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Canberra, Australia

The Australian National University is a public university in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Located in the suburb of Acton, the main campus encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national institutes.Founded in 1946, it is the only university to have been created by the Parliament of Australia. Originally a postgraduate research university, ANU commenced undergraduate teaching in 1960 when it integrated the Canberra University College, which had been established in 1929 as a campus of the University of Melbourne. ANU enrols 10,359 undergraduate and 9,674 postgraduate students and employs 3,958 staff. The university's endowment stood at A$1.237 billion in 2010.ANU is consistently ranked among the world's top universities. ANU is ranked co-equal 25th in the world with Duke University by the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings, 45th in the world by the 2014/2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the 2014 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates' employability, ANU was ranked 20th in the world .ANU counts six Nobel laureates among its faculty and alumni. Students entering ANU in 2013 had a median Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of 93, the equal-highest among Australian universities. ANU was named the world's 7th most international university in a 2014 study by Times Higher Education.ANU is a member of the Group of Eight and the International Alliance of Research Universities. As Australia’s only member of this prestigious association, ANU enjoys close relationships and exchange partnerships with the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, Peking University, National University of Singapore, University of Tokyo, University of Copenhagen and ETH Zurich. Wikipedia.

Lamb T.D.,Australian National University
Progress in Retinal and Eye Research | Year: 2013

Evidence is reviewed from a wide range of studies relevant to the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors and phototransduction, in order to permit the synthesis of a scenario for the major steps that occurred during the evolution of cones, rods and the vertebrate retina. The ancestral opsin originated more than 700Mya (million years ago) and duplicated to form three branches before cnidarians diverged from our own lineage. During chordate evolution, ciliary opsins (C-opsins) underwent multiple stages of improvement, giving rise to the 'bleaching' opsins that characterise cones and rods. Prior to the '2. R' rounds of whole genome duplication near the base of the vertebrate lineage, 'cone' photoreceptors already existed; they possessed a transduction cascade essentially the same as in modern cones, along with two classes of opsin: SWS and LWS (short- and long-wave-sensitive). These cones appear to have made synaptic contact directly onto ganglion cells, in a two-layered retina that resembled the pineal organ of extant non-mammalian vertebrates. Interestingly, those ganglion cells appear to be descendants of microvillar photoreceptor cells. No lens was associated with this two-layered retina, and it is likely to have mediated circadian timing rather than spatial vision. Subsequently, retinal bipolar cells evolved, as variants of ciliary photoreceptors, and greatly increased the computational power of the retina. With the advent of a lens and extraocular muscles, spatial imaging information became available for central processing, and gave rise to vision in vertebrates more than 500Mya. The '2. R' genome duplications permitted the refinement of cascade components suitable for both rods and cones, and also led to the emergence of five visual opsins. The exact timing of the emergence of 'true rods' is not yet clear, but it may not have occurred until after the divergence of jawed and jawless vertebrates. © 2013 The Author. Source

Punzmann H.,Australian National University
Nature Physics | Year: 2014

The ability to send a wave to fetch an object from a distance would find a broad range of applications. Quasi-standing Faraday waves on water create horizontal vortices, yet it is not known whether propagating waves can generate large-scale flows-small-amplitude irrotational waves only push particles in the direction of propagation. Here we show that when waves become three-dimensional as a result of the modulation instability, a floater can be forced to move towards the wave source. The mechanism for this is the generation of surface vortices by waves propagating away from vertically oscillating plungers. We introduce a new conceptual framework for understanding wave-driven flows, which enables us to engineer inward and outward surface jets, stationary vortices, and other complex flows. The results form a new basis for the remote manipulation of objects on fluid surfaces and for a better understanding of the motion of floaters in the ocean, the generation of wave-driven jets, and the formation of Lagrangian coherent structures. Source

McMichael A.J.,Australian National University
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and survival via weather extremes and climatic impacts on food yields, fresh water, infectious diseases, conflict, and displacement. Paradoxically, these risks to health are neither widely nor fully recognized. Historical experiences of diverse societies experiencing climatic changes, spanning multicentury to single-year duration, provide insights into population health vulnerability - even though most climatic changes were considerably less than those anticipated this century and beyond. Historical experience indicates the following. (i) Long-term climate changes have often destabilized civilizations, typically via food shortages, consequent hunger, disease, and unrest. (ii) Medium-term climatic adversity has frequently caused similar health, social, and sometimes political consequences. (iii) Infectious disease epidemics have often occurred in association with briefer episodes of temperature shifts, food shortages, impoverishment, and social disruption. (iv) Societies have often learnt to cope (despite hardship for some groups) with recurring shorterterm (decadal to multiyear) regional climatic cycles (e.g., El Niño Southern Oscillation) - except when extreme phases occur. (v) The drought-famine-starvation nexus has been the main, recurring, serious threat to health. Warming this century is not only likely to greatly exceed the Holocene's natural multidecadal temperature fluctuations but to occur faster. Along with greater climatic variability, models project an increased geographic range and severity of droughts. Modern societies, although larger, better resourced, and more interconnected than past societies, are less flexible, more infrastructure-dependent, densely populated, and hence are vulnerable. Adverse historical climate-related health experiences underscore the case for abating human-induced climate change. Source

Frankcombe T.J.,Australian National University
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

A study was conducted to demonstrate titanium (Ti)-based doping in sodium alanate. Proposed mechanisms for Ti catalysis were proposed mechanisms for Ti catalysis in turn. A brief overview of the decomposition of sodium alanate, the nature of the additives investigated for catalyzing hydrogen storage in sodium alanate, and what happened to the Ti on doping into the material was also presented to definitively establish the context for the mechanistic proposals. It was observed that pure unit Ti, improvements in the kinetics of hydrogen release and uptake slowed with increasing amounts of added Ti. This was accompanied by the obvious decrease in the by-weight hydrogen storage capacity of the overall material, meaning that there was an optimum window of a few wt % Ti for mobile hydrogen storage. Source

Goossens D.J.,Australian National University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2013

Lead-based ferroelectric materials are both well-studied and widely used and have a wide range of applications from ultrasonics to energy harvesting and beyond. However, the use of Pb-containing materials is environmentally undesirable, due to the toxicity of lead. This is particularly highlighted by the disposal of Pb-based devices when their lifespan is through. Because of this large drawback, chemists have been searching for Pb-free ferroic materials that can replace PZN (PbZn1/3Nb2/3O3), PMN (PbMg1/3Nb2/3O3), PZT (PbZr 1-xTixO3), and all their derivatives.Underlying much of materials chemistry is the idea that function arises from structure, so if we can determine the structure of a material, we can understand how its useful properties arise. This understanding can then lead to the tuning of these properties and the development of new materials. However, the question arises: What is meant by structure? Conventionally, structure is determined by X-ray or neutron diffraction, in which the Bragg peak intensities are measured and a unit cell is determined. In many materials, local ordering, order that persists only for few unit cells or nanometers, is important in determining the physical properties. This is very much the case in the relaxor ferroelectrics, an important class of functional oxides. Indeed, disorder, randomness, and short-range order (SRO) are all invoked to help explain many of the key properties.The local order in Pb-based ferroelectrics has been extensively studied, with the most definitive probe being single-crystal diffuse scattering. In this Account, I outline the current debate on the nature of the local order and explore how this information can inform the search for lead-free materials. Local order, as distinct from the overall average order revealed by conventional techniques, relates more closely to the crystal chemistry of the individual ions and so appears to give a better insight into how the crystal chemistry leads to the ferroelectric properties. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

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