University of Queensland


Scientists attribute mammal extinction to climate change for the first time

Climate change is by definition a global phenomenon, but there are few locations feeling its immediate impacts like Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Just a month after local scientists were left reeling as warming seas triggered the worst coral bleaching event in its history, researchers are now reporting the reef's only endemic mammal species has become extinct as a result of rising sea levels, describing its demise as the first mammal species to be killed off by human-induced global warming.Read More


Fish – yes fish – can distinguish one human face from another

The old myth about goldfish having a three-second memory has already been thoroughly busted, but now researchers have provided more evidence of fish's recall abilities. They have discovered a species of tropical fish can distinguish one human face from another, which is something believed to require a more sophisticated brain than many animals, including fish, are thought to possess.Read More


Experimental hypersonic craft hits Mach 7.5

The Australian Department of Defence has announced the successful launch of a hypersonic aircraft called Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) 5B at the Woomera Test range. According to a statement, the craft reached a velocity of Mach 7.5 (5,710 mph, 9,188 km/h) and an altitude of 278 km (173 mi) as part of an Australian-United States program to study fundamental technologies needed to travel over five times the speed of sound.Read More


Grass used to make thinner, stronger condoms

So first of all … no, nobody is thinking of weaving together blades of grass to make condoms. Scientists at Australia's University of Queensland, however, are having success with condoms made from a latex with added nanocellulose obtained from a native grass. Not only are they stronger than regular latex condoms, but they could be as thin as the diameter of a human hair.Read More


Swimsuits for sea turtles

If you're wondering what the best dressed sea turtles are wearing at the beach this season, then the University of Queensland has the answer. As part of a study to find the foraging areas of endangered loggerhead turtles, researchers there designed a bespoke swimsuit for the 120 kg (264 lb) animals that acts as a harness for a "giant nappy" to collect fecal samples.Read More


Scramjet-based project looks to blast Australia into space

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.Read More


Non-invasive Alzheimer's treatment restores memory using ultrasound

Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that most often begins in people over 65 years of age. Usually it starts slowly and continues to worsen over time until the sufferer succumbs to an increasing loss of memory, bodily functions and, eventually, death. Research has shown that there is an association with Alzheimer's and the accumulation of plaques that affect the neuronal connections in the brain. Now researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered a new way to remove these toxic plaques using a non-invasive form of ultrasound therapy.Read More


Mantis shrimp's eyes inspire new cancer-detecting camera

One of nature’s most notorious psychopaths may be giving cancer patients new hope. The mantis shrimp is famous for having a punch like a .22 bullet and a perpetual bad attitude, but is also has the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom, which are excellent at detecting polarized light. With this in mind, the University of Queensland is developing new cameras based on the mantis shrimp’s eyes that can detect a variety of cancer tissues.Read More


Australian researchers simulate a time-traveling photon

Researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia claim to have simulated the behavior of a single photon traveling back in time and interacting with an older version of itself, in an effort to investigate how such a particle would behave. Their results suggest that, under such circumstances, the laws of quantum mechanics would stretch to become even more bizarre than they already are.Read More


"Mini-kidney" grown from stem cells

Instead of having to wait for one of the limited number of available donor kidneys, patients in need of a transplant may eventually be able to have a new kidney custom-grown for them. That possibility recently took one step closer to reality, as scientists at Australia's University of Queensland successfully grew a "mini-kidney" from stem cells. Read More


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