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Monash University

— Science

Stainless magnesium breakthrough bodes well for manufacturing industries

Magnesium alloys are very attractive for a range of weight-sensitive applications. They have the largest strength-to-weight ratio of the common structural metals, are lighter than aluminum and are particularly favored for being easy to machine and for their ability to be die cast to net shape. Unfortunately, magnesium alloys tend to corrode too easily. A team at Monash University in Australia has now discovered a novel and potentially game-changing approach to the problem: poisoning the chemical reactions leading to corrosion of magnesium alloys by adding a dash of arsenic to the recipe. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing Feature

Why bacteria are being recruited in the fight against dengue fever

It can be lethal, it makes patients ill for weeks and there’s no vaccine against it. Cases of dengue fever, whose symptoms usually include high temperature, body ache and fatigue, have increased 30-fold in the last 50 years. The World Health Organization estimates that around 50 to 100 million people are infected yearly and 2.5 billion people live in risk areas. After a successful trial run in Australia, a promising development that uses a common bacteria to fight dengue is about to be tried in one of the most affected countries in the world – Brazil. Read More
— Telecommunications

Closing the gap to improve the capacity of existing fiber optic networks

A team of researchers working through Australia’s Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) has developed data encoding technology that increases the efficiency of existing fiber optic cable networks. The researchers claim their invention increases the data capacity of optical networks to the point that all of the world’s internet traffic could be transmitted via a single fiber. Read More
— Environment

Carbon-capture material releases trapped CO2 when exposed to sunlight

Amidst concerns over the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases, many research institutes have been looking into methods of carbon sequestration – the capture, storage and even possible reuse of carbon dioxide emissions. Unfortunately, some of the approaches require a considerable input of power, in order to release the captured CO2. A new material developed at Australia’s Monash University, however, requires nothing but sunlight. Read More
— Science

Scientists copy structure of cork to produce 3D blocks of graphene

Imagine how limiting it would be if steel, wood or plastic only existed in the form of thin sheets. Well, that’s been the case so far when it comes to graphene. While its incredible strength and high conductivity make it very useful in things like semiconductors, batteries and solar cells, there’s no doubt that it would be even more useful if it could be produced in three-dimensional blocks. Scientists at Australia’s Monash University have now managed to do just that – by copying the structure of cork. Read More
— Science

Graphene coating makes copper almost 100 times more corrosion-resistant

Following on from news out of the University at Buffalo earlier this year that a graphene varnish could significantly slow the corrosion of steel, researchers from Monash and Rice Universities have used a graphene coating to improve copper’s resistance to corrosion by nearly 100 times. The researchers say such a dramatic extension of the metal’s useful life could result in significant cost savings for a wide range of industries. Read More
— Music

HipDisk - bending over backwards for music

We've seen a number of weird and wonderful musical creations here at Gizmag but we have to agree with the creator of the hipDisk when she describes it as possibly the most undignified musical instrument ever. This strange interactive sonic system is made up of a pancake tutu-like disk at the hip and another above the waist which cause a sound to be generated when the two disks meet at specific points around the edge. In order to get to those points and create simple monophonic tunes or melodies, the wearer has to twist, turn, bend or stretch so that the two conductive contact points meet. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Color-changing, heat-sensitive bandage indicates infection

Researchers have developed a fiber that changes color in response to temperature with the aim of creating a smart bandage that can indicate the state of underlying wounds and warn of infection. With the ability to show temperature changes of less than 0.5 of a degree Celsius, the smart bandage would allow for easier and faster identification of healing problems that are typically accompanied by an increase or decrease in local temperature, such as infection or interruptions to blood supply. Read More