Taking the path less travelled to stop brain diseases in their tracks

2 July 2020:

Tiny structures called nanocages have the potential to revolutionise treatment of conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Two researchers, seemingly worlds apart: one a nanoscientist, the other a neuroscientist. Born in different hemispheres with labs in different states, at the start of their game-changing collaboration 2 years ago, they felt they were speaking different languages.
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Your cells, now in 3D

18 June 2020:

There’s been an explosion in the use of endoscopes in medical procedures over the past 30 years, from examining the liver and stomach (known as laparoscopy) to minimally invasive surgery. The use of these instruments is firmly established as an imaging technique that allows surgeons to ‘see’ inside the body, allowing them to recognise lymph nodes they need to avoid, or assess the health of lung tissue, for example. Continue reading

People Conducting Research – Philipp Reineck

11 June 2020 – originally published by the Science Convergence Science Network

By Catriona Nguyen-Robertson

“Diamonds are forever”. This is not only true for the gemstones themselves, but also for the colouration and fluorescence that many diamonds display. Dr Philipp Reineck uses this rare property to engineering tiny diamond particles with unlimited fluorescence. Continue reading

Thwarting deadly heart blockages

5 June 2020:

Cardiovascular disease – which kills one Australian every 12 minutes — is caused by a hardening of the arteries due to abnormal deposits of fat and cholesterol (known as plaque) in the inner lining of the artery; a process known as atherosclerosis. When plaque deposits rupture, this can cause heart attacks and stroke. But what if the plaque could be prevented from rupturing using microscopic nanoparticles? Continue reading

Reducing genetic screening risks in IVF pregnancies

13 May 2020:

When a couple cannot conceive naturally, they often turn to in-vitro fertilisation. And that’s when the spectre of ‘aneuploidy’ arises — the risk that a fertilised embryo will have an abnormal number of chromosomes instead of the usual 46, triggering a range of congenital disorders, most of which result in miscarriage, stillbirth or death of the baby soon after birth. Continue reading

Breaking the blur barrier

7 May 2020:

Medical researchers face a hurdle when studying cells under an optical microscope — the laws of physics. Obtaining an image of anything below a certain size is complicated; optical apertures and the wavelength of visible light play havoc with clarity. Known as the diffraction limit, it was first encountered by German physicist Ernst Abbe in 1873, and limits the resolution to 200 nanometres (nm) at best (or 200 billionths of a metre). Continue reading

In hot pursuit

29 April 2020:

A host of diseases – like meningitis, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, even some cancers – are ultimately caused by problems at the cellular level. Hence, understanding what is happening inside cells is essential. Observing cells under a microscope helps, but what medical researchers would really like to do is see processes inside cells in minute detail. Continue reading