[ASC-list] Coral chemicals protect against warming oceans, and Prime Minister Abbott's first science prizes

Tamzin Byrne tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au
Wed Oct 23 19:40:48 UTC 2013

Dear ASCers,

Nature paper reveals coral animals produce the 'smell of the ocean' - influencing cloud formation and protecting themselves against rising seawater temperatures.

In a paper published in Nature overnight Australian marine scientists have found the first evidence that coral itself may play an important role in regulating local climate.

They have discovered that the coral animal - not just its algal symbiont - makes an important sulphur-based molecule with properties to assist it in many ways, ranging from cellular protection in times of heat stress to local climate cooling by encouraging clouds to form.

The lead researchers are from AIMS and JCU in Townsville with colleagues from UWA, Murdoch and ANU.

Read more about 'the smell of the ocean' below at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/marine/coralclimate

$440,000 NHMRC grant for L'Oréal Fellow to track how bacteria spread in hospitals and how they contribute to asthma

Congratulations to Kat Holt who received an NHMRC grant yesterday. She's using maths and statistics to track disease.

DNA sequencing allows us to see into the microbial world in fine detail. This enables us to investigate how bugs like bacteria cause infections and other diseases.

Kat's work uses DNA sequencing and analysis to investigate how bacterial infections are transmitted in hospitals and cities, how bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic drugs we use to treat infected people, and how the bacteria that live in our nose and throat contribute to development of asthma in young children.

More about her work at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal/2013-fellows/kathryn-holt

And next week in Canberra...

* The Prime Minister will award five scientists and teachers the 2013 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science in Canberra on Wednesday 30 October
* And an unsung hero of biomedical science will be awarded the 2013 CSL Florey Medal, in recognition of a career dedicated to improving human health.

We can brief you on embargo - contact Niall on niall at scienceinpublic.com.au for more details of both of those prizes.


Tamzin Byrne
Science in Public
+61 432 974 400
tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au
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