Space

The search for life on Mars is being targeted towards fallen meteorites, with comparable extraterrestrial specimens sourced from Australia’s Nullarbor Plain being examined by UQ researchers as substrates for initial colonisation of terrestrial rock-consuming microorganisms. The unique habitat of these meteorites, which are initially sterile when they pass through the planet's atmosphere, provide a refuge for … Continue reading Space

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Quantum Technology

In an unorthodox integration between biomedical diagnostics and quantum physics, UQ physicists have developed precision sensors that have the capability to detect and track single unlabelled biomolecules, providing insights into the body’s nanomachinery.  Research article: Evanescent single-molecule biosensing with quantum-limited precision   Aided by the launch of a $31.9M Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), UQ Physics Professor Warwick … Continue reading Quantum Technology

Natural Disasters

  Dr Teresa Ubide from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences warned of the instability of Bali’s Mount Agung volcano approximately 2 months before its eruption, citing increased frequency of tremors as evidence of rising magma.  After more than 1600 people died from Mt Agung's last eruption in 1963, advances in seismic monitoring techniques allowed for extensive forewarning and evacuation procedures to … Continue reading Natural Disasters

Extinction

The resurrection of extinct species (de-extinction) is close to becoming a reality outside the realm of Hollywood fantasy, but the question remains whether this would be an ecologically beneficial venture. Research out of UQ’s Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions suggests that de-extinction strategies under finite conservation funding could drain resources from the conservation of existing … Continue reading Extinction

Turtles

A study comprising researchers from UQ’s School of Veterinary Science has found that elevated concentrations of industrial & agricultural chemicals in the blood of Great Barrier Reef turtles are causing inflammation & liver dysfunction in coastal populations. Researchers found that green turtles had cobalt levels in their blood four to 25 times higher than the undisturbed … Continue reading Turtles

Venom

In 2017, UQ’s venom expert from the School of Biological Sciences, A/Prof. Bryan Fry, has undergone research into toxin evolution within a range of predators, including brown and tiger snakes, cobras and Komodo dragons. The significance of venom research includes healthcare advances with the production of vital antivenoms & anti-blood clotting drugs. Different snake populations, … Continue reading Venom

Drug Design

Rational drug design – elucidating a pathogen or disease pathway and specifically designing a drug towards the target – is now a common pharmaceutical tool and has been used by UQ researchers to develop innovative drugs toward fungal infections & autoimmune diseases.   Students undertaking an undergraduate microbiology course at UQ (MICR3003) have found themselves … Continue reading Drug Design