€300m funding from Novo Nordisk Foundation brings together experts to advance stem cell medicine.
The potential for new drugs and therapies using human stem cells to treat heart, respiratory and kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions are the focus of a new Australian-European collaboration of three research institutes.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine will be known as ‘reNEW’ and brings together Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Continue reading Copenhagen, Leiden and Melbourne tackle stem cells together
Updated May 2023
The tuberculosis vaccine BCG may help protect against other allergies and infections, although not COVID according to the latest publications from a global project responding to the pandemic.
Long term trials suggest the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine targeting tuberculosis improves the performance of the innate immune system in babies. This innate response is our first line of defence, at least in babies.
Continue reading An old vaccine for new diseases?
Eyes in the sky show way to more efficient agriculture
A constellation of EU satellites are helping Australian farmers monitor crop growth, water, and soil nutrients.
The project using the satellite data has been dubbed COALA – Copernicus Applications and services for Low impact agriculture in Australia – and it is funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.
Continue reading Farmers reap space rewards
The world’s smallest endoscope will soon be predicting the risk of heart attacks
Scientists in Adelaide and Stuttgart are improving heart attack warnings using a new endoscope with a camera lens less than 0.5 mm wide, too small to see with the naked eye.
““A major factor in heart disease is the plaques, made up of fats, cholesterol and other substances that build up in the vessel walls,” explains lead researcher Dr Jiawen Li from the University of Adelaide, who worked with a team from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP).
Continue reading Tiny lens looks at hearts
How cockatoos adapt to an urban environment
A scientist in southern Germany is lifting the lid on Australian birds and how they are learning to open suburban wheelie bins.
Australian researcher Dr Lucy Aplin, at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, has been awarded an EU grant to delve further into the cognition of sulphur-crested cockatoos – work she began in the suburbs of Sydney.
Cockatoos are extremely gregarious birds that forage in small groups, roost in large ones, and are rarely seen alone.
Continue reading Birds in the city
Building a more sustainable Europe
Australian and Spanish teamwork is improving the ways steel buildings and bridges are designed, making them safer and greener.
Civil engineer Dr Itsaso Arrayago is the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellow at Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya and the University of Sydney. She is collaborating with bridge engineering consultancy Pedlelta who designed the first vehicular stainless steel bridge.
Dr Arrayago studied for two years with University of Sydney’s Professor Kim Rasmussen, whose pioneering work is changing engineering. His techniques take advantage of sophisticated design modelling and analysis.
Continue reading Steel by design
Fortifying crops provides struggling communities around the world with the nutrients they need
Australian plant physiologist and biochemist Professor James Stangoulis is working on the biofortification of crops to make staple foods in the developing world more nutritious.
“While the focus is on nutrition for human consumption, it also has the important benefit of helping to deliver higher yields on nutrient-poor soils,” says Professor Stangoulis from Flinders University.
Continue reading Calcium from millet?
Germany and Australia protect vineyards from sun damage
It’s a good thing to age like wine, so the saying goes, but would you want to age like a wine grape? Not if it’s a riesling grape growing under harsh sunshine.
Riesling grapes are struggling with premature ageing, seemingly because of climate change, in parts of Australia where they have previously thrived.
“In recent years young riesling wines have started to show a premature ‘aged’ character,” says Dr Yevgeniya Grebneva, a German scientist working for the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide and the Hochschule Geisenheim University.
Continue reading A cure for ageing riesling