Made to order: printing of live cells

Surgeons may soon be able to regrow patients’ nerves, such as those in damaged spinal cords, using technology adapted from the type of inkjet printer most of us have connected to our computer at home.

Gordon Wallace is developing the technology to print human cells. Credit: IPRI

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), University of Wollongong (UOW) node in NSW, have spent the past three years developing the technology to print living human cells—nerve cells and muscle cells onto tiny biodegradable polymer scaffolds. They’ve also developed a special “ink” that carries the cells.

Continue reading Made to order: printing of live cells

Melbourne takes centre stage in physics

Melbourne shared in the announcement of the discovery of a Higgs boson-like particle in 2012, and the city is expected to reap millions of dollars in economic benefits brought by the conference at which this discovery was announced.

The Melbourne Convention Centre was the host of the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics, where the discovery of a Higgs boson-like particle was announced in 2012. Credit: MCVB
The Melbourne Convention Centre hosted the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics, where the discovery of a Higgs boson-like particle was announced in 2012. Credit: MCVB

The announcement that a suspect matching the elusive subatomic particle’s description had been found came at the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics, held at the Melbourne Convention Centre in July, in a joint announcement with CERN in Switzerland.
Continue reading Melbourne takes centre stage in physics

Higgs boson: the Australian connection

In 2012, scientists celebrated at the announcement of the discovery of a Higgs boson-like particle, a subatomic particle that completes our model of how the Universe works.

Director of the High Energy Physics Conference, Geoff Taylor (right) celebrates the Higgs-like particle announcement at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Credit: Laura Vanags/ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale
Director of the High Energy Physics Conference, Geoff Taylor (right) celebrates the Higgs-like particle announcement at the Melbourne Convention Centre with Pauline Gagnon of CERN. Credit: Laura Vanags/ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale

The announcement was made simultaneously at CERN in Geneva, and to hundreds of physicists gathered in Melbourne for the International Conference on High Energy Physics.

“As scientific discoveries go, this is up there with finding a way to split the atom,” says Prof Geoff Taylor, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP).

Continue reading Higgs boson: the Australian connection

Australian Synchrotron helps its big brother in Geneva

New technologies and techniques needed for the next upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are being tested at the Australian Synchrotron.

The Australian Synchrotron is helping CERN researchers develop better particle beams for the Large Hadron Collider. Credit: The Australian Synchrotron
The Australian Synchrotron is helping CERN researchers develop better particle beams for the Large Hadron Collider. Credit: The Australian Synchrotron

In 2013, the LHC will shut down for enhancements that will enable it to generate a reliable supply of Higgs-like particles.
Continue reading Australian Synchrotron helps its big brother in Geneva

The complex life of coral

Tracy Ainsworth

James Cook University
Coral interactions more complex than ever suspected.

Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

Dr Tracy Ainsworth’s research is changing our understanding of the life of the tiny coral animals that built Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Her work comes at a critical time for the future of coral reefs—threatened by a warming ocean and by coral bleaching. Continue reading The complex life of coral

Shattering the crystal lattice

Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA is arguably the greatest of the 20th century. The significance lies in its profound influence on our understanding of the nature of life and in its striking demonstration of the power of two disciplines – physics and biology – collaborating to solve a major problem.

Continue reading Shattering the crystal lattice

Surviving in the city

ARCUE is working to understand how plants and animals adapt to urban life. Credit: Janusz Molinski/Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
ARCUE is working to understand how plants and animals adapt to urban life. Credit: Janusz Molinski/Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Why do some plant and animal species thrive in the city while others disappear?

Most ecological studies are done in natural environments not in towns and cities so we lack information on urban ecology.

A team from Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens is changing that.

Continue reading Surviving in the city

Know your enemy

ARCMicrobialGenomics_wheel-grass-sheepDiseases such as leptospirosis, fowl cholera, bovine respiratory diseases or footrot in sheep have devastating impacts on livestock industries worldwide. They have a debilitating effect on animals, leading to food shortage and major economic losses.

Continue reading Know your enemy