As physics students know, the subatomic world is described by the Standard Model of particle physics – the modern theory of elementary particles and their interactions. This theory is incredibly successful in the way it captures the structure of Nature.
The results of innumerable experiments, carried out at major particle accelerators world-wide, agree with the predictions of the Standard Model. However, as with other physical theories, the Standard Model has only a certain range of validity.
Discovering how plants capture, store and release energy will be the focus of research at the new ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, based at UWA. Globally, energy fluxes through plants dwarf humans' use of fossil fuels, but scientists are not sure how plants control their energy metabolism. The Australian Research Council Centre has a five-year budget of $25 million and its projects will include community education programs as well as research.
Frequency Standards and Metrology (FSM) researchers are involved in exciting, timely projects ranging from fundamental tests of physics to commercial and space applications. Professor Michael Tobar said his group's microwave laboratories received one of the biggest Australian Research Council grants in 2005. "We are now expanding rapidly as well as consolidating our national and international research collaborations," he said.
Although they have not yet achieved their goal, scientists are moving closer to offering tangible hope to victims of spinal cord injury. At Red's Spinal Cord Research Laboratory, part of the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, Giles Plant and his team of researchers are achieving encouraging results using a new cell type drawn from human bone marrow.
There is little benefit and high health risk with hormone
replacement therapy (HRT), according to an American longitudinal study
of the controversial treatment.
Dr Karen Ritchie, research director with the French National
Institute of Medical Research, will examine the case for and against
the prescribing of HRT in a free public lecture titled, HRT – Should We
or Shouldn’t We?, in UWA’s Social Science Lecture Theatre at 6pm on
Monday, November 19.
International law expert Donald Rothwell will
explore the international legal options open to Australia to challenge
Japan’s conduct of its scientific whaling project in a free public
lecture at The University of Western Australia on Thursday, November
22, 2007, at 6pm, in UWA’s Social Sciences Lecture Theatre.
Professor Rothwell’s lecture is sponsored by UWA’s Faculty of Law and the Institute of Advanced Studies.
Many of us started learning by counting on our fingers – and
sometimes on our toes too. Today’s computers are very good at doing
this simple counting very quickly.
But, as you can discover at The University of Western Australia next
week, future computers are likely to use the strange properties of
quantum mechanics – such as objects being in two places at once – to
solve problems that are impossible with conventional computers.
Like playing chess, outwitting annual ryegrass, a major weed in WA
which can develop resistance to more than one herbicide at a time,
requires constant vigilance and a strategic approach.
Farmers now have a greater understanding of the value of pasture
phases for controlling herbicide-resistant annual ryegrass in low to
medium rainfall areas, thanks to Graeme Doole from the School of
Agricultural and Resource Economics, Institute of Agriculture, at The
University of Western Australia (UWA).
Noongar people who are descendants of some of the earliest
inhabitants of south-western Australia are learning about the lives
their ancestors might have led, with help from a team of archaeologists
at The University of Western Australia.
Dr Joe Dortch from UWA is part of an Australian Research Council
linkage project to explore the ways Noongar people have changed the
landscape over the past 6000 years.
New cancer treatments that are much less toxic to the patient have
resulted from the latest research into the complexity of the disease.
In the last few years, scientists and doctors have found that tiny
chemical tags in our bodies, which researchers call ‘ghosts’,
accumulate over time and turn genes on or off.