brindafella writes "Researchers have made what they describe as an "almost embarrassing" discovery, that twisted nylon fishing line can form a "powerful, large-stroke, high-stress artificial muscles" capable of lifting as much as 100 times more weight than human muscles and contracting by 49%, and "generate 5.3 kilowatts of mechanical work per kilogram of muscle weight, similar to that produced by a jet engine." They twisted the fishing line, then heated it to 'set' the shape-memory muscle. The scientists are from the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong, and the University of Texas. It's published in Science magazine."Link to Original Source
brindafella writes "Research from James Cook University's Dr Robin Beaman has aggregated data into a new high-resolution bathymetry model of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, called gbr100. The 100 metre-resolution gridded bathymetry dataset covers an area of about 3,000,000 km2, from the Gulf of Papua to northern New South Wales, and easterly into the deep Coral Sea. There is also a really interesting colour poster (909kB PDF) to download."
brindafella writes "The 2013 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in 17 fields, covering: research and innovation; leadership and commercialisation; science communication and journalism;and school science.
Significant among the prizes were:
CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science — Winner: Professor Frank Caruso, University of Melbourne — This international nanotechnology expert has won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his leadership in developing nanotechnology-enabled materials for biomedical applications.
Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher — Winner: Dr Kerrie Wilson, University of Queensland — Targeted spending provides more bang for the buck when it comes to protecting threatened species, according to new guidelines developed by the University of Queensland’s Dr Kerrie Wilson.
Australian Museum University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Secondary — Winner: The Spectacular Spider, Brandon Gifford, Casino High School, NSW — A mini-documentary about spiders has won final-year school student Brandon Gifford the 2013 Australian Museum University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for secondary students. It’s his third win in a row."
brindafella writes "A world first! When Australian woman, Vali, was diagnosed with cancer, and treated, she was not looking at a good outcome. Yet, TWO cancer treatments later, she is pregnant with twin girls. Her ovaries were sectioned and frozen before the cancer treatment. She has had her own flesh implanted outside her pelvis. Eggs were gathered, IVF techniques used later with her male partner, and her uterus is now carrying two viable girls due to be born in about 3 months. Melbourne IVF's Associate Professor Kate Stern has explained the process today."Link to Original Source
brindafella writes "The head gorilla at Australia's most prestigious zoo, Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, is about to be retired. Kibabu is a 'silverback' and, at age 36, is about to be taken away from his family and retired. His replacement is a 12-year-old silverback from France. It's a natural thing in the wild, but Kibabu is not going to be in a fight that he loses to a younger male. He'll just go. His new home in retirement will be another zoo, about 150km away, at Mogo."
brindafella writes "Australia's latest and best computer has been unveiled at the Australian National University in Canberra, within the National Computational Infrastructure's National Facility. Raijin is named after a Japanese god of lightning and thunder, but the name also sounds like "raging" so some geek humour may be involved. It has: 57,472 cores in the compute nodes; approximately 160 TBytes of main memory; Infiniband FDR interconnect; and, approximately 10 PBytes of usable fast filesystem (for short-term scratch space). The brand name is Fujitsu. Peak performance is approximately 1.2 PFlops. It runs CentOS 6.4 Linux distribution (based on RHEL6.4)."
brindafella writes "Researchers at the Australian National University, Monash University and La Trobe University, show life-sized, computer-generated images of naked men to female subjects, altering the size and proportions of the torso, legs and arms, and... the "male-bit". The research, while only semi-conclusive, shows that "size does matter". Dr Brian Mautz of ANU says that the research results need to be pursued further, although the story isn’t quite as simple as ‘bigger is better’; Larger penises were much more attractive on taller men than shorter men. Yet, it appears that 13cm (flacid [floppy]) is one sweet-spot, although that excludes a vast majority of men. Says Mautz, "Finding a partner is quite a complicated process and who knows how females end up choosing their males.""Link to Original Source
brindafella writes "When is a sniper rifle not a sniper-rifle? When it is intended for hunting game, of course. The 1,000-1,200 year/metre, US$17,000 Linux-powered rifle uses a special sighting device to 'designate' the target and then only fires its .338 Lapua Magnum round when the rifle is pointing along the computed line-of-fire. Even a novice can shoot this rifle accuretely over its maximum effective range."