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.
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
Australia’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is still the best way to reduce incidence and mortality for bowel cancer, according to research published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, by University of Western Australia researcher Dayna Cenin.
She predicts that personal genomics will enable more
targeted screening over the coming decades, but not yet.
While coral reefs around the world are feeling the heat, little-known reefs in Australia’s Kimberley region are prospering, despite living in some of the toughest conditions—and scientists aren’t yet sure why.
The discovery has particular significance this summer with fears of a severe coral bleaching event to hit our northern waters—the result of steadily rising sea temperatures and a strong seasonal El Niño.
WA researchers have found that while coral reefs all around the world are feeling the heat of rising temperatures, some inshore reefs in the Kimberley region’s Bonaparte Archipelago are prospering, despite living in some of the toughest conditions. Continue reading Kimberley corals are true Aussie battlers→
A new diagnostic system used to detect cancer cells in small blood samples could next be turned towards filtering a patient’s entire system to remove those dangerous cells – like a dialysis machine for cancer – says an Australian researcher who helped develop the system.
The technique was developed for cancer diagnosis, and is capable of detecting (and removing) a tiny handful of cancer-spreading cells from amongst the billions of healthy cells in a small blood sample.
The revolutionary system, which works to diagnose cancer at a tenth of the cost of competing technologies, is now in clinical trials in the US, UK, Singapore and Australia, and is in the process of being commercialised by Clearbridge BioMedics PteLtd in Singapore.
Small Australian sharks have been exposed as bigger homebodies than previously thought, in a study that took an existing chemical tracking technique and made it work for Great Barrier Reef sharks.
The study found that the travel history of the Australian sharpnose shark was written in their blood—with chemical ‘fin-prints’ showing they tended to stay within smaller areas than previously believed.
“Small-bodied sharks that are both predator and prey, such as the Australian sharpnose, may be particularly important links between food webs,” says lead researcher Dr Sam Munroe, who studied the sharks while at James Cook University in Townsville.
“Information on their movements can improve our understanding of how the ecosystems function, while also helping us predict species most at risk from the impacts of a changing environment.”