After 90 years, scientists reveal the structure of benzene.
One of the fundamental
mysteries of chemistry has been solved by Australian scientists – and the
result may have implications for future designs of solar cells, organic
light-emitting diodes and other next gen technologies.
Ever since the 1930s debate has raged inside chemistry
circles concerning the fundamental structure of benzene. It is a debate that in
recent years has taken on added urgency, because benzene – which comprises six
carbon atoms matched with six hydrogen atoms – is the smallest molecule that
can be used in the production of opto-electronic materials, which are
revolutionising renewable energy and telecommunications tech.
Researchers discover how whooping cough is evolving paving the way to a new
Whooping cough strains are adapting to better infect
humans, a team of Sydney researchers has found.
The scientists, led by microbiologist Dr Laurence Luu of the University
of New South Wales, may have solved the mystery of why, despite
widespread vaccinations, the respiratory disease has been resurgent in
Australia across the past decade. There have been more than 200,000 cases
recorded during the period.
New technologies are making natural gas a cheaper and greener fuel
Air quality in China’s cities is improving thanks to government initiatives to reduce urban coal burning. In Beijing, for example, homes, schools, hospitals and factories are switching from coal to gas for heating. As a result, demand for gas has quadrupled over the past decade. Now Australian researchers are partnering with Chinese industry to make gas production even cleaner and more efficient.
Both countries will benefit. China has large gas reserves but much of the gas is in unconventional sources such as coal seam gas and shale gas. The gases from these sources can contain less than 50 per cent methane so impurities such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen must be removed. For nitrogen that usually means cooling the gas to separate the valuable methane from the nitrogen in an energy-intensive process costing billions of dollars.
High on the Antarctic Plateau, in one of the coldest places on Earth, a group of telescopes are peering through stellar dust clouds into the heart of our galaxy.
The cold helps counteract interference from the telescopes and surrounding equipment, which can hinder our ability to see relatively ‘cool’ objects in space, such as asteroids, young stars, and interstellar gas.
Australian scientists develop cheap and rapid way to identify antibiotic-resistant golden staph (MRSA).
A combination of off-the-shelf quantum dot nanotechnology
and a smartphone camera soon could allow doctors to identify
antibiotic-resistant bacteria in just 40 minutes, potentially saving patient
Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), is a common form of bacterium that causes serious and sometimes fatal conditions such as pneumonia and heart valve infections. Of particular concern is a strain that does not respond to methicillin, the antibiotic of first resort, and is known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.
reports estimate that 700 000 deaths globally could be attributed to antimicrobial
resistance, such as methicillin-resistance. Rapid identification of MRSA is
essential for effective treatment, but current methods make it a challenging
process, even within well-equipped hospitals.