[ASC-media] Who will win the Oscars of Australian Science?

Tamzin Byrne tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au
Mon Sep 2 05:24:06 CEST 2013

Dear ASCers,

The Eurekas - the Oscars of Australian science - will be announced this Wednesday evening, 4 September at Sydney Town Hall in the presence of 700 science, government, cultural and media leaders.

There are 52 finalists. They know who they are, but they won't know if they've won until each of the 18 prizes is announced on the evening. But you can follow along: as each prize is announced we'll tweet from @eurekaprizes with the hashtag #Eureka13.

The finalists are from every state and are available for interview now. Let us know if you're keen to chat with any of the finalists - or the winners, when they are announced.

Want to chat with the Eureka Prize winners and finalists?

To line up interviews with winners or finalists, contact:

·         Tamzin Byrne on tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au> or 0432 974 400

·         AJ Epstein on aj at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:aj at scienceinpublic.com.au> or 0433 339 141

·         Niall Byrne on niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au> or 0417 131 977

There are short videos featuring each finalist online - which you're welcome to use in your coverage of the Eurekas: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEh1S0YpN664wbOOk_HMFX8FzikFZHsp2<http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEh1S0YpN664wbOOk_HMFX8FzikFZHsp2>

And there's a full list of finalists with a bit of background at the Australian Museum website: www.australianmuseum.net.au/eureka.

The 2013 Eureka Prizes finalists have discovered:

·         Better bulls emit less methane (Armidale)

·         How to use car tyres to make steel (Sydney/Newcastle)

·         The causes and effects of catastrophic firestorms (Sydney/Canberra)

·         How bats can help us treat deadly diseases (Geelong)

They've invented:

·         A hypodermic camera to guide surgeons (Perth)

·         A bionic eye to proof-of-concept stage (Melbourne/Sydney)

·         Nanotechnologies to deliver drugs to their targets (Melbourne)

They've revealed:

·         The sinister effects of micro-plastics in the oceans (Sydney)

·         How to personalise leukaemia therapy (Sydney)

·         How to slow the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Melbourne)

·         The mysteries of locust swarming (Sydney)

The 2013 L'Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships
Last week in Melbourne, three early-career women researchers were awarded the 2013 L'Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships.

They're part of L'Oréal's global program to celebrate and support women in science. Each year three Australian women are awarded $25,000 Fellowships, which may be used for any expenses they incur, including childcare.

The three remarkable young women who've won this year's Fellowships are:

·         Using  supercomputers to track drug resistance - Dr Kathryn Holt, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne

·         Tracking the separation of India and Australia - Dr Joanne Whittaker, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

·         Filming serial killers as they destroy cancer cells - Dr Misty Jenkins, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne.

Read more about their work at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal>, and if you'd like to chat with them, drop a note to Tamzin Byrne on tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au>.

Misty also had a paper published over the weekend.

Watching assassin cells at work
L'Oréal Fellow Misty Jenkins and her colleagues at the Peter Mac have a paper published on Sunday that reveals how our immune cells kill damaged, virus-infected or cancerous cells taking between one and two minutes to make the hit. Then these serial killers are free to strike again. And although the killer cells themselves are vulnerable to the poisons they use, they are somehow able to protect themselves from damage.

That's the chilling picture painted in the paper in the 1 September edition of the The Journal of Immunology of which Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute researchers Dr Jamie Lopez and Dr Misty Jenkins are joint first authors. Jenkins was last week was awarded a prestigious L'Oréal Australian and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship for her work on killer T cells.

The findings should open the way to better understanding and more efficient cooperation with the immune system in treating disease.

Bringing better wheat to growers faster than ever: Victorian growers to benefit from Aussie-grown technology
Press call: Monday 9 September, 2013
Cnr Hamilton Hwy & Brocks Rd, Inverleigh, Victoria (field trial site)

Victorian grain growers are set to benefit from a new strain of wheat which is resistant to stripe rust and pre-harvest sprouting.

It's one of the first products developed at the University of Queensland using a new breeding strategy which slashes the time needed to introduce useful genes into existing crop varieties from 10 or 20 years to just two-and-a-half years, followed by three years of field tests.

They're now working with local Ballarat grower-owned seed company GrainSearch, and these elite wheat lines are currently being grown in field trials in Victoria and New South Wales.

The team at the University of Queensland has used the same techniques to rapidly produce disease resistant strains of barley. Lee will be presenting this work at the Australian Barley Technical Symposium, coming up soon in Melbourne.

For more details, contact: Tamzin Byrne, 0432 974 400, tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au>
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