Science through the lens
Isisford Bulldog fish emerges from 100 million year slumber
Sexiness doesn’t always have a downside
UQ researchers have found that sexiness doesn't have to be a burden, at least not if you're a male threadfin rainbowfish.
The researchers have tested the evolutionary theory assumption that only the best individuals are able to bear the energetic or survival costs associated with the long, flamboyant fins of male threadfin rainbowfish.
Unlocking the Secrets of Pest Resistance
Associate Professor Paul Ebert and Adjunct Lecturer David Schlipalius (DAFFQ) have recently published their discovery of a phosphine resistance gene in the prestigious journal Science (November 9th issue).
Stampeding dinosaurs take a dip
Queensland paleontologists have discovered that the world's only recorded dinosaur stampede is largely made up of the tracks of swimming rather than running animals.
Endangered Mahogany Gliders benefit from UQ research
University of Queensland researchers, from The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, are measuring the effectiveness of new crossing poles installed for the endangered Mahogany Gliders in Far North Queensland.
130 million year old dinosaur tracks
Endangered crocs to get breeding help
Reproductive biologist at UQ’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Dr Steve Johnston, has successfully collected semen from three metre long saltwater crocodiles at the Koorana crocodile farm near Rockhampton, central Queensland and will begin artificial insemination of female crocodiles in a couple of weeks.
Integrated Vegetation Bands
This project is an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded study to investigate how land managers (farmers) may use native vegetation to achieve multiple land management outcomes. The project will provide the science of how water, soil, climate, carbon and biodiversity functions can be integrated in a manner that enhances the resilience of landscapes used for primary production. The approach is termed Integrated Vegetation Bands (IVB's).
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management: http://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/ivb
koalas' vulnerable status
On 30th April the Environment Minister, Tony Burke, listed the koala as Vulnerable.
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management: http://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/clive-abc-koalas-176352
Melanin considered for bio-friendly electronics
Led by Professor Paul Meredith and Associate Professor Ben Powell at The University of Queensland, an international team of scientists has published a study that for the first time gives remarkable insight into the electrical properties of this pigment and its biologically compatible “bioelectronic” features.
Tool to detects dengue infected mosquitoes
A new portable tool to detect dengue virus-infected mosquitoes will help reduce the likelihood of human infections around the world.
Each year, almost 1 million people, a large proportion of whom are children, require hospitalisation for severe dengue.
Grand Challenge Priority Theme of Food Security
Associate Professors Gimme Walter and Paul Ebert have been awarded $3 million from the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
Satellite tagging cassowaries
Wildlife researchers say they are making the cassowary conservation dollar go further by tracking the birds with satellite tags.
Ocean acidification caused by human development can alter the behaviour of baby corals, a new study shows.
UQ's research project on manta rays was aired in early March in a wildlife television documentary
For more information:
School of Maths and Physics: http://www.smp.uq.edu.au/node/1518
Mortality of Australian Marine Snakes
Collaborative research between Vet-MARTI and Australian Wildlife Hospital, about causes of mortality and environmental impacts on certain species of snakes.
For more information on current research projects:
The endangered Mary River Turtle
Sustaining fish habitats
Ms Fraser, a Marine Studies Honours student in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management (GPEM), received a $5,000 scholarship, funded by the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), to support her research project studying habitats of Queensland's continental shelf fish.
An image collected via a Baited Remote Underwater Video Station (BRUVS)
More Information: UQ News Online
Troublesome moth comes under the microscope
New UQ research may assist in controlling one of the world's most destructive crop pests.
In a new article published in the open access journal BMC Genomics, a UQ team led by Dr Sassan Asgari has identified the genes expressed when the diamondback moth is attacked by a parasitic wasp, which could have significant implications for controlling the pest.
More information: http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=23812
Dr Chris Roelfsema is providing the field survey and satellite image analyses expertise in a large scale project to map coral reefs in one of the Solomon Islands most important lagoon systems. The project is on “Building social and ecological resilience to climate change in Roviana, Solomon Islands” and is funded by the Australian Department of Climate and Energy Efficiency. The key question being addressed by the project team is “How will climate change affect the lives of a subsistence community dependent on natural marine and terrestrial ecosystems for their economic and social livelihoods, and how could they respond to the changes?” Dr Roelfsema's maps will provide a critical piece of information to help address this question.
Dr Craig Woodward from the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management
Ancient chironomid larvae in lakes could provide the answer to how climate change has affected Australia’s weather over the past 21,000 years.
Dr Craig Woodward from The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at UQ is working with a team of scientists, led by Professor Shulmeister, on a project that aims to demonstrate how climate systems in SE Australia responded to large scale global change during Australia’s last glacial maximum, about 21,000 years ago.
“Moon snails are well known for attacking other snails and bivalves and until now, moon snails have been thought to feed almost exclusively on shelled molluscs,” Dr Huelsken.
More Information: http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=23587
A Price on Carbon
Scientists at UQ, in collaboration with JCU, may have found a way to offset up to 2.5% of Australia's annual greenhouse gas emissions and secure economic benefits for regional communities.
Image courtesy of Michelle Venter
More information: http://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/carbon
Hide and Seek
Working in the Centre of Animal Welfare and Ethics (CAWE), Mr Owens' project focuses on the behaviour and welfare of domestic cats in shelters.
Find out more: http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=23612
Northern Brown Bandicoot
As part of research into the nutritional physiology of the northern brown bandicoot, UQ Agriculture and Food Sciences PhD student, Trish O'Hara is profiling the bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract of a bandicoot for the first time. This image shows some of the changes in bacterial profiles in different sections of the gastrointestinal tract.
Image courtesy of Trish O'hara
Up close and personal
Melissa was awarded a grant by the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland to support her research into reptiles in the southern Brigalow Belt region of Queensland and New South Wales.
Read Melissa's Story:
Follow her blog:
God speed, bobtail squid
On board the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour is baby squid.
This is not because the astronauts want a change in their menu: the squid could help us understand how "good" bacteria behave in the microgravity of space.
We already know that disease microbes grow faster and become more virulent if they are sent into space. In 2006 Salmonella bacteria were sent up on a space shuttle, and when they returned to Earth they were almost three times as likely to kill mice as normal (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0707155104). Escherichia coli also changes its behaviour.
These studies all focused on harmful bacteria. "This is the first to look at beneficial bacteria," Foster says.
Dendrobium Discolor is a species of orchid sometimes known as the "Golden Orchid".
Dendrobiums are a large genus of tropical orchids that consists of about 1200 species. They have adapted to a wide variety of habitats, from the high altitudes in the Himalayan Mountains to lowland tropical forests and even to the dry climate of the Australian desert. This Dendrobium Discolor is found on the Low Isles Research Station.
The barreleye fish, also know as the spookfish, is native to the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. These fish are named for their barrel-shaped, tubular eyes. They live only in very deep ocean water, 400 to 2,500 meters below the surface. The barreleye is very unusual in that it has a transparent head.
Source: National Geographic
Stem Girdling: Giving Plants a Wax Job
With a nifty method including hot wax, Dr Brett Ferguson from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research kills isolated segments of a plant stem. The method is called ‘girdling’ and is used to control how signals travel through the plant. This technique allows the plant parts located above and below the girdle to continue to grow. Using stem girdling, one can investigate how long-distance signals move and what developmental processes they are required for.
Pongamia Pinnata Power
This picture shows the oil droplets (O), protein (P) and starch (S) that can be found in a seed from the legume tree Pongamia pinnata. At the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, scientists work diligently on these oil seeds, which have the potential to make a significant contribution to resolving the future energy dilemma. Pongamia seeds contain a high percentage (40-45%) of oils that are composed of fatty acids and triglycerides ideal for biodiesel production.
Quantum Computer used to calculate the precise energy of molecular hydrogen
A groundbreaking approach to molecular simulations, created by UQ physicists and Harvard chemists, could have profound implications not just for chemistry, but also for a range of fields from cryptography to materials science.
Seeing Hypersonic Flow
Holographic interferometry can be used to visualise transparent flows. The interference fringes (light and dark bands) bend where there are gradients in the flow density. This image shows hypersonic flow over a simulated space craft (the sphere to the left of the image) followed by an attached “ballute” balloon parachute used to slow the vehicle as it enters a planetary atmosphere. The original image was recorded holographically in the X2 Expansion Tube. White light is used to reconstruct the image which is then recorded on a digital camera.
Central Nervous System (CNS) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) art. The image above is a coloured volume rendering of the adult zebrafish brain obtained from an isotropic 10µm Magnetic Resonance Histology (MRH) image set.
Snapshot of the binding of a substrate to the enzyme purple acid phosphate
In order to understand how an enzyme works and how to modify its action it is very useful to visualize its interactions with substrates. Here, we used a mimic of an actual substrate to model its initial binding to the enzyme and the rearrangements that are required before catalysis (i.e. hydrolysis) can take place.
Diabolical Conical Intersections (Flush the other way)
When molecules get excited by light, then decay at points called "conical intersections". Understanding the location and nature of these points is important to understanding photochemistry. This picture shows the extent of conical intersection seams for a model of a conjugated dye (left) and the localization of molecular charge near the intersections (right). The charge distribution in the molecule changes abruptly near the intersection, suggesting how environmental effects can tune photochemical outcomes.
Photoconversion of the epiphysis
Confocal image showing the dorso-ventral diencephalic tract (DVDT) in red among the green neurons of the 24 hours old living zebrafish brain. The embryo used was transgenic, expressing the photoconvertible protein “Kaede” in all mature neurons in the brain. The epiphysial neurons were photoconverted from green to red using a UV laser beam directed selectively at them. After several minutes, the photoconverted protein had diffused to the tip of the axons of these cells allowing to visualize the entire DVDT.
A G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) in a cell membrane environment
A G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) as studied by molecular dynamics simulation of the receptor model in a realistic physiological environment of a cell membrane lipid bilayer surrounded by water. Such model systems provide an opportunity to understand mechanism of molecular recognition and receptor activation at an atomic level, which is beyond the limits of experimental methods and also facilitate structure-based drug design.
Experience Slime @ Experience Science
An initiative of The University of Queensland’s Science Faculty, Experience Science exposes senior high school students to a diverse range of science disciplines including biotechnology, chemistry, environmental science, food sciences, health science, information technology, marine science, maths and physic. In this program, students in years 10-12 with a passion for science can discover what studying science is like at UQ and how science is applied in industry and our everyday lives. Students can explore a wide range of workshops and are presented with information on career opportunities.
Image courtesy of Kaylene Biggs
These insects prey on other insects and benefit people. This group is characterized by the elongated, narrow head with the three-segmented beak folded back under the head.
Both adults and nymphs are predacious, they live on bushes and tall vegetation where they catch other insects and suck them dry.
Think twice about eating something a fly has eaten. When a fly lands on food, it will first extend its mouth parts until the mop of a pseudo trachea touches the food. Then it gulps the food through the pores of this mop. The digestive juices start to dissolve the food until it can be swallowed like a liquid. However, the stomach content of the fly may contain nasty bacteria or other disease.
Prostigmata, Parasitengona. This structure, which appears rather like the eye of a character straight from science fiction, is the genital opening of a terrestrial parasitengone mite and the three oval structures are the genital papillae. Genital papillae are remnants of opisthosomal limb segments in acariform mites (and still retain the segmented condition in some primitive oribatid mites) and are probably homologous with the spinnerets of spiders. Although spiders use their opisthosomal limb remnants for spinning silk, acariform mites probably use theirs for osmoregulatory activities, possibly including drinking.
Ornate Falso Spider Mite
Tuckerella, Prostigmata, Tuckerellidae
Ornate false spider mites (Prostigmata, Tuckerellidae) are believed to be the earliest derivative family in the Tetranychoidea (spider mites and their relatives). Unlike most plant-parasitic mites, Australian species of Tuckerella tend to be found on the stems of woody plants - usually in the cracks on small twigs - where they appear to feed on the cambium. However, other species of Tuckerella are associated with grasses. The long plumose posterior setae that can extend the length of the body (they are truncated in this picture) may help these mites to disperse on wind currents, but the function of the leaf-like body setae is unknown.
Apart from two claws the foot posseses two membranous flaps, the Pulvilli, which are covered with tiny hooked hairs. Their adhesiveness enable the fly to 'stick' to almost any surface. Flies use their feet for many purposes. The claws can grab to hold on. The small hairs will adhere to smooth surfaces through surface tension. Other hairs are sensory organs, allowing flies to taste with their feet.
Photon goes on a quantum walkabout
Physicists at the quantum technology laboratory send a single photon on a quantum random walk. On the right of the photo single photons are injected into an interferometric network which spreads the photon out across 7 separate spatial modes. Quantum random walks are useful tools in many areas of theoretical science, from quantum computation to the simulation of quantum processes in biological systems.
Outwit - Outplay - Out Science
BIOL2001 Students get to experience the flora and fauna of Australia first hand. Here, the students are on a five-day fieldtrip to the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island, 230 km north of Brisbane. The trip includes several hikes and four-wheel-drive excursions to various island ecosystems, ranging from the endless beaches to the towering inland rainforest. Highlights include hikes to perched freshwater lakes and giant sand dunes (like this one!), as well as spotlighting for dingos.
Current El Nino
In January 2010 sea surface heights across the cental & eastern equatorial Pacific were elevated (red), but not extremely, potentially a sign that El Niño was weaking. But in early February 2010 a strong sea level anomaly appeared NE of Australia. This swell of deep, warm water is the start of the Kelvin wave, and by late February, had spread eastward into the central Pacific & re-invigorated the current En Niño.
The Pitch Drop Experiment was created by UQ’s foundation Professor of Physics, Thomas Parnell, in 1927 and is now the longest running scientific experiment in the world. The experiment demonstrates that pitch, while appearing to be a solid, is actually an extremely dense liquid. In the 83 years since the experiment began, eight drops of pitch have fallen. It falls at such a slow rate because pitch has a viscosity of approximately 100 billion times that of water. You can see the experiment for yourself in the foyer of the Parnell Building (Building 7) on the Great Court.
More information and live video:
Evimirus Mite Mesostigmata, Eviphididae
This small (0.400 mm) pink, dome-shaped mite is a member of the Evimirus uropodinus complex - a cluster of pan-tropical tramps that have been introduced into Australia. This mite feeds on nematodes in garden soils in St Lucia, Queensland, and has invaded some marginal subtropical rainforests. Related species in tropical Far North Queensland can be found in disturbed tropical rainforest soils.
Mammalian Cell Biology
This image captures localisation of hnRNP A2 (green) and spliceosomal protein U2AF65 (red), following treatment of mammalian cells (HeLa) with an inhibitor of transcription. Under these conditions, hnRNP A2 (green), has translocated to the cytoplasm while U2AF65 (red) remains in the nucleus. The remnants of the nucleolus are marked with arrows. Image captured on the Zeiss LSM 510 Meta confocal microscope.
Turbulent Marine Research
Rough seas and gale-force winds are one of the many challenges faced by geologists, oceanographers, biologists, and other scientists studying the marine environment. This photo was taken in 2005 during a voyage to understand the age and origin of the marine Naturaliste Plateau, which lies off Western Australia. Another challenge is the remoteness of the study area – the rocks of the seafloor - which lie over 3 kilometres beneath the turbulent surface!
UQ’s research into South East Queensland’s wildlife corridors aims to protect our marsupials including the Antechinus, a small mouse-sized marsupial. While the Antechinus may seem like a mouse it certainly has little in common with mice. An insectivorous predator, this fascinating marsupial was even the subject of Catalyst episode due to its interesting sex life!
UQ’s research into South East Queensland’s wildlife corridors aims to protect our marsupials including the Koala. Koalas were widely hunted during the 1920s and 1930s, and their populations plunged. Helped by reintroduction, they have reappeared over much of their former range, but their populations are smaller and scattered. Koalas need a lot of space—about a hundred trees per animal—a pressing problem as Australia's woodlands continue to shrink.
UQ’s Jonathan Rhodes is leading research into South East Queensland’s wildlife corridors to protect our marsupials including the Sugar Glider.
HSV cell infection
This image captures a novel strain of the Herpes Simplex Virus (green) invading cultured African Green Monkey Kidney cells (blue).
Photo was captured in the Airway Neurobiology Lab by Alice McGovern.
The Human Skull (and no Crossbones)
This is an image of the night-time eruptions of Stromboli, a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the three active volcanoes in Italy.