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
Dr Asma Khalid enjoys wearing silk dresses, and appreciates diamonds for their beauty —but she never expected both silk and diamonds to end up being the cornerstone of her work as a physicist. Yet they have opened up a whole new way to see deep in the body, sense infections on the skin and even deliver drugs in controlled amounts. Continue reading
Pain is one of the most complicated ailments to treat because the symptoms and severity are subjective and current medications are associated with a variety of problems including addiction and abuse. This makes it tough for doctors to accurately assess patient’s pain levels and prescribe the best pain management tool for the individual. The complex mechanisms underlying pain are the reason why researchers can take decades to develop new treatments. Continue reading
There are three main types of pain: nociceptive pain, the type we’re most familiar with, from bee stings and ankle strains to inflammatory arthritis. There’s neuropathic pain, arising from damage to the peripheral nervous system or the brain itself due to disease or injury. Then there are functional pain disorders arising from complex organic dysfunction, sometimes called ‘primary pain’, but most often just known as ‘other’. Continue reading
As one of the first members of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem’s work touches virtually every piece of research at the centre.
She develops the optical glass fibres, along with their crucial coatings, that deliver information about the environment they are designed to measure. Continue reading
It’s not often that medical studies into better brain surgery can end up leading to lamb roasts that are a cut above. But that’s what research by Prof Robert McLaughlin‘s team at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) is doing.
‘I was telling Meat & Livestock Australia that we had this tiny camera in a needle that is great at seeing fat in tissue, but there aren’t many diseases where this is useful. And they got really excited,’ he said. ‘It turns out that the single biggest indicator of quality in lamb meat is the percentage of fat.’ Continue reading
For Dr Andrew Care, tiny structures inside living bacteria may hold the key to tackling many diseases. Shaped like miniature soccer balls, these protein nanocages can be modified to accomplish a wide range of tasks, from helping microbes cope with environmental stress to delivering drug payloads inside cancer cells. Continue reading
In doubles tennis, teamwork is everything: knowing when to poach and when to fake, dividing the court effectively between partners, and knowing how to subtly communicate so that every serve placed benefits your partner. It’s a bit like science, said Hanna McLennan. Continue reading
Pain is a normal part of life, but persistent pain is oppressive to endure. “It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die,” said Roman emperor Julius Caesar, “than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” Continue reading
For a couple unable to naturally conceive, in vitro fertilisation is often the only option – but it’s one that involves months, even years, of hope intertwined with disappointment. Contributing to the ‘hit and miss’ are the eggs taken from fallopian tubes of hopeful mothers or donors: healthy eggs are essential for healthy embryos to develop into a pregnancy and, ultimately, a baby. Continue reading