Science meets new challenges to winemakers from climate change
Riesling grapes are struggling with premature ageing because of hotter conditions in parts of Germany and 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 (AWRI) in Adelaide and the Hochschule Geisenheim University.
Continue reading A cure for prematurely ageing Riesling
Eye cells’ messaging system key to solving the problem of macular degeneration
Researchers from the Australian National University have found that maintaining communication between cells in the eye can prevent vision loss through age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The incurable condition, resulting from damage to the macula region of the retina, causes loss of sight at the centre of a persons field of vision.
Continue reading Restoring communication may save our sight
Isolating cells in blood samples provides vital tool for disease management
Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney have invented a new way to indentify and analyse single cancer cells blood samples in a simple, cost efficient process.
Emerging technologies for such single-cell analysis are becoming important tools in different biological studies, including disease management, but are inaccessible to most laboratories due to their high cost, complexity, and reliance on skilled operators.
Continue reading New device allows for cost-effective single cancer cell analysis
A new test provides a window into individual tumours
Ovarian cancer is an aggressive and deadly disease, with more than185,000 fatalities worldwide each year.
The high death toll is due to many patients developing resistance to chemotherapy, and while drugs exist that could overcome this problem, we lack the detailed, personalised information needed to choose which drug can target the tumour effectively.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales have targeted the waste product of a common medical procedure to develop a ‘liquid biopsy’ that provides unprecedented information about each individual cancer.
Continue reading Liquid biopsy helps target ovarian cancer with precision
New technique tests for bacteria in dolphins’ breath
Until now it has been difficult to test the health of dolphin populations due to their migratory pattens, their size and, in some cases, dwindling numbers.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales have found an easy, fast and non-evasive way to give dolphins a quick health check, which in turn tells us much about the state of our oceans.
Continue reading Dolphin health check shows state of our oceans
A closed-loop technology improves energy recovery from sludge and reduces sludge disposal costs
Treating wastewater in Australia produces three million tonnes of sludge which then must be treated and disposed of. The process is responsible for 50 per cent of the total operating costs of wastewater treatment plants.
A researcher from the University of Technology Sydney has developed a new treatment technology that would not only reduce the amount of waste by a third but also recover energy from the sludge itself.
The end product would also be safer biosolids for fertiliser than currently being produced.
Continue reading New sludge treatment technology could save taxpayers millions of dollars a year
Integrating electric vehicles into the grid could prevent blackouts
Electric vehicles consume a large amount of energy. As more people get electric cars and charge them at home, it puts a strain on our current electricity distribution, but researchers from the CSIRO says it doesn’t have to be that way.
They devised a computer module to model how electric vehicles could be integrated into the electricity grid to make it more reliable and efficient.
Continue reading A smart new way to charge electric vehicles
Enriching oyster reef restoration with soundscape ecology
Researchers from the University of Adelaide are using underwater music to speed up the restoration of native oyster reefs.
By using underwater speaker technology, researchers are broadcasting snapping shrimp snaps in the ocean to create ‘highways of sound’ that attract baby oysters to oyster reefs targeted for restoration.
“In the ocean, sounds orchestrated by the snaps of snapping shrimp provide navigational cues used by baby oysters to find healthy habitats to settle and grow in,” Brittany Williams, a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide.
Continue reading A snappy solution to restoring oyster reefs
By-products provide cheap and plentiful ingredients for production of new treatments
Researchers from the University of Melbourne have developed a process to harvest key ingredients from whey, which could be used as precursors not only to provide cheap nutritious baby food but to develop antiviral drugs at an industrial scale.
Continue reading Cheesemaking holds the key to healthier babies and fighting disease
A tool is being trialled at Adelaide and Melbourne zoos to help keepers decode reptile body language and measure their welfare.
Research from the University of Adelaide has come up with a list of health-based and behavioural clues which could help rewrite welfare policies for reptiles in zoos and homes.
The tool is now being trialled to monitor tortoise welfare at Adelaide and Melbourne zoos, which are collaborating with Adelaide and Melbourne universities in the research.
Continue reading Reptiles have emotions: Cold-blooded but not cold-hearted