Where’s the Water in Our Solar System?

From tiny bacteria to giant blue whales, the chemical reactions going on inside all living things – including us – that keep them alive cannot happen without water. By taking NASA’s lead and following the water, scientists can pinpoint the most compelling locations where life – either past or present – might possibly exist in the vast expanse of the solar system beyond our home planet.

Student Superheroes Fighting Superbugs at Whittlesea Tech School

No new antibiotic classes have been invented for decades – the high cost and high risk of failure in blue sky research means new products are variants of existing compounds discovered prior to 1984. So students were invited by Whittlesea Tech School to develop new anti-microbial products to kill harmful bacteria while keeping the good ones safe.

The Lighter Side of Building Bionic Eyes

One of the issues with current bionic vision devices is off-target stimulation. The electrical stimulation used to activate cells in the retina tends to spread, leading to inadvertent broad activation and poor visual acuity. As such, developing alternative stimulation methods to deliver greater spatial precision – like optogenetics – are considered invaluable for vision restoration.

Harnessing Immune Cells in the Bowel to Fight Cancer

Cancer cells have ways to avoid destruction by displaying proteins on their surface that turn off the body’s immune cells, or adopting genetic changes to make them less visible to the immune system, or interfering with how the immune system responds to cancer cells in other ways. Immunotherapy helps the immune system overcome these hurdles to better fight cancer.

Getting Back on Track

Metabolism – it’s how the food we eat gets turned into energy, and surprisingly it’s a lot like a train network. Your metabolism is a series of interconnected chemical reactions that have a beginning and a destination. At each “stop”, a reaction is carried out by an enzyme, the chemical catalysts of the body, to allow the process to keep moving along the path. But much like a train network, it doesn’t always run.