The work of Indonesian and Australian scientists is resulting in re evaluation of Jakarta’s seismic risk by Indonesian Government agencies.
The team is scanning the Earth from thousands of kilometres in the air, right down to chemical traces found in rocks, as they hunt out telltale signs of future earthquakes and the damage they might do. They’ve highlighted a major new seismic threat for East Java as well as the tsunami threat to Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, and other coasts along the Flores Sea; and have identified active faults in the Nusa Tenggara region of Eastern Indonesia, measuring the rates of strain building up.
Commercialising the technology or the next generation of lithium batteries is the target for a team of Indonesian and Australian scientists, who are backed by battery manufacturer PT Nipress Tbk.
Lithium batteries allow for a large amount of energy to be packed into a small space. But they’re costly compared to single use ‘disposable’ batteries, and have special requirements for transportation and storage.
Six Southeast Asian countries are working together to better conserve the world’s centre of marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle, with the hope that this will lead to a more collaborative approach to sharing coral reef resources in the area.
The Coral Triangle sits between Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, a group of countries that have formed the Coral Triangle Initiative. It is home to 76 per cent of the world’s known coral species, 2,500 reef fish species, and the largest area of mangroves in the world.
“Dengue has a significant impact on both Australia and Indonesia—the disease is hyper-endemic in Indonesia and affects the daily life of people living in the country,” says Dr Tedjo Sasmono of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta.
Their researchers have been working with The University of Queensland to create a new way to screen blood for dengue virus.
It’s the result of a joint-research project on dengue diagnostics, initiated in 2015 and funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
To read about Japan-Australia innovation collaborations—including searching for new malaria drugs, giant robot trucks carrying ore, and chewing gum that reverses tooth decay—click here.
Japanese science changing Australia
The impact of Japanese technological prowess on Australian society is obvious for all to see. How we listened to music was transformed by audio recording technologies: from the Walkman to the CD. Home entertainment was changed by video tapes, DVDs, and game consoles. We rely on Japanese innovation in transport—reliable car engineering, the lean manufacturing techniques that made them affordable and, more recently, hybrid cars.
Fundamental science discoveries are bringing a new era of transformation. Japanese researchers were honoured last year with the Nobel Prize for their invention of the blue LED. They succeeded where for 30 years everyone else had failed. Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps—lasting a lifetime and using a fraction of the energy.
In 2006 Shinya Yamanaka discovered how intact mature cells in mice could be reprogrammed to become immature stem cells. By introducing only a few genes, he could reprogram mature cells to become pluripotent stem cells, that is, immature cells that are able to develop into all types of cells in the body. His work is transforming stem cell medicine and many Australian researchers are now using induced pluripotent stem cells to develop stem cell medicines.
Research on the effects of the popular joint supplement glucosamine has raised fears for women’s fertility, and a knee-jerk reaction from the vitamin industry, as Adelaide scientists reveal its threat to conception.
An accidental discovery by Melbourne researchers has revealed the purpose of ‘mystery’ immune cells in the gut, shown how our immune system interacts with the complex bacteria ecology found there, and opened new paths for drug discovery.
Our guts, lungs and mouths are lined with mysterious immune cells that make up to 10 per cent of the T cells in our immune system. These immune cells, known as mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAITs), detect reactive intermediates in the synthesis of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) that is made by many invasive bacteria and fungi.