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— Environment

Australia to get Southern Hemisphere's largest solar PV plant

With plenty of sun-drenched, wide open spaces, Australia is an obvious place for large-scale solar power plants. It would seem that large reserves of coal, oil and natural gas, have on the other hand made it difficult for the country to wean itself off fossil fuels. But renewable energy is getting a boost down-under with the announcement of two solar projects, one of which will be the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Southern Hemisphere. Read More
— Marine

SAMS wetsuits make surfers look less tasty

Worldwide, around 100 people are attacked by sharks each year. The anxiety this produces isn't helped by the fact that traditional black wetsuits make divers and surfers look like seals, and it’s not a good idea to dress up as a shark’s favorite snack before going into the water. Australian company Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) is developing wetsuits designed to deter shark attacks rather than ring the dinner gong by using disruptive patterns that sharks have trouble seeing, or that make them think twice about attacking. Read More
— Motorcycles Feature

A day in pictures: Melbourne's motorcycle paramedics

Jason Learmonth is a paramedic with a difference. Instead of an ambulance, he gets around town on a motorcycle that's kitted out with almost every piece of clinical equipment an ambulance carries. It's part of a trial that's putting two of these machines on the road in Melbourne, Australia, for three years to discover whether the bike's ability to get into hard-to-reach places and move through congested traffic is useful enough to make it a permanent part of the Ambulance service. I followed Jason around for an afternoon to capture some of his extraordinary working day in pictures. Read More
— Architecture

Other Architects envisions new official residence for Australia's Prime Minister

The official residence of Australia's current Prime Minister (known as "The Lodge") was only ever intended to offer temporary accommodation when constructed back in 1925. To celebrate this year's Canberra centenary celebrations, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design invited architects to produce a modern replacement for the venerable lodge. Sydney-based Other Architects duly produced its "A House That Floods" concept. Read More
— Architecture

From prefab skyscrapers to prefab houses, Klik claims to fit the bill

With Klik, Australian companies Elenberg Fraser and Unitised Building have come up with a prefabricated modular building system they claim is equally suited to knocking up a quick skyscraper as it is a modern, designer house. It makes sense, then, that the product is pitched at developers, architects and would-be homeowners, and that the multiple choice procurement procedure is identical for each. If you can tick a box, you can design a Klik building, more or less. Read More
— Science

Scientists clone extinct frog that gives birth from its mouth

Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The "Lazarus Project" team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog. Read More
— Architecture

The Stamp House: a self-sustaining, solar-powered cyclone shelter

Thanks to its tropical climate, Far North Queensland (FNQ), Australia, is a place where residents regularly have to deal with threats from the environment in the form of cyclones, while being mindful of their impact on the environment. One architectural firm has constructed a building that attempts to address both concerns simultaneously. Designed by Charles Wright Architects, the Stamp House in FNQ is a self-sustaining home that's sturdy enough to withstand a Category 5 cyclone. Read More