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  • richardmitnick 11:36 am on June 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Innovative new ship cladding creates jobs and reduces emissions", CSIRO, Rapid Access Composite (RAC) Plus   

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization -CSIRO: “Innovative new ship cladding creates jobs and reduces emissions” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization -CSIRO

    17 Jun 2020

    Ali Green
    Communication Advisor
    Phone +61 3 9545 8098
    Mobile +61 406 146 523

    A new lightweight, fire-resistant cladding that can withstand temperatures of more than 1000°C developed by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is set to change the face of ships around the world, creating advanced manufacturing jobs in Tasmania and reducing carbon emissions.

    1
    CBG Systems has been a manufacturer of passive fire protection systems for the past 30 years and their panelling is currently found on 90 per cent of the world’s high-speed ferries.

    2
    The RAC Plus panels are fully non-combustible and remain structurally strong after exposure to extreme heat. ©FLOODLIGHT MEDIA

    3
    The innovative panels use a thermal non-intumescent based protective coating that applies CSIRO’s patented Hybrid Inorganic Polymer Systems (HIPS) technology. ©FLOODLIGHT MEDIA

    4
    Senior experimental scientist, Mel Dell’Olio, holds up a sample of the new and improved RAC Plus fire-resistant panels.

    The material, developed in collaboration with Tasmanian small business, CBG Systems, has already been installed on two new ships and used to replace cladding on another.

    The prototype paneling, called Rapid Access Composite (RAC) Plus, is the first of its kind in the world and uses a thermal protective coating that can withstand temperatures of over 1000°C and remain structurally stronger than conventional fire protection coatings.

    The innovative panels are also reversible and can repel water, potentially doubling their service life. The current design is specific for high speed aluminium ships, but the composite has the potential to be modified for construction products.

    Weighing about half as much as traditional metal cladding, the resulting reduction in fuel consumption will lower carbon emissions, leading to greener ships across the globe as well as enhancing overall operational efficiencies.

    The new technology was supported through several Federal Government programs and has created new jobs and increased international trade to Hobart.

    CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the partnership showed the power of science to solve real world challenges.

    “By working side by side with industry, innovative science and technology creates new value and growth for Australian businesses to grow our way back from the current crisis,” Dr Marshall said.

    “This home-grown Aussie innovation has enabled CBG Systems to become an advanced manufacturer of globally-competitive marine insulation products and services, which is now bringing in valuable export dollars from around the world.”

    CSIRO Senior Experimental Scientist Mel Dell’Olio spent four months at CBG in Hobart, training and upskilling employees in advanced manufacturing techniques and assisting with the commercialisation process.

    During that time the team manufactured 2500 insulation panels, which are now being built into new ships to supply international customers, all meeting the relevant fire standard tests for the marine industry and offering at least 60-minutes of fire protection.

    Mr Dell’Olio said CBG Systems’ long history of research and development in marine fire protection had been demonstrated again through the innovative RAC Plus.

    “To be filling production orders within two years of the first project meeting, demonstrates how Australian SME manufacturers can benefit from positive research partnerships,” Mr Dell’Olio said.

    Managing Director of CBG, Javier Herbon, said that CSIRO had decades of experience and expertise in developing advanced new materials with special properties for industry, such as fire-resistance, durability and protection.

    “Being able to access the wealth of scientific knowledge and innovation within CSIRO has been an incredibly enriching experience for everyone at CBG Systems,” Mr Herbon said.

    “With three ships already ordered, and two ships complete, CBG systems has hired six new roles, with partners and suppliers also increasing their staff as a result.

    “This project shows how innovations from CSIRO can help Australian businesses create manufacturing jobs.”

    CBG Systems has lodged their own patent on RAC Plus and recent fire tests indicate the new and improved panels, with greater durability and fire-resistance, can be used on steel ships and aluminium high-speed crafts. There are also potential applications in aerospace such as for battery enclosures, and the civil construction industry, enabling CBG to expand into new markets.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:13 am on June 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Zooming in on the origins of fast radio bursts", , , , , CSIRO   

    From CSIRO: “Zooming in on the origins of fast radio bursts” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization -CSIRO

    02 Jun 2020
    Annabelle Young
    Information Officer
    Phone +61 2 9372 4270
    Mobile +61 403 928 102

    Astronomers have peered into the home galaxies of fast radio bursts, ruling out supermassive black holes as a cause and bringing us a step closer to understanding the origins of these mysterious signals from outer space.

    1
    CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia detected the precise location of four fast radio bursts. Follow-up observations by NRAO’s JVLA and CSIRO’s ATCA radio telescopes and the world’s largest optical telescopes – Gemini South, ESO’s Very Large Telescope, Magellan Baade, Keck and LCOGT-1m – identified and imaged the host galaxies. Credit: CSIRO/Sam Moorfield

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky Expanded Very Large Array, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

    CSIRO Australia Compact Array, six radio telescopes at the Paul Wild Observatory, is an array of six 22-m antennas located about twenty five kilometres (16 mi) west of the town of Narrabri in Australia.

    Gemini/South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    Carnegie 6.5 meter Magellan Baade and Clay Telescopes located at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high

    Keck Observatory, operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    LCOGT Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Haleakala Hawaii, USA, Elevation 10,023 ft (3,055 m)

    Fast radio bursts – the hottest topic in astronomy right now – were first detected in 2007, but astronomers are still working out what could make such a brief signal appear so bright. In just a millisecond, a single burst releases more energy than our Sun emits in 80 years.

    Now Dr Shivani Bhandari, an astronomer with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has made a key breakthrough by zooming in on the precise location of four fast radio bursts and having a look around their ‘neighbourhoods’.

    Dr Bhandari led the research published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    “Just like doing video calls with colleagues shows you their homes and gives you a bit of an insight into their lives, looking into the host galaxies of fast radio bursts gives us insights to their origins.”

    Using a specially designed transient detector on CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope in outback Western Australia, Dr Bhandari and her team found the exact location of four fast radio bursts.

    “These precisely localised fast radio bursts came from the outskirts of their home galaxies, removing the possibility that they have anything to do with supermassive black holes,” Dr Bhandari said.

    This first detailed study of the galaxies that host fast radio bursts rules out several of the more extreme theories put forward to explain their origins, getting us closer to knowing their true nature.

    Co-author CSIRO’s Professor Elaine Sadler said these fast radio bursts could not have come from a super-luminous stellar explosion, or from cosmic strings.

    “Models such as mergers of compact objects like white dwarfs or neutron stars, or flares from magnetars created by such mergers, are still looking good,” Professor Sadler said.

    Follow-up observations with the world’s largest optical telescopes – Gemini South, ESO’s Very Large Telescope, Magellan Baade, Keck, and LCOGT-1m – identified, imaged and found the distances to the host galaxies.

    Investigating if fast radio bursts favour a certain type of galaxy, the researchers found all four bursts came from massive galaxies that are forming new stars at a modest rate, very similar to our own Milky Way galaxy.

    Dr J. Xavier Prochaska of the University of California, Santa Cruz, co-led the team responsible for the optical observations.

    “Major advances for other transient events have been made by studying their home galaxies. We are optimistic that studies like ours will be just as vital,” Dr Prochaska said.

    Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who as a postgraduate student in 1967 was the first to detect rapidly spinning neutron stars now known as ‘pulsars’, praised the research.

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discovered pulsars with radio astronomy. Jocelyn Bell at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge University, taken for the Daily Herald newspaper in 1968. Denied the Nobel.

    “Positioning the sources of fast radio bursts is a huge technical achievement, and moves the field on enormously,” Dame Jocelyn said.

    “We may not yet be clear exactly what is going on, but now, at last, options are being ruled out. This is a highly significant paper, thoroughly researched and well written.”

    ASKAP is located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) and is a precursor to the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

    When built, the SKA will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world and is expected to revolutionise our understanding of the Universe.

    CSIRO acknowledges the Wajarri Yamatji as the traditional owners of the MRO site.

    Additional information

    This research was supported by astronomy observatories in America and Australia: the W.M. Keck Observatory’s Keck telescope, the Gemini South telescope (the international Gemini Observatory is a Program of the US National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab), ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Magellan Baade telescope at Las Campanas Observatory, 1 metre telescope at the Las Cumbres Observatory, NRAO’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array, CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.

    The research for this paper was conducted by the following two science teams:

    CRAFT (the Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients) survey team. Principal investigators: Keith Bannister (CSIRO), Jean-Pierre Macquart (ICRAR/Curtin University), Ryan Shannon (Swinburne University)
    F4 (the Fast and Fortunate for FRB Follow-up) team leaders: J. Xavier Prochaska (UC Santa Cruz), Nicolas Tejos (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso), Regina Jorgenson (Maria Mitchell Observatory)

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:06 am on May 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Sink or Swim: mismatch between land and seafloor debris revealed in global study", , CSIRO,   

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization -CSIRO- “Sink or Swim: mismatch between land and seafloor debris revealed in global study” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization -CSIRO

    06 May 2020
    Chris Gerbing
    +61395452312

    1
    Citizen scientists have helped collect important marine pollution data from land and sea. ©Emy Dossett, Salty See

    2
    Fishing wire is one of the hazards facing seabirds like this pelican from Bribie Island, Australia. Credit: Pelican and Seabird Rescue Inc.

    The Journal of Environmental Pollution has published a study by scientists at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency; Project AWARE, a global non-profit connecting community action and policy; and Ocean Conservancy, a US-based advocacy non-profit, that evaluated the relationship between land-based debris and what is found on corresponding seafloors.

    In the first global analysis of its kind drawing on data obtained from two global, volunteer-based surveys, Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris seafloor survey and Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup of beach and nearshore debris, the research showed a general mismatch between what is located on shorelines and what remains on the seafloor.

    Statistical analysis by CSIRO scientists suggests that buoyancy, as well as the tendency to snag, most closely predicts whether an item found on the beach will also appear under the water.

    “Many of the items recorded on land – such as cigarette butts – are rarely seen on the seafloor; our analysis shows that this is likely because certain items are simply more likely to ‘swim away’ than sink,” CSIRO Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Lauren Roman, who led the study, said.

    “Conversely, items that sink or entangle like fishing line and plastic bags were found in comparable amounts on both land and underwater.”

    “Both plastic bags and lost or abandoned fishing gear, also known as ghost gear, are among the top five deadliest forms of marine debris to marine wildlife,” Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy Dr George Leonard said.

    “It is troubling that these items are similarly prevalent on shorelines as well as in coastal waters. These are habitats where the majority of marine organisms make their home.”

    “Our study makes a strong case that not only do beach and underwater cleanups provide critical, complementary data about the extent of debris in the ocean, but that concerted action is needed on those items common to both habitats,” Dr Leonard added.

    Policy Lead for Project AWARE Hannah Pragnell-Raasch said the research demonstrated the critical need for empirical debris data from both land and seafloor surveys.

    “Land data are not a proxy for seafloor debris and vice versa,” Ms Pragnell-Raasch said.

    “If we are to succeed in strengthening waste management policies to prevent debris from entering the ocean, we must have both types of data to guide our decision making,”

    CSIRO scientist Dr Denise Hardesty, who oversaw the analysis at CSIRO, said the research highlighted the valuable role that citizen science can have in providing scientifically robust data with real management and policy implications.

    “This complements the work being done by academic scientists around the world,” Dr Hardesty said.

    The data used in the research was collected by volunteer citizen scientists between 2011 and 2018, spanning 86 countries and covering over 19,000 land and seafloor sites.

    Over 32 million debris items were recorded through Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) surveys and more than 915,000 items were recorded through Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris seafloor surveys.

    The most common items found on the seafloor through Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris surveys were fishing line, plastic fragments, metal cans, plastic beverage bottles, glass bottles, food wrappers, rope, plastic bags and construction waste.

    The most common items found along coastlines through the ICC included cigarettes, plastic fragments, food wrappers, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, synthetic foam, plastic bags, metal cans, and glass bottles.

    Collectively, the analysis found that the 10 most common items across both habitats are: cigarettes, fishing line, plastic fragments, food wrappers, plastic bottles, glass bottles, plastic bottle caps, metal cans, plastic bags and synthetic foam.

    Of these, seven items are wholly or partially made of plastic, while five are directly tied to the food and beverage industry.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on March 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Antarctic floating ice walls protect against warming seas", , CSIRO, Floating ice walls – the edge of the floating ice shelf – are connected to landmass., Floating ice walls partly deflect warm ocean currents that would otherwise penetrate cavities beneath the floating portions of the ice sheet., , The Getz ice shelf, The physics behind the warming ocean currents around the Antarctic coast.   

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO: “Antarctic floating ice walls protect against warming seas” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    02 Mar 2020

    Sophie Schmidt
    Communication Advisor
    Phone +61294905672
    Mobile +61422907513

    1
    The Getz ice shelf. Image credit: Prof Anna Wåhlin.

    2
    Diagram of an Antarctic ice shelf showing the processes causing the volume changes measured by satellites. Ice is added to the ice shelf by glaciers flowing off the continent and by snowfall that compresses to form ice. Ice is lost when icebergs break off the ice front, and by melting in some regions as warm water flows into the ocean cavity under the ice shelf. Under some ice shelves, cold and fresh meltwater rises to a point where it refreezes onto the ice shelf.

    A recent study published in the journal Nature has explored the physics behind the warming ocean currents around the Antarctic coast, finding floating ice walls offer some protection to the ice sheet by limiting the amount of ocean heat that reaches the ice.

    The research [Nature] was led by the University of Gothenburg and used data and research from Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO.

    Floating ice walls – the edge of the floating ice shelf – are connected to landmass. Icebergs detach from ice shelves to join the ocean.

    The Antarctic ice sheet contains enough ice, if melted, to raise global sea levels by tens of metres so improving our understanding of the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet – and the processes which could slow or speed its rate of melt – are of critical importance globally.

    Researchers found that floating ice walls partly deflect warm ocean currents that would otherwise penetrate cavities beneath the floating portions of the ice sheet.

    CSIRO researcher at the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Ocean Research (CSHOR), Dr Laura Herraiz-Borreguero said one important control on ice loss from Antarctica was what happened where the ice sheet meets the ocean, where a large amount of ice melts.

    “The Antarctic ice sheet reaches the ocean through ice shelves, which are the floating edges of the ice sheet,” Dr Herraiz-Borreguero said.

    “Like a dam wall, these ice shelves slow down the rate at which grounded ice is discharged to the ocean, where it melts and contributes to sea level rise.”

    The question of how warm ocean currents made their way to the ice sheet, beneath the floating ice shelves, has been a long unanswered question for researchers.

    More knowledge has now been obtained by studying data collected from instruments that Dr Herraiz-Borreguero and her colleagues placed in the ocean in front of Getz glacier ice shelf in West Antarctica.

    The Getz glacier culminates in a vertical edge, a floating wall of ice that continues 300 to 400 metres down into the ocean.

    Warm ocean currents flow beneath this edge, towards the deeper grounded ice.

    The researchers found that the warm ocean currents were blocked by the floating ice edge, which limited the extent to which the warm ocean could reach the ice.

    The floating ice blocks about two thirds of the thermal energy carried by the ocean currents, which travels up towards the Antarctic ice sheet from the deep Southern Ocean.

    The results of the study have provided researchers with a greater understanding of how glacier areas like the Getz work.

    “Our work highlights the importance of the floating ice shelves, and in particular, their ice fronts, as key areas that should be closely monitored,” Dr Herraiz-Borreguero said.

    “If the ice front walls were to thin and disappear, a much greater portion of ocean heat would be delivered towards the grounded Antarctic ice.”

    Researchers believe the studies provided them with significantly better tools to be able to predict future sea level rise.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:31 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New digital Ag research station to help future proof our farms", Boorowa Agriculture Research Station, CSIRO   

    From CSIRO: “New digital Ag research station to help future proof our farms” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    09 Nov 2019
    Kate Langford
    Communication Manager – Agriculture & Food
    Phone +61262183459
    Mobile +61472845877

    Drones, remote monitoring and advanced data analytics will provide scientists unprecedented accuracy in studying crops and farming systems at the new Boorowa Agriculture Research Station, opened by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO today.

    1
    At Boorowa, research will be conducted into new varieties of wheat, canola, legumes and pastures that can withstand warmer and drier conditions, such as those predicted for the future.

    2
    Purpose built workshops and storage facilities at Boorowa Agricultural Research Station

    The digitally-enabled farm in southwestern NSW is equipped with 100 temperature and humidity probes, 72 soil moisture probes, and six weather stations to monitor experiments in crop science, agronomy and farming systems across its 290 hectares.

    It took four years to design and build, and is an $11.5 million investment in the future of Australian farming.

    Director of CSIRO Agriculture and Food Dr Michiel van Lookeren Campagne said it was more important than ever to advance innovative science to build resilient agriculture systems and increase food production.

    “Our agriculture industries are facing major challenges, especially with the current drought,” Dr van Lookeren Campagne said.

    “Here at Boorowa, we’ll be trialling new varieties of wheat, canola, legumes and pastures that can withstand warmer and drier conditions, such as those predicted for the future.

    “We’ll also continue to research the best farming practices to manage our fragile soils and get the most from every drop of water.”

    “The better we can understand how plants grow and produce in a real farming environment – not just the lab – the more we can help Australian agriculture meet its $100 billion target.”

    The new research station replaces CSIRO’s Ginninderra Experimental Station, which was established just outside Canberra in 1958.

    “It was at Ginninderra that we field-tested a range of high yielding and disease resistant wheat varieties such as Lawson, Paterson, Gordon, Tennant, Brennan and Dennis. We also refined our high-fibre BARLEYmax and ultra-low gluten Kebari® barley,” Dr van Lookeren Campagne said.

    “With this new state-of-the-art facility at Boorowa, it’s exciting to imagine what we can achieve.”

    The research station was developed with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund .

    B-roll footage for media is available for download.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:58 pm on November 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CSIRO, The devastating Ug99 strain of the wheat stem rust fungus   

    From CSIRO: “Cereal killer’s deadly touch could lead to new wheat threat” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    08 Nov 2019

    Kate Langford
    Communication Manager – Agriculture & Food
    Phone +61262183459
    Mobile +61472845877

    Scientists have uncovered the origins of the world’s deadliest strain of cereal rust disease which threatens global food security.

    1
    Wheat stem rust. Credit: Dr Zacharias Pretorius ©Dr Zacharias Pretorius

    Researchers from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, together with partners in the US and South Africa have solved a 20-year-old mystery with findings published today in Nature Communications.

    Their works shows that the devastating Ug99 strain of the wheat stem rust fungus (named for its discovery and naming in Uganda in 1999) was created when different rust strains simply fused to create a new hybrid strain.

    This process is called somatic hybridisation and enables the fungi to merge their cells together and exchange genetic material without going through the complex sexual reproduction cycle.

    The study found half of Ug99’s genetic material came from a strain that has been in southern Africa for more than 100 years and also occurs in Australia.

    The discovery shows that other crop-destroying rust strains could hybridise in other parts of the world, and scientists found evidence of this in their study.

    It also means Ug99 could once again exchange genetic material with different pathogen strains to create a whole new enemy.

    While it was proposed that rust strains could hybridise based on laboratory studies in the 1960s, this new research provides the first clear molecular evidence that this process generates new strains in nature.

    Rusts are a common fungal disease of plants. Globally they destroy over $1 billion worth of crops each year. Australian crops have largely been protected for the past 60 years by the breeding of rust-resistant crop varieties.

    Group Leader at CSIRO Dr Melania Figueroa said Ug99 is considered one of the most threatening of all rusts as it has managed to overcome many of the stem rust resistance genes used in wheat varieties and has evolved many variants.

    “While outbreaks of Ug99 have so far been restricted to Africa and the Middle East, it has been estimated that a nationwide outbreak here could cost Australia up to $500 million in lost production and fungicide use in the first year,” Dr Figueroa said.

    “There is some good news, however, as the more you know your enemy, the more equipped you are to fight against it.

    “Knowing how these pathogens come about means we can better predict how they are likely to change in the future and better determine which resistance genes can be bred into wheat varieties to give long-lasting protection.”

    Earlier this year, CSIRO worked with the University of Minnesota and the 2Blades Foundation to achieve good results in wheat resistance by stacking five resistance genes into the one wheat plant to combat wheat stem rust.

    This latest research is the result of a collaboration between scientists from CSIRO, the University of Minnesota, University of the Free State, and Australian National University.

    The breakthrough came as Dr Figueroa’s group was sequencing Ug99 (then at the University of Minnesota) and at the same time a CSIRO team led by Dr Peter Dodds was sequencing Pgt 21 in Australia.

    Pgt21 is a rust strain that was first seen in South Africa in the 1920s and believed to have been carried to Australia in the 1950s by wind currents. When the two groups compared results, they found the two pathogens share an almost identical nucleus and therefore half of their DNA.

    “This discovery will make it possible to develop better methods to screen for varieties with strong resistance to disease,” Dr Figueroa said.

    “There was an element of serendipity at play in this work. We never expected that Ug99 and an Australian isolate might be related but only through a multi-continental collaboration was it possible to make the connections needed to achieve this discovery.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:36 pm on October 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Australian innovation adds new sheen to old masters", , , CSIRO   

    From CSIRO: “Australian innovation adds new sheen to old masters” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    31 Oct 2019

    Ali Green
    Communication Advisor
    Phone +61 3 9545 8098
    Mobile +61 406 146 523

    1

    The new varnish resin is the result of a collaboration between Australia’s oldest and most visited gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and CSIRO. The product has now been commercialised by Melbourne chemical manufacturer Boron Molecular, a former CSIRO spin-out.

    The synthetic resin, called MS3, is the latest generation of a synthetic varnish that was designed specifically for conservation and cultural heritage applications. After extensive testing at the NGV, the resin will now be trialled by conservators working in several of the world’s major art institutions.

    Michael Gallagher, the Sherman Fairchild Chairman of Paintings Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, welcomed the collaborative project, which brought together specialists from the diverse fields of painting conservation and polymer chemistry to address an important need in the paintings conservation profession.

    “Thoughtful, fully informed research is essential to addressing the practical challenges of responsibly conserving paintings for the future,” Mr Gallagher said.

    “The addition of a stable, affordable, and aesthetically appropriate varnish is potentially a major contribution.”

    CSIRO’s Leader of Materials for Energy and the Environment, Dr Deborah Lau, said using the emerging technology of ‘flow chemistry’ allowed the team to develop the resin in a safer, cleaner, more efficient way than traditional chemical manufacturing. This in turn delivered improved colour, chemical stability, and consistency between batches.

    “Flow chemistry is a cutting-edge technology that allowed us to develop a bespoke fine-art resin with minimal discolouration or cracking over time,” Dr Lau said.

    “The resin provides a protective coating together with enhancing the visual aesthetic, and can be removed without causing any damage to the underlying paint layers. This means the resin can be re-applied to artworks and protect them for generations to come.

    “For a niche market like fine art preservation and restoration, lowering the costs of production meant creating an opportunity for an Australian small business like Boron Molecular to step in and scale-up the resin for commercialisation.”

    Carl Villis, Senior Conservator of Paintings at the NGV, said that MS3 has been warmly received by the international paintings conservation profession because an earlier and much loved version of synthetic resin, known as MS2A, had gone out of production in 2015. With the new collaboration, CSIRO and the NGV saw an opportunity to further improve what was already the best product out there.

    “MS3 is clearer and more consistent in its appearance than the earlier resin as a direct result of the flow chemistry process employed by CSIRO’s scientists,” Mr Villis said.

    “We approached CSIRO to see if they could develop a resin for us, and we were so encouraged by the results we were seeing that we sent samples to galleries around the world for them to trial.

    “The feedback so far has been very positive, and we have had the opportunity to use the varnish in recent important conservation treatments of works in our own collection, notably Rembrandt’s Two Old Men Disputing and van Dyck’s portrait, Philip Herbert, the 4th Earl of Pembroke.”

    Director of Business Development at Boron Molecular, Dr Oliver Hutt, said that working with CSIRO on cutting-edge technology like flow chemistry has allowed Boron to broaden the scope of their business and upscale their innovative products to compete in the global marketplace.

    “Using flow helps us get our products to market more rapidly, both here and overseas,” Dr Hutt said.

    “The revolutionary process also means more control and higher quality material as the chemical process is refined compared to traditional large-scale production methods. This control translates to less material waste and better environmental outcomes.”

    The resin was developed at CSIRO’s world-class flow chemistry facility in Melbourne, FloWorks, which was officially opened by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, last week.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:46 pm on October 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Students tackle Australia's challenges with science", CSIRO, Making STEM careers more visible and relatable., STEM professionals and parliamentarians head to classrooms around the country today   

    From CSIRO: “Students tackle Australia’s challenges with science” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    30 Oct 2019
    Jessica Hildyard

    School students are being recruited to help solve some of Australia’s greatest challenges, as STEM professionals and parliamentarians head to classrooms around the country today.

    Students at more than 300 schools from across the country will hear directly from professionals who tackle national challenges, ranging from climate change to our ageing population to food security, as part of their work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

    The annual event is part of the STEM in Schools program, run by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to make STEM careers more visible and relatable.

    1
    Rama Rao and Pamela Taylor at Sirius College, Melbourne, during STEM in Schools in 2017.

    2
    Regina Coeli Primary School Sydney during 2017 STEM in Schools event.

    3
    CSIRO Education Advisor Peter Poon teacher Mieke Roodenburg with students from Redlands Junior School at the 2017 STEM in Schools event. ©Daniel Boud

    CSIRO’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley said Australia’s future prosperity will need a workforce with high STEM literacy.

    “Science creates new industries, new jobs and shapes the minds and aspirations of our future leaders,” Dr Foley said.

    “We can’t think about science as something which is locked away in a lab; it connects and drives everything we touch and do.

    “It’s also pretty exciting when your work can have an enormous impact and make a difference in people’s lives and around the world, which is what I love about working in science and at CSIRO.”

    Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, said studying STEM subjects could lead to a career in anything from astronomy and space science to biology and even politics.

    “The skills I have acquired as an engineer have served me well, from the floor of power stations I worked in, to the floor of the House of Representatives,” Minister Andrews said.

    “STEM skills can be the launch-pad of many careers and will also be essential in many others, so we need to inspire all students to take up and stick with STEM subjects.”

    CSIRO’s Director of Education and Outreach Mary Mulcahy said as the national science agency, CSIRO has a proud history of delivering innovative learning opportunities to inspire the STEM leaders of the future.

    “Connecting students to real life STEM experiences is an important part of helping students see their path from the classroom to solving national challenges with their work,” Ms Mulcahy said.

    “STEM professionals can make subjects come to life by sharing their work and their excitement about what they do.

    “We are calling for more STEM professionals and teachers to join our STEM Professionals in Schools program.”

    For more information about the STEM Professionals in Schools program visit http://www.csiro.au/STEM-Professionals-in-Schools

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:24 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Businesses to benefit from Australia’s first flow chemistry lab", CSIRO, FloWorks Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry   

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation CSIRO: “Businesses to benefit from Australia’s first flow chemistry lab” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    21 Oct 2019
    Ali Green
    Communication Advisor
    Phone +61 3 9545 8098
    Mobile +61 406 146 523

    Small businesses will have more opportunities to enter and innovate industries like hydrogen energy, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture with the opening of Australia’s first flow chemistry facility in Melbourne today.

    1
    Flow chemistry uses far less solvents and energy and discards far less waste material into the environment than traditional batch chemistry. ©Nick Pitsas

    2
    Catalytic Static Mixers could hold the key for a technological breakthrough in hydrogen energy. ©Nick Pitsas

    3
    Catalytic Static Mixers could hold the key for a technological breakthrough in hydrogen energy. ©Nick Pitsas

    Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, officially opened its FloWorks Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry in the presence of Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel and representatives from a number of small and medium business partners.

    Located in the heart of the Australian Manufacturing and Materials Precinct in Clayton, Victoria, FloWorks provides cutting edge research into flow chemistry capability, making it more accessible to the chemical manufacturing industry and solving challenges associated with developing Australia’s future industries and jobs.

    Flow chemistry is a form of chemical manufacturing that is cleaner, smarter and more efficient. The benefits of using the flow process include reduced reaction times and plant space, which equate to less energy cost, more efficient processes, reduced waste and a much safer environment.

    The smaller set-up used in flow chemistry reduces barriers to entry for small and medium businesses in what would otherwise be capital-intensive industries.

    Dr Christian Hornung, a senior research scientist with CSIRO and Director of the new centre, said FloWorks provides a world-leading research facility and innovation centre for chemistry.

    “FloWorks develops scalable and safe chemical processes using an emerging technology called continuous flow chemistry,” Dr Horning said.

    “The Centre provides a collaborative space at the cutting-edge of modern chemistry, where we can work with Australian businesses to improve their processes, cut costs and reduce waste.

    “Our world-class researchers at FloWorks can work with partners to update their current chemical processes, including from laboratory discovery to continuous flow production scale; from inefficient batch procedures to continuous processes; and offer in-house training for industrial collaborators on our state-of-the-art flow chemistry equipment.”

    Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, said the FloWorks Centre will allow Australian-based researchers to use its capabilities to support emerging renewable hydrogen technology development.

    “One of our greatest challenges is to move to a decarbonised economy, and hydrogen has the potential to play an important role in this transition,” Dr Finkel said.

    “Maximising the efficiency in both production and use of hydrogen is crucially important. Improvements depend largely on the efficiency of the catalysis. Flow chemistry could be used to improve efficiency, and FloWorks has developed its own catalysis processes in pursuit of this goal.”

    Since 2009, CSIRO has worked with small businesses through to multi-nationals using flow chemistry to manufacture innovative new materials like RAFT and other high-performance polymers, Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs), pharmaceuticals and various fine chemicals and specialty materials.

    Dr Oliver Hutt is Director of Business Development at Boron Molecular, which was created more than 20 years ago to commercialise CSIRO science, and now uses flow chemistry at their Melbourne plant to manufacture fine chemicals for Australian and international clients.

    “CSIRO helped us integrate flow chemistry into our operations. We use our unit to develop a number of processes or convert them from batch to flow,” Dr Hutt said.

    “Examples of the types of technologies we’ve commercialised using flow chemistry include poly-aniline (PANI), a high-performance electroactive polymer used in coating applications, and a suite of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs), next generation high-surface area, porous materials used for applications like gas storage and water treatment,” he said.

    FloWorks is open to businesses of all sizes interested in working with CSIRO’s world-class experts to create value using flow chemistry.

    This research is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:33 pm on March 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Indigenous STEM Awards winners passionate about innovation through culture", CSIRO, Winners List   

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO: “Indigenous STEM Awards winners passionate about innovation through culture” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -CSIRO

    07 Mar 2019

    Emma Sugget
    Communication Advisor
    Phone +61738335512
    Mobile +61459876247
    emma.sugget@csiro.au

    Ali Green
    Communication Advisor
    Phone +61 3 9545 8098
    Mobile +61 406 146 523
    Ali.Green@csiro.au

    A partnership between the BHP Foundation and CSIRO, the Indigenous STEM Awards recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM professionals and students as well as schools, teachers and mentors working in Indigenous STEM Education.

    Associate Lecturer at Macquarie University and designer of Torres Strait Virtual Reality, Rhett Loban, received the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Career Achievement Award.

    Torres Strait Virtual Reality is a virtual reality game to highlight the unique traditions and history of the Torres Strait Islander people.

    The game illustrates environmental knowledge, astronomy, stories and cultural practices specific to the Torres Strait Islands.

    Rhett, a Torres Strait Islander, is passionate about using new technology and ways of learning in schools and universities.

    “There isn’t a lot of digital media out there in terms of Indigenous content, particularly for Torres Strait Islander content,” he said.

    “Through participation and recognition of Indigenous peoples working in STEM, everyone can benefit and learn from each other to power innovation.

    “I really enjoy using new and digital media within education. At Macquarie University we are setting up a virtual reality lab and looking how we might use virtual reality in schools and universities.”

    Taylah Griffin , winner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Student STEM Achievement Award is a proud Gangulu woman who grew up in Gordonvale in Far North Queensland.

    She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical and Aerospace Engineering (Honours) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and works for Boeing Defence Australia as a Graduate Systems Engineer.

    “My love for both my culture, and for STEM, are my motivations,” she said.

    “I’m the first Indigenous person to graduate with Honours in Electrical and Aerospace Engineering, and the first Indigenous female to graduate with any engineering degree at QUT.”

    “The future job market will be led by STEM and currently, less than one per cent of Indigenous students are studying STEM at university.

    “If we don’t put a spotlight on Indigenous excellence and promote STEM to young Indigenous Australians, then the gap will continue to grow.”

    Areyonga School won the School Award for their bilingual two-way science program.

    The school works closely with a community of Elders who share their incredibly valuable traditional ecological knowledge with staff and students.

    Each of the winners will have a presentation in their home communities throughout March and April.

    The Indigenous STEM Award program is part of the Indigenous STEM Education Project, managed by CSIRO and funded by BHP Foundation.

    The Indigenous STEM Education Project aims to increase participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

    Winners List
    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Career Achievement Award
    Rhett Loban, Macquarie University, New South Wales.

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Early Career Award
    Tui Nolan, University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales.

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Student STEM Achievement Award
    Taylah Griffin, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland.

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Secondary Student STEM Achievement Award
    Jordan Salmon, Clancy Catholic College, New South Wales

    Jordan Griffiths, Seaton High School, South Australia.
    School Award
    Areyonga School, Northern Territory.
    Teacher Award
    Markus Honnef, Innisfail State College, Queensland.

    STEM Champion Award
    Marcus Lacey, Gumurr Marthakal Rangers, Northern Territory.

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Science Award
    Deklan, Paralowie R-12 School, South Australia
    Sha-Kira Austin, Byron Bay High School, New South Wales.

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Maths Award
    Stacey and Renee Edwards, Mount St Bernard College, Queensland
    Lara Riley, Newton Moore Senior High School, Western Australia

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
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