Adelaide researchers find how a bacteria digests a sugar can be key to new treatments
The severity of a common and often lethal type of bacteria
depends on its ability to process a type of sugar, research from the University
of Adelaide reveals.
Streptococcus pneumoniae causes diseases of the
lungs, blood, ear and brain, killing an estimated one million people every
year. Moreover S. pneumoniae causes
otitis media (infection of the middle ear), which devastates Aboriginal
populations. It also rapidly develops resistance to antibiotics, making it
challenging to treat.
Filtering out social bots can help critical response teams see what’s
happening in real time
Researchers have created an algorithm that distinguishes
between misinformation and genuine conversations on Twitter, by detecting
messages churned out by social bots.
Dr Mehwish Nasim and colleagues at the School of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Adelaide say the algorithm will make it easier
for emergency services to detect major events such as civil unrest, natural
disasters, and influenza epidemics in real time.
“When something really big is going on, people tweet a
huge amount of useful information,” says Mehwish.
A technique adapted from telecommunications promises more effective cancer treatments.
Drugs can be delivered into individual cells by using
soundwaves, Melbourne researchers have discovered.
Adapting a technique used in the telecommunications
industry for decades, Dr Shwathy Ramesan from RMIT, and colleagues, used the
mechanical force of sound to push against cell walls and deliver drugs more
effectively than treatments currently in use.
The new technique aids in silencing genes responsible for
some diseases, including cancer, by switching them on or off.
Small changes to marine parks could make a big difference
to mako sharks and many other ocean shark species, says UWA researcher
Charlotte Birkmanis, lead author of a paper published in Global Ecology and
Sharks are the peak predators across the world’s oceans.
They’re essential to the health of the oceans, and of the fisheries that
billions of people depend on.
Astronomers from CSIRO and
Curtin University have used pulsars to probe the Milky Way’s magnetic field.
Working with colleagues in Europe, Canada, and South Africa, they have
published the most precise catalogue of measurements towards mapping our
Galaxy’s magnetic field in 3-D.
The Milky Way’s magnetic
field is thousands of times weaker than Earth’s, but is of great significance
for tracing the paths of cosmic rays, star formation, and many other
astrophysical processes. However, our knowledge of the Milky Way’s 3-D
structure is limited.
Researcher finds linguistic tricks that boost Facebook post engagement
Some Facebook posts are more successful than others and linguist Matteo Farina has worked out why.
applying a technique known as “Conversation Analysis” to a set of more than
1,200 posts culled from 266 anonymised users, the University of Adelaide and
Flinders University academic has been able to identify specific linguistic
structures common to most Facebook posts that attract a high number of Likes
and written responses.
“This research shows that successful posts project a clear
next action from Friends,” he says.
Decades of meteorological data are telling the story of Australia’s birds.
Weather radar can be used to better manage bird populations
and potentially save them from extinction, a researcher at Charles Darwin
University in the Northern Territory has found.
Rebecca Rogers has been using weather radar to track the
movement patterns of Magpie geese (Anseranas semipalmata) to demonstrate
how the data generated can improve the management of Australia’s waterbirds.
The radars routinely pick up birds in flight, but while the
information is a nuisance for meteorologists, it is a boon to ecologists.
We all rely on GPS to tell us where we are and where we’re
going. The US government’s global network of 30+ satellites guides planes,
ships, cars, tractors and much more. The latest GPS systems can provide mm- to
cm-accuracy using advanced equipment and technique.
But GPS isn’t the only game in town. There are other
global systems, and regional systems that we can tap into.
Curtin University researchers have explored the potential
of regional navigation satellite systems (RNSSs) for Western Australian users.
Two such systems are the QZSS operated by Japan and the IRNSS operated by