Scientists at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia have discovered a gene in an ancient Australian native tobacco plant that they say is the key to growing crops in space. The plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, has long been used in labs around the world to test viruses and vaccines due to the fact it has no immune system. Surprisingly, this trait has also led to the plant being extremely resilient, which is where space-based food production comes in.
Britain's WilkinsonEyre Architects has proposed a new mixed-use skyscraper for Melbourne, Australia. Boasting a luxury hotel, upmarket apartments, and a publicly accessible restaurant at its top, the Queensbridge Tower would rise to a height of 84 stories.
Just like moose and deer in other parts of the world, strong and agile kangaroos wreak all kinds of havoc when bounding across Australian roads. In an effort to limit the damage, Volvo is working on technology for its vehicles that detects the roos and brings the car to a gentle stop before a collision can occur.
Melbourne's plentiful parklands have no shortage of shady trees under which to relax on a balmy summer evening, but a new addition to the city's gardens offer a different way to wind down. The recently constructed MPavilion in the center of the arts precinct features a ceiling made of translucent, sound- and light-emitting leaves that emulate the motions of a forest canopy by swaying in the breeze.
The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) got a fashion show with a medical twist last month as Denmark’s first astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, donned a SkinSuit designed to counteract the harmful effects of prolonged periods of weightlessness on the human body. Developed as part of an international effort led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, the new suit is designed to simulate the pressures of normal gravity to prevent unhealthy stretching of the spine.
Early 20th Century Harley Davidson motorcycles are rare enough items in themselves. But when one surfaces that was uncommon even when new, and from a line of racing models largely destroyed over the years in the pursuit of speed, you know that you probably have an exceptionally scarce item on your hands. So when a barn-find Harley-Davidson racing machine and sidecar is found after 50-plus years in storage in Australia and then sent to auction, the bidding is sure to be fierce. With a final winning bid of AUD$600,000 – and a new Australian auction record – that was certainly the case.
Earlier this month, Australian architect Brad Swartz won the 2015 Houses Awards for Best Apartment or Unit for his project in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The 27-square meter (290-sq ft) apartment was transformed into a multi-functional home that comfortably accommodates two at a cost of just AUD$54,000 (approx. US$39,130) to complete.
The list of spacefaring nations remains small, but thanks to continuing advances in technology that promise to reduce the financial and logistical hurdles involved, the numbers are set to increase. One country that could be joining the club, if the University of Queensland (UQ) and Heliaq Advanced Engineering get their way, is Australia. The two are teaming up on a project intended to deliver payloads weighing from 50 to 500 kg (110 to 1,102 lb) into orbit.
It's been about almost two years since Beyoncé last visited Melbourne, but her influence can still be felt in mainland Australia's southernmost capital. Don't believe us? Well, maybe a 68-story skyscraper bearing her famous curves will convince you otherwise. The Premier Tower will be built smack bang in the city center, and though its aesthetics are sure to draw their share of attention, the architects tell us there's a very practical thinking behind its Beyoncé-like bows.
Australia is sitting on top of some of the world's most potent geothermal energy sources, according to government estimates. Just one percent of the hot rock energy less than 5 km under the surface would be enough to meet the whole country's entire power needs for 26,000 years if it was tapped. So why aren't we seeing more movement on it?