China and Australia are the world’s two largest producers of gold. So, it’s fitting that a device combining Australian and Chinese research, and capabilities in high-tech manufacturing, is set to shake up the industry.
Ore processors need to know how much gold is in their raw material to get the most out of it. The current industry standard for testing ore is the fire assay, an elaborate and time-consuming process that requires temperatures over 1000 degrees and toxic chemicals such as lead. It also takes at least 8 hours to complete.
Continue reading X-rays for gold
The gift of a high-tech German neutron beam instrument is set to help Australian
researchers develop new antibiotics, understand smart polymer coatings and
create more efficient solar cells.
The Spatz neutron reflectometer uses a beam of neutrons
generated in the Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) reactor in Sydney to reveal
the structure of surfaces and interfaces such as cell membranes and
Continue reading The neutron zone
In a whisper-quiet area of the outback in Western Australia, 133,000 radio
telescope antennas are about to be built.
When complete, they’ll be able to pick up radio signals from
the time when the first stars in the universe formed.
Continue reading The world’s largest scientific instrument
Healthy soil for a healthy planet
To rein in global warming, scientists believe it will not be
enough to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions: we will also need to remove CO2
from the atmosphere.
Soils are an important reservoir for carbon, as they contain
nearly double that found in the atmosphere and vegetation combined.
Agricultural practices have degraded soil carbon stocks, so there is a large
potential for atmospheric carbon to be sequestered in soils.
Continue reading How much carbon can we dig in?
Sonar and satellites reveal the fish and other creatures that live far below the surface.
The depths of the ocean still hold great mysteries. At depths between 200 and 1,000 metres live creatures that, taken altogether, weigh as much as 10 billion tonnes.
Rudy Kloser, an expert on echo sounding and deep-sea ecosystems at CSIRO in Hobart, says these creatures are vital but poorly understood. Continue reading Spying on the denizens of the Southern Ocean
Australian-made mirrors are helping the Mediterranean country of Cyprus move to renewable energy and secure its supply of drinking water.
Though Cyprus is blessed with plentiful sunshine, rainfall is low and the country depends on energy-intensive desalination plants for its drinking water. Continue reading Australian mirrors helping to power Cyprus
Changing lives together: from water to astronomy to cancer, this collection showcases outstanding collaborations between French and Australian researchers.
Scientific collaboration between Australia and France stretches back to the early days of European settlement, when La Pérouse built an observatory at Botany Bay in 1788.
Continue reading Stories of French-Australian Innovation
A new kind of wheat high in resistant starch can improve intestinal health
Bowel cancer is the world’s third most common cancer. A diet that includes more resistant starch, a kind of fibre that feeds good bacteria in the large intestine, can make it less common. Resistant starch helps improve gut health and reduces the risk of conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
Since 2006, CSIRO scientists have been working in a joint venture with French company Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients and the Grains Research and Development Corporation to develop wheat with more resistant starch. Continue reading Wheat that’s good for guts
Australia’s pioneering 3D metal printing technology is now at work in Toulouse, printing components for the French aerospace company, Safran Power Units.
3D printing has the potential to transform manufacturing, allowing rapid prototyping of components, and the creation of lighter and more efficient components that would be impossible to make using traditional casting technologies. But there are many challenges to overcome to ensure that the components meet the intense engineering and regulatory requirements of the aerospace industry. Continue reading Printing in metal
For French and Australian explorers
Without the help of icebreaking ships, all-terrain vehicles and tough machinery, most Antarctic science could not happen. The French ship L’Astrolabe is a crucial facility for scientists exploring the Earth’s climate, oceans, atmosphere and ecology.
Every year, the ship and its crew, managed by the French Navy for the Institut polaire français Paul-Émile Victor (IPEV) from Hobart, support approximately 50 French and international scientific projects based out of the French stations Dumont d’Urville and Concordia. L’Astrolabe also transports food, supplies, logistics officers and scientists to and from the Australian Antarctic Division’s base on Macquarie Island.
Continue reading L’Astrolabe opens up Antarctica