Monash University


Oldest micrometeorites ever found hold clues to Earth's ancient atmosphere

About 2.4 billion years ago on Earth, something known as the Great Oxygenation Event occurred when Earth's lower atmosphere began to become rich in O2 as oxygen sinks such as dissolved iron and organic material became saturated and couldn't hold any more. Before that, the air near the surface of our planet contained less than 0.001 percent of today's oxygen level. While we've known this for a while, scientists were never quite sure what the Earth's upper atmosphere looked like at the time. Now, by examining fossilized cosmic dust, a team of researchers has sorted it out.Read More


Researchers turn to tick spit to shut down our immune systems

When ticks bite humans, they inject us with a substance that keeps them disguised from our immune systems. This lets them hang on to us and feed for up to 10 days without getting attacked by our bodies' defences. While this strategy certainly serves the tick — and not the humans — very well, researchers may soon be turning the tables and employing a substance in tick saliva to help people battle damaging, and potentially deadly, autoimmune diseases.Read More


Snake venom shapes as antidote for Alzheimer’s

A viper's venom would usually be something to steer clear of if you're at all concerned about your health, but new research suggests it may in fact boost the wellbeing of those with Alzheimer's disease. Australian scientists have discovered a molecule in this predator's poison that slows the onset of Alzheimer's, working to break down plaques in the brain that lead to dementia and typify the condition. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

New blood pressure tech says ciao to arm cuffs

Generally, if a doctor wants to know a patient's blood pressure, they have to place a cuff around the person's arm and inflate it. Not only can this be uncomfortable for the patient, but it also only indicates what their blood pressure is at the time that the test is performed. That's why scientists at Australia's Monash University are developing an alternative – a cuffless blood pressure estimation system that is worn for hours at a time, wirelessly transmitting real-time readings.Read More


Low-cost bioactive paper detects blood types in under a minute

Determining a blood type to ensure compatibility ahead of a transfusion isn't straightforward at the best of times, but in regions of the world where proper medical equipment is unavailable it is nigh on impossible. A new, bioactive piece of paper promises to change that, however, with the ability to analyze just a few drops of blood and identify somebody's blood group in as little as one minute.Read More


Discovery of corrosion-resistant "stainless magnesium" to enable lightweight vehicles

As a strong, lightweight and easily machined material, magnesium alloy holds much promise as an alternative to heavier metals like aluminum, particularly when it comes to transportation. One attribute holding it back, however, is the fact that it corrodes easily. But Australian researchers have discovered an ultra-low density and corrosion-resistant magnesium-lithium alloy that could greatly reduce the weight of cars and planes, in what they describe as the first step toward mass production of stainless magnesium.Read More


New record energy efficiency for artificial photosynthesis

As the world moves towards developing new avenues of renewable energy, the efficiencies of producing fuels such as hydrogen must increase to the point that they rival or exceed those of conventional energy sources to make them a viable alternative. Now researchers at Monash University in Melbourne claim to have created a solar-powered device that produces hydrogen at a world-record 22 percent efficiency, which is a significant step towards making cheap, efficient hydrogen production a reality.Read More


Capsule transmits live gas reports from inside the gut

We've already heard about swallowable capsules that can transmit video from within the digestive tract. Pictures will only tell you so much, though. That's why researchers from Australia's RMIT and Monash universities have now developed a capsule that measures concentrations of intestinal gases, and sends that data to a smartphone or other device. Read More


Steerable optical nanoantennas light the way for practical lab-on-a-chip devices

Using unidirectional cubic nanoantennas to direct the output from nanoemitters, researchers at Monash University in Australia have described a method to accurately focus light at the nanoscale. The practical upshot of which is substantial progress towards guided, ultra-narrow beams needed for the new world of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and the eventual production of entire lab-on-a-chip devices. Read More

3D Printing

Researchers create world's first 3D-printed jet engines

Working with colleagues from Deakin University and CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), researchers from Australia's Monash University have created the world's first 3D-printed jet engine. While they were at it, they created the world's second one, too. One of them is currently on display at the International Air Show in Avalon, Australia, while the other can be seen at the headquarters of French aerospace company Microturbo, in Toulouse.Read More


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