The Australian Museum Eureka Prize is the night of nights for science excellence.
It’s a long-held tradition among the STEM community to gather together to award and reward all the achievements of Australia’s top scientists.
This year’s prizes were taken out by some pretty impressive discoveries.
The round up is an interesting look into what’s happening at the forefront of Australian science, including (but not limited to) breaking new ground in nanotechnology, discovering leukaemia cells with unprecedented accuracy, and an app that helps us to discover new animal species.
Are you aspiring to win a Eureka Prize in your career? Let us know in the comments!
TAKE THE QUIZ
A sticky solution to stitches
Researcher from the University of Sydney, Tony Weiss has answered the prayers of squeamish people everywhere with his surgical glue invention.
Made from the elastic protein methacrylated tropoelastin, or “MeTro” for short, this glue gets rid of the need for stitches all together by gluing the skin back into place. Even better, wounds treated with the MeTro glue heal in half the time of traditional stitches or staples.
This discovery scored Tony the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research.
Pokemon Go for the real world
This citizen science app isn’t about trying to ‘catch’ them all, but you could discover a brand new species! QuestaGame is like a real life Pokemon Go, where players aim to find and identify new species lurking around their neighbourhood.
QuestaGame’s already got over 800,000 identifications made so far, and downloads in 40 different countries. There’s even been a few new species detected, including a new type of spider found in Australia! The app took home this year’s Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.
Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak
Ok, Dr Mohsen Rahmani didn’t really invent the invisibility cloak we’ve all been dreaming of. But, if his research is as cool as it sounds, invisibility cloaks just got one step closer to becoming a reality.
Dr Rahmani works with nanotechnology, on a scale that can’t be seen with the naked eye. He’s able to alter surfaces to become reflective, for example. His research has major potential in the areas of night vision, adjustable lenses and ultra-sensitive biochemical detectors.
He’s won the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.
Super speed leukaemia detection
Early detection of a lot of cancers can mean the difference between life and death for patients. This year’s winner of the Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology has the potential to save thousands of lives per year.
Three researchers from the University of Western Australia have discovered a way to detect the abnormal chromosomes in leukaemia cells. This fast, accurate method of detection can find one leukaemia cell hidden inside 10,000 healthy cells.
The discovery will help to determine the best care for a patient, and their likely outcome.
Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.