Science Matters is the Faculty of Science's Newsroom

We hope that through this medium alumni, staff, students and supporters will be able to keep in touch with what is happening in the Faculty Science at UWA.

These are exciting times for the Faculty of Science and we hope you will be able to share in this excitement and that you will be able to follow where we go over the next few years.

Professor Tony O'Donnell, Dean

Dr Owen Duncan

Wheat genome decoded to enhance food security

Thursday, 20 April 2017

University of Western Australia researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology have published the most comprehensive analysis of a wheat genome as part of a United Kingdom-led consortium. The new sequencing of the bread wheat genome, led by the Earlham Institute, identified complete sets of genes and proteins essential to important agronomic traits.

Reef sharks

Declines in sharks drive 'fatter' fish

Thursday, 20 April 2017

New research from The University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) suggests that reef fishes eat differently when sharks are around.

Wheat plants infected by pathogen

Pathogen uses light to facilitate invasion of wheat plant

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Researchers at The University of Western Australia in collaboration with The Australian National University have discovered the deadly fungus Parastagonospora nodorum invades wheat plants by producing a herbicide compound (elsinochrome) which kills plant cells when they are exposed to light.

Pea in maze

Study reveals plants 'listen' to find sources of water

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A study led by The University of Western Australia has found plants have far more complex and developed senses than we thought with the ability to detect and respond to sounds to find water, and ultimately survive.

Josh Izaac with Prof Jingbo Wang

UWA advances in race to develop quantum computer

Thursday, 6 April 2017

In our fast-paced world where quicker computer search engine speeds are like gold, an international research team that includes UWA scientists has identified a way to analyse information quicker than ever before.

Dr Dirk Zeller

Leading scientist brings expertise to Indian Ocean conservation

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A world-class marine biologist will lead research into ocean conservation in the Indian Ocean region following his professorial appointment at The University of Western Australia.

Helicobacter pylori

Study reveals how ulcer-inducing bacteria survive in the stomach

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Scientists at The University of Western Australia, in collaboration with researchers at Imperial College London and Perth-based biotech Ondek Pty Ltd, have revealed new insights into the structure of an important biomolecule in Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers.

Dr Archala

Proteins hiding in proteins take an evolutionary shortcut

Monday, 27 March 2017

How a drug-like protein ring evolved in sunflowers has been pieced together by Australian and US scientists in a study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Coral bleaching

Unusually calm weather on top of global warming causes coral die-off

Friday, 24 March 2017

An international team of researchers, including a scientist from The University of Western Australia, has warned of the devastating consequences for shallow reef ecosystems when global warming combines with local weather anomalies.

public speaking

Helping ease public speaking anxiety

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have found that a simple and reassuring message can help reduce people’s anxiety about speaking in public as well as make them feel positive about their nerves before the talk.

A meeting of World-Class minds to help in the discovery of World-Class Mines, at Target 2017

Monday, 20 March 2017

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is proud to host the Target 2017 Conference, organised by Geoconferences (WA) Inc. The conference will provide an opportunity for geoscientists operating globally in government, industry and academia to discuss the most current and successful strategies for mineral exploration, next month.

Honey bees

New honey bee research centre to create a buzz

Friday, 17 March 2017

A new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) led by The University of Western Australia will provide a much-needed boost to Australia’s valuable, but largely untapped honey bee products, by bringing together both industry and academic expertise from across Australia.

Dead staghorn coral Kimberley - Verena Schoepf

Scientists examine widespread impact of bleaching on Australian Reefs

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Researchers from The University of Western Australia are part of an international collaboration that has examined the impact of bleaching on coral reefs over the past 20 years and, in particular, the impact of the most severe global bleaching event to ever be recorded in 2016.

Amy James

Protein doppelgangers are long-lost cousins

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A 60-year-old mystery has been solved by biochemists at The University of Western Australia investigating the origin of a type of digestion-inhibiting proteins thought only to exist in two plant families that contain the important legume and cereal crops.

Dr Andrew Pomeroy and Simon Jankowski

Fulbright scholars to advance coral reef and groundwater studies

Friday, 10 March 2017

A postgraduate hydrogeology student and a postdoctoral coral reef researcher from The University of Western Australia have received prestigious Fulbright Scholarships for 2017.

40under40 award recipients

UWA business leaders shine in the 2017 40under40 Awards

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The University of Western Australia congratulates five staff members who have been named in this year's 40under40 Awards. The recipients were recognised in an awards ceremony held at Crown Perth.

Pheromones

Do pheromones exist in humans?

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Researchers from The University of Western Australia have conducted a study to test if the chemicals androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST) (commonly thought to be pheromones in humans) are pheromones and have found no evidence that they are.

Katharina Belt

Tiny mutation makes plants less resistant to stressful conditions

Friday, 24 February 2017

Scientists from The University of Western Australia have identified a tiny mutation in plants that can influence how well a plant recovers from stressful conditions, and ultimately impact a plant’s survival.

Research to help fight multi-resistant bacteria

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

An international collaboration led by scientists from The University of Western Australia has uncovered the three-dimensional molecular structure of a protein, called EptA, which is responsible for multi-drug resistance in many disease-causing bacteria.

Dr Lei Li and Harvey Millar

Teaching plants to be better spenders

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Energy is an all-important currency for plants, and scientists from The University of Western Australia have now calculated the cost of one of their biggest expenses. The knowledge could be a key to creating more energy efficient crops.