Australian universities joined a European fleet of CubeSats to explore a
little-known layer of the atmosphere.
In May 2017, the European Union led a mission called QB50 to
launch a constellation of 50 mini-satellites from the International Space
Station. The pocket-sized CubeSats set out to study the thermosphere, the layer
of Earth’s atmosphere between 90 and 600 kilometres above the ground that
carries signals from GPS and other satellites.Continue reading 50 CubeSats to explore the thermosphere
South Australian winemakers are looking to Europe as the climate—and what drinkers want—is changing.
Grapes don’t ripen the way they used to. As temperatures climb, they are getting sweeter faster.
Winemakers find that by the time the crop achieves the right colour or level of tannins, the grapes contain more sugar. More sugar means heavier, more alcoholic wine. At the same time, drinkers are preferring lighter wines Continue reading Making wine in a warming world
“We make bacteria do amazing things.”
Researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Pasteur Institute in France are creating biological factories within cells to make and detect molecules for a wide range of uses in health, environmental monitoring and industry.
Synthetic biology—the application of engineering principles to build new biological parts, circuits and devices—has been used to build tumour-killing bacteria, for example, and has great potential for green chemistry that uses fermentation rather than petrochemicals.
Continue reading Creating living cell factories
Almost all matter we can see and touch is made up of the protons and neutrons. But what are protons and neutrons composed of? The simple answer is quarks, of which there are six distinct kinds, held together by gluons.
The ‘strong force’ carried by gluons is about 100 times stronger than electromagnetism, which governs the interactions of atoms. It’s a major focus of the ARC Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM).
Established 20 years ago at the University of Adelaide, the Centre is at the international forefront of investigating the ramifications of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory which describes the strong force interactions that are fundamental to how our world works.
Continue reading Unravelling atoms: the Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter
The brainpower of 18 institutions and more than $30 million are expanding the net to detect gravitational waves—disturbances in the fabric of spacetime—and cement Australia’s role in the emerging field.
Continue reading Gravitational waves—looking further
A broad-spectrum flu vaccine is being developed to give better immunity to seasonal influenza strains and increased protection against future influenza pandemics.
The technology was created by researchers at the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide, who set up Gamma Vaccines to commercialise their ideas.
In 2013, Gamma Vaccines signed a three-way development agreement with Bio Farma and SOHO Industri Pharmasi to develop, manufacture, trial, and distribute the vaccine in Indonesia and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.