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Does the thought of moving house stress you out? You’re not alone – Dr Carly Kenkel, a post-doctoral scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, has found that relocating—even a short distance—can also be stressful for corals.

Fresh Science is a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.

The program takes up-and-coming researchers with no media experience and turns them into spokespeople for science, giving them a taste of life in the limelight, with a day of media training and a public event in their home state.

Nominations for Fresh Science 2016 are now open.

Fresh Science 2016 will be held in May & June in every state where we can secure funding. If you’re thinking of entering, take a look at the work of our past Freshies.

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A new diagnostic system used to detect cancer cells in small blood samples could next be turned towards filtering a patient’s entire system to remove those dangerous cells – like a dialysis machine for cancer – says an Australian researcher who helped develop the system.

Dr Majid Warkiani at the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at the University of New South Wales

Dr Majid Warkiani, Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, UNSW

The technique was developed for cancer diagnosis, and is capable of detecting (and removing) a tiny handful of cancer-spreading cells from amongst the billions of healthy cells in a small blood sample.

The revolutionary system, which works to diagnose cancer at a tenth of the cost of competing technologies, is now in clinical trials in the US, UK, Singapore and Australia, and is in the process of being commercialised by Clearbridge BioMedics PteLtd in Singapore.

“It’s like a non-invasive ‘liquid biopsy’ that can flag the presence of any type of solid cancer – like lung, breast, bowel, and so on – without the need for surgery,” says Dr Majid Warkiani, a lecturer at the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of New South Wales, and a project leader at the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW.

Isolation of Circulating Tumour Cells

Isolation of Circulating Tumour Cells

The initial challenge in developing the early-warning diagnosis system was to find those few cancer cells amongst billions of healthy blood cells. That challenge was met by a system that ‘spins out’ and isolates circulating tumour cells (CTCs), which are shed into the bloodstream from a solid tumour and can establish tumours elsewhere in the body—the mechanism by which cancer spreads through the body.

The ‘liquid biopsy’ can thus be used both for early cancer diagnosis and for monitoring a patient’s response to treatment.

But the potential for the new system goes far beyond just diagnosis.

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Fresh Science 2015

17 September 2015

in Uncategorized

Coral with black-band disease, Yui Sato Fresh Science Townsville

In 2015 Fresh Science ran in Victoria, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, North Queensland (Townsville) and South Queensland (Brisbane).

For 18 years Fresh Science has been helping young Australian scientists find their story and their voice, and empowering these future leaders of science to engage with the community, media, government and industry.

Since 1997 Fresh Science has trained more than 250 early-career scientists how to present their science in a way that’s accessible to a general audience.

We believe it’s essential that the new generation of young scientists reach out and engage:

  • exciting Australians with their research and its impact
  • learning how to reach out to governments and businesses
  • encouraging informed, evidence-based discussion of the big issues – from vaccines to climate change; and
  • providing role models for school and university students.
Jacek Jasieniak image

Discussing the use of two-dimensional quasiparticles, Robert Pfiefer Fresh Science NSW

In 2015 Fresh Science ran in every mainland state, with 61 Fresh Scientists in six state events, and seven public events bringing Fresh Science to around 1000 members of the public.

Read some of the fresh science discovered in previous years here.