2017

March

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ARC fellows shine at the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards—24 March 2017

Quantum physicist, ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Michelle Simmons, and cognitive neuroscientist, ARC Future Fellow Associate Professor Muireann Irish, are two prominent ARC-funded female researchers who have received prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards in Paris.

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Environmental researchers at ARC Centre of Excellence win Mahathir Science Award—21 March 2017

Work by a trio of ARC-funded researchers and their teams from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) at The University of Queensland have been announced as the winners of Malaysia’s 2016 Mahathir Science Award

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Aboriginal hair shows 50,000 years connection to country—9 March 2017

New research led by Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Alan Cooper, at The University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) has produced the first detailed genetic map of Aboriginal Australia prior to the arrival of Europeans. Researchers analysed mitochondrial DNA from hair samples collected during the early 20th Century, to establish that Australia’s Aboriginal people were continuously present in the same discrete geographic areas for up to 50,000 years. These findings reinforce Aboriginal communities’ strong connection to country and represent the first detailed genetic map of Aboriginal Australia prior to the arrival of Europeans.

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Researchers find the dark matter of the bread wheat genome6 March 2017

Researchers from The University of Western Australia (UWA), supported through an ARC-funded Linkage Project, have identified 21,000 new genes in bread wheat. The discovery is a big step forward in the continued improvement of bread wheat, which provides roughly one fifth of the world’s food.

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New study doubles estimate of functional genes in our genome—6 March 2017

A group of researchers from Japan and Australia, through Stem Cells Australia—an ARC Special Research Initiative in Stem Cell Science—have completed a landmark study where they revealed that long non-coding RNAs, a poorly understood and highly controversial class of genes, may link with major diseases, including inflammation and cancer. The group generated a comprehensive atlas of 27,919 long non-coding RNAs and summarised their expression patterns across the major human cell types and tissues—the first time this has been achieved.

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Australian Silicon Photonics and Luceda Photonics launch new photonics toolset—1 March 2017

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), partnering with Luceda Photonics, have launched a comprehensive toolset of electromagnetic simulators for photonic devices, called REME. REME is the first commercially launched product from a range of silicon photonics technologies being developed by the Australian Silicon Photonics team, situated at CUDOS within RMIT University.

 
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ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science forging powerful partnerships—1 March 2017

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) have forged a powerful partnership that is catapulting fundamental research into practical and useful structures and devices. 

February

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A breathtaking finding: ancient bacteria have flexible genetic responses to extreme oxygen levels—27 February 2017

New research by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis has found that the tiny bacteria responsible for transforming Earth three billion years ago into the oxygen-rich atmosphere you are breathing, are able to adapt to extreme levels of oxygen by having different genetic responses.

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Understanding the effects of mild dementia on driving ability 

Led by Professor Lynn Meuleners, a team of researchers at Curtin University of Technology—with support through the ARC Linkage Projects scheme—will investigate the effect of mild dementia on a person’s ability to drive a vehicle.


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Improving water safety through better surveillance

A team of researchers at The University of Melbourne will work closely with the Melbourne Water Corporation, the statutory authority that controls much of Melbourne’s water system, in an ARC Linkage Project to develop an integrated monitoring and surveillance program that will enhance water safety.

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3D printing a ‘lab on a chip’

Led by Professor Michael Breadmore, researchers at the University of Tasmania will push the limits of current 3D printing technology in an ARC Linkage Project.

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Barcode scanner microscope films neurons firing—23 February 2017

The Australian National University (ANU), supported through the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, has built an advanced microscope using barcode laser scanner technology that can film moving blood cells and neurons firing in living animals. 

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New nanoparticle discovery to aid super-resolution imaging—23 February 2017

ARC Future Fellow Professor Dayong Jin has led a team of researchers—from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), Macquarie University, The University of Technology Sydney, Peking University and Shanghai Jiao-tong university—to develop a new kind of highly sensitive microscopy that can visually study biological objects in much higher detail than was previously possible.

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Rice sun protection and diversity can be key to more food production—14 February 2017
 

A team of scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis has decided to combine old and new ways to produce more efficient plants. They focused on rice’s natural diversity by using traditional breeding techniques to select cultivated varieties—or cultivars—that are better at converting sunlight into food.

 
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A message from your muscles—14 February 2017

New research from The University of Queensland has revealed the way human muscles recover after fatigue. ARC Future Fellow, Dr Bradley Launikonis, said most people knew all too well the feeling of muscle soreness after unaccustomed exercise, but until now no one had fundamentally described the cell physiology of the recovery process.

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Bees give up searching for food when we degrade their land—8 February 2017

A new study into honey bees has revealed the significant effect human impact has on a bee’s metabolism, and ultimately, its survival. In an ARC-funded Linkage Project, researchers from The University of Western Australia, in collaboration with Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Curtin University and CSIRO, have completed a world-first study on insect metabolism in free flying insects—focusing on the honey bee. 

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Teaching plants to be better spenders—8 February 2017

Energy is an all-important currency for plants, and researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at The University of Western Australia have now calculated the cost of one of their biggest expenses. The knowledge could be a key to creating more energy efficient crops. 

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Unearthing immune responses to common drugs—7 February 2017

Australian researchers are a step closer to understanding immune sensitivities to well-known, and commonly prescribed, medications. A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging—with nodes at Monash University, The University of Melbourne and The University of Queensland—accessed national research infrastructure, including the Australian Synchrotron, to investigate what drugs might activate a specialised type of immune cell, the MAIT cell (Mucosal associated invariant T cell). 

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Business opportunity—6 February 2017

New research is looking at the experiences and benefits for the economy and society of entrepreneurship—a source of empowerment for refugees, for people with disability, and for Indigenous Australians.

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Acid trip makes clumsy cone snails miss their prey—1 February 2017

New research from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, published in Biology Letters, reveals deadly cone snails are too clumsy to catch their prey when exposed to the levels of ocean acidification expected under predicted climate change. 

 

January

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Improving our rail network by understanding the process of “mud pumping”—30 January 2017

Distinguished Professor Buddhima Indraratna will be leading a research team at the University of Wollongong to determine underlying causes of a process known as ‘mud pumping’ which is highly destructive to railway lines. 

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Extracting more valuable minerals from low grade and waste ore deposits—30 January 2017

A research team led by Associate Professor Yongjun Peng at The University of Queensland will lead a project that aims to understand the reactions taking place on the most important waste mineral that interferes with the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals from ore deposits. 

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New project expands horizon of USQ space exploration—29 January 2017

ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) funding has enabled the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), in collaboration with The University of New South Wales and The University of Sydney, to start building a dedicated multi-telescope facility at Mount Kent Observatory on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

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Sci-fi holograms a step closer with ANU invention—24 January 2017

Funding support from the ARC has enabled ANU physicists to invent a tiny device that creates the highest quality holographic images ever achieved, opening the door to imaging technologies seen in science fiction movies such as Star Wars.

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New ‘smart needle’ to make brain surgery safer—20 January 2017

A new high-tech medical device to make brain surgery safer has been developed by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at The University of Adelaide.

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Adopted babies can remember their birth language—19 January 2017

In a collaborative international study, involving the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, researchers have discovered that early language learning in children adopted internationally can be subconsciously retained, even when they can no longer remember the learning experience. 

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Seeing the quantum future—14 January 2017
 

Researchers the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), based at The University of Sydney, have demonstrated the ability to ‘see’ the future of quantum systems, and used that knowledge to pre-empt their demise. 

 
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High-sugar diets found to significantly reduce the lifespan of flies—11 January 2017

International research by University College London (UCL) with Monash University, with support from the ARC Future Fellowships scheme, has found that flies with a history of eating a high sugar diet live shorter lives—even after their diet improves.

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Sneak peek into the nanoworld of brain cells—8 January 2017

Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), with support from the Australian Research Council, are among the first in neuroscience to see the brain’s tiniest molecules in action and plot their movements

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Discovery of how healthy cereals can lower heart disease—7 January 2016

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Cell Walls, Professor Mike Gidley and lead researcher Dr Purnima Gunness, have identified a new mechanism for how healthy cereals such as oats reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. 

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Eco-driving and safe driving technology to save lives, environment and money—3 January 2017

Researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have designed an in-car device that aims to persuade drivers to adopt a fuel efficient and safe driving style. The innovative in-vehicle technology will improve safety and save dollars at the petrol pump, and will soon be tested out on Brisbane drivers.

 

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