Tag Archives: University of Sydney

50 CubeSats to explore the thermosphere

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.

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Clearing corneas and restoring vision

The eye’s cornea depends on stem cells to help maintain transparency. If disease or trauma deplete stem cell reservoirs, a rapid and painful loss of vision soon follows.

Professor Stephanie Watson and Professor Nick Di Girolamo have used stem cells to repair their patients’ vision. It’s the culmination of a 15-year collaboration to restore sight in Australians with corneal disease.

Stephanie is an international leader in research and innovation with the University of Sydney and is also a practising corneal surgeon. She met Nick as an early career scientist through a research group at the University of New South Wales and they discovered their shared interest. Nick is now a Director with the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW. Continue reading Clearing corneas and restoring vision

Making light work

Australian and French researchers are teaming up to use photonics—the quantum technology of light—to build better environmental sensors and high-speed data transmitters, and enable sharper MRI scans.

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Getting the most out of Indonesian specialty coffees

Coffee processed on the Indonesian island of Flores has gained popularity in the international specialty coffee scene, as a result of efforts to improve revenue for small coffee farmers in regional areas.

The global market for specialty coffee continues to grow, but that demand is increasingly paired with a call for traceability, enhanced quality demands, and evidence of environmental and social standards throughout the production chain.

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Saving Indonesia’s cocoa

Supporting farmers and improving crop sustainability are the focus of collaborative work to save Indonesia’s ailing cocoa bean yields.

Production of cocoa beans for chocolate making is big business in Indonesia, especially in Sulawesi—where from the 1970s to 1990s, production grew from almost nothing to around 1.5 million hectares of smallholder plantings, and the third-largest production output in the world.

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Trading in style: students designing shelters for Indonesia’s street vendors

Indonesian street vendors are the new muses of Australian and Indonesian architecture students, who are creating sustainable shelters to help vendors keep trading in style.

Known as Pedagang Kaki Lima (‘five legs’), the travelling street vendors not only play a crucial role in Indonesia’s economy, they’ve also become an icon of resilience and bravery following the January 2016 Jakarta terrorist attacks—where photos of vendors and the meme “keep calm and BBQ satay” were shared widely on Twitter.

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Detecting high risk pregnancies in Indonesia

Women in Indonesia were 21 times more likely to die from childbirth than women in Australia in 2015.

Many pregnant women in Indonesia, particularly in remote areas, do not regularly visit health clinics, and so complications are not detected and dealt with early enough.

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The future of Indonesian mental health

Scientists are bringing together the knowledge from 300 mental health experts in a multi-disciplinary project to reimagine the future of mental healthcare in Indonesia.

Conducting interviews about policy, key challenges, case studies and patient groups, they’re looking to understand how new practices can fit into the historical, sociological and anthropological aspects of psychiatry in Indonesia.

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New targets for tuberculosis vaccine

Better vaccines are needed for the global fight against tuberculosis (TB) with nine million new cases annually. Indonesia had more than 320,000 reported cases in 2014, while Australia’s reported cases were just over 1,000. But the rise of drug-resistant TB poses a threat to all countries.

Two proteins from the tuberculosis bacterium have shown promising results in investigations for a new vaccine in mice. Scientists from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, with colleagues from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney in Australia, have found that the injected proteins can prime the immune system to induce protection against TB in mice.

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