended wear contact lenses for healthier eyes
Some 30 million Americans use contact lenses. Today they can wear a single pair for up to 30 consecutive days and nights, safely and comfortably thanks to the work of CIBA Vision and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
Contact lenses were once rigid and had to be taken out every night. In 1991, a team of researchers from CSIRO, the University of New South Wales, and the Vision Cooperative Research Centre joined forces with CIBA Vision in the US, and Novartis in Switzerland, to create a better contact lens.
A new rotavirus vaccine should soon be available thanks to a collaboration between PT Bio Farma and researchers in Melbourne and Yogyakarta. The new ‘RV3’ vaccine is aimed at protecting babies from birth, improving protection and simplifying delivery.
The current vaccine, available in Australia and only on the private market in Indonesia, can only be administered from six weeks of age.