Snapshot Issue02.18

01 Breakthrough

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Getting in early with Alzheimer's

This is big news. An international team of scientists has just completed the first step in developing a blood test that can predict whether a person has an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, working up to 20 years before symptoms develop. They found biomarkers in the blood that can predict amyloid deposits - the earliest pathological signature of Alzheimer’s - in a person’s brain. And two of our own scientists helped validate the test. More work is needed before the test can be used widely, but it's an exciting step forward.

02 Research

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2018: AN AUSTRALIAN SPACE ODYSSEY

You might have heard that Australia will be establishing its own space agency. But what does that actually mean? When most people think of a space industry, they think about big projects like the International Space Station, the Voyager program, or the Mars rovers – but today organisations are launching their own satellites, and they are the size of a loaf of bread. So we’re asking ourselves, what’s next for this new frontier? Here are the top five trends we see for the space industry in 2018.

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Driverless vehicles in sight

A big challenge with autonomous vehicles is their ability to 'see'. Most current technology uses laser sensors which rely on a series of points to identify hazards, not taking into account things like moving objects. We're working with Chinese company ZongMu to develop true computer vision, which would allow a machine to see and understand the environment the way humans do, and react to hazards. This cheaper, more effective technology could put the quest for truly autonomous vehicles in the fast lane.

03 Discoveries

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04 People

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Scientist's search for climate secrets

With a physics degree from Harvard, post-graduate qualifications from MIT and Woods Hole, a post-doctorate from Princeton, and decades of experience in Southern Ocean research, Steve Rintoul is more than qualified to lead RV Investigator's next Southern Ocean voyage. Rintoul, team leader at our Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research, hopes the expedition will piece together some of the remaining unknowns of the climate-critical region. "Our measurements will provide new insights into how the region affects climate and sea level, now and into the future."

JOBS

Something's in the air

Our Oceans and Atmosphere group needs an experienced analytical chemist to join the Atmospheric Composition and Chemistry team in Aspendale, Victoria. Atmospheric Composition and Chemistry contribute observation and modelling of atmospheric composition to the business of the Climate Science Centre within CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. Extended field work is part of the job.

Helping breed new cotton

The Cotton Breeding Group near Narrabri in NSW needs three research assistants to help with the development of new cotton varieties for the Australian cotton industry. You will assist the Breeding Group in general field and greenhouse operations and maintenance, laboratory processing, microscopy, sampling experiments, processing samples and sowing and harvesting cotton experiments at Myall Vale as well as a number of other regionally located sites in NSW and Qld.

05 Participate

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Echidna CSI app

Echidnas present a prickly problem to researchers and conservationists. They're notoriously shy and difficult to see in the wild, and even though they are one of Australia's most iconic animals, we know very little about them. A new app that uses our Atlas of Living Australia will allow citizen scientists to record echidna sightings and male scat samples, meaning large amounts of data can be collected across a huge area. The Echdina CSI app allows people to make records in real time, wherever they are. Find out where you can download it.

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The Best way to keep your phone charged

Now more than ever, we are reliant on our laptops and smart phones being operational 24/7 – a big responsibility for our lithium-ion batteries. So what’s the best way to care for lithium-ion batteries to ensure our devices operate at optimum levels for longer? How often should you charge them? Is it OK to let them go completely flat? Here's our battery expert Dr Adam Best's best battery advice, free of charge.

Extras

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