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University of Melbourne

Materials

Embedded nanoparticles clear the way for smart glass devices

In a breakthrough new "direct-doping" process, scientists have embedded light-emitting nanoparticles into glass so that it remains almost perfectly transparent, but glows brightly when stimulated by lower frequency light. Able to be molded in almost any shape, and even extruded into optical fibers, the researchers claim that this new "hybrid glass" could be used to create new smart glass devices, including smart 3D displays and remote radiation sensors.Read More

Medical

Implantable device translates thought into action for people with spinal injuries

Researchers in Australia have built an implantable brain-machine interface (BMI) that may give people with spinal cord injuries the ability to walk again using the power of their own thoughts. Consisting of a stent-based electrode, known as a "stentrode", implanted within a blood vessel of a patient's brain, along with a power supply and transmitter inserted under the skin in front of the shoulder, the new system creates a minimally invasive BMI that is capable of translating thoughts into action.

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Medical

New blood clot-busting nanocapsule promises immediate care for heart attacks

When blood clots form in the aftermath of a heart attack or stroke, medications can be deployed to break them apart, but delivery is tricky. Getting the medicine to the clot takes some guesswork and there's no guarantee it will arrive in the right dosage, with complications like hemorrhaging a real possibility. A team of Australian scientists has developed a new approach that sees the drugs carried safely inside a nanocapsule, opening up the treatment to more patients and lessening the chance of side effects.Read More

Architecture

Inside the weird, wonderful and award-winning Melbourne School of Design

There was more than a touch of irony about the University of Melbourne's old architecture building. As the breeding ground for generations of Australia's designers and builders, the plain brick building had come to be known as one of the campus' most drab and uninspiring structures. But a simmering discontent boiled over in 2009, when the university announced plans to knock it down and start again. Now standing in its place is a multi award-winning building that's as visually arresting as it is environmentally-friendly. The Melbourne School of Design places a premium on sustainability and collaborative education, and through an inventive architectural approach it has married the two to produce a truly unique learning environment.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Researchers shed new light on skin-based immune system

The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection, with an extensive network of skin-based immune cells responsible for detecting the presence of foreign invaders. However, in addition to pathogens, an immune response can be triggered by allergens or even our own cells, resulting in unwanted inflammation and allergies. Researchers have now shed new light on the way the immune system in our skin works, paving the way for future improvements in tackling infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Scientists sequence genetic code of dog roundworm

Roundworms, or nemotodes, can be found in practically every ecosystem on Earth and are thought to account for 80 percent of all individual animals on the planet. Making up some of these numbers is Toxocara canis, a roundworm that, although more commonly found in dogs, can infect humans. An international team of scientists has now sequenced the genetic code of T. canis, opening the door for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests applicable to a wide range of roundworms to be developed.Read More

Medical

Neurological implant accurately predicts likelihood of epileptic seizure

Epilepsy seizures can range from something as subtle as a passing localized numbness to something as noticeable and potentially dangerous as wild involuntary thrashing. While some people experience symptoms before a seizure that indicate one is about to occur, others have no warning at all. A new device that is designed to be implanted between the skull and the brain surface has been found to accurately predict epilepsy seizures in humans and can indicate the risk of a seizure occurring in the coming hours. Read More

Science

Atom-tall silicon wires pave way for quantum computers

The world's narrowest silicon wires with a cross section of a mere four atoms by one atom have been created by a team of developers from the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne and Purdue University. The wires are fully functioning, with current-carrying capacity equivalent to that of a microprocessor's copper cable, despite being 20 times thinner - and 10,000 times narrower than a human hair. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Enzyme structure opens doors to new treatments of viruses including HIV and Hep C

Viruses can enter the body via a number of pathways and while scientists have known how to block the main one used by viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis C, Dengue Fever and West Nile virus for some time, these viruses are able to bypass this main pathway to replicate and cause disease via a second pathway by hijacking an enzyme known as endomannosidase. Now an international team of researchers has determined the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme endomannosidase, opening the door for new treatments to a variety of deadly viruses through the development of inhibitors that block this bypass route.Read More

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