Image: Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson with ARC CEO, Professor Aidan Byrne.
20 October 2014

Indigenous researcher, Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson, has been a long-time strong advocate for the establishment of a dedicated collaborative Indigenous researchers’ network to provide vital support and build on existing research connections for Australian researchers and students who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

This concept came to fruition last year with the opening of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which is funded through the ARC Special Research Initiative for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Researchers’ Network.

Image: Professor Fincher receiving his 2014 BA Stone Award from Professor Vincent Bulone, representing award sponsor, Megazyme. Image credit: Natalie Kibble, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls.
20 October 2014

Plant biologists from across the globe recently converged on Australia for the 5th International Conference on Plant Cell Wall Biology (PCWB2014).

This was the first time Australia has held the event and it was hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls.

Image:Dr Sandra Tanz in the lab. Image courtesy: Matt Galligan.
20 October 2014

One of the most significant challenges of the next 50 years is to feed the world’s burgeoning population. By 2050 the global population is expected to exceed 9 billion people and food production will need to increase by an estimated 70% in order to meet demand.

Once fertile and productive regions are becoming increasingly dry and arid, and eventually they may become unsuitable for agriculture. Scientists across the globe are working hard trying to find new ways to secure our food future.

Enhancing photosynthesis in plants is one possible way to boost yields in essential food crops and this is the focus of ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) recipient, Dr Sandra Tanz.

Image: Professor Kendall holding a nanopatch. Image credit: Kendall/D2G2 Group.
20 October 2014

Professor Mark Kendall, an inaugural ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland, is a pioneer in needle-free immunisation technology that promises to eliminate the need for needles and syringes for vaccine delivery.

Professor Kendall heads a team responsible for the development of the ‘Nanopatch’, a breakthrough technology that is a bit like a postage stamp that sticks on the skin and delivers a vaccine directly to the body’s immune system.

Image: Fishing line muscle woven into a fabric, lifting a weight up and down. Pictured is Dr Javad Foroughi from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science. Photo credit: University of Wollongong.
28 June 2014

It might be difficult to believe that something as ordinary and inexpensive as the humble fishing line can be used to produce “muscles” with super-human strength.

Materials experts at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at the University of Wollongong have created powerful artificial muscles by twisting and coiling simple fishing line and applying heat for contraction and expansion.

Image: The Kong test to determine the handedness of a dog—A: Right paw used, B: both paws used,  C: left paw used. Fifty left or right paw uses were recorded to determine paw preference.  Image courtesy: Dr Lisa Williams.
13 June 2014

The commitment and loyalty of a guide dog is second to none—these animals show unconditional love for their owner, but are also carefully trained to care for and enhance the mobility of their owner.

What many may not realise is the amount of time, effort and resources that are channelled into the training of a canine to become a guide dog…and not all dogs make the cut.

New research in this area could make the task of assessing appropriate dogs easier and cheaper.

Image: Dr Kelly Fielding. Image courtesy: Dr Kelly Fielding.
13 June 2014

Attitudes towards the use of recycled water have been tested in recent years with many communities bound by extended water restrictions during times of drought—this has pushed the community to think fluidly about how it uses its water supplies.

In particular, there are many across the nation who still struggle with the concept of using recycled or desalinated water. One particular researcher has dedicated her time to learning why.

Dr Kelly Fielding is an ARC Future Fellow and a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland.