Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization
Menai, Australia

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation is a statutory body of the Australian government, formed in 1987 to replace the Australian Atomic Energy Commission. Its head office and main facilities are in southern outskirts of Sydney at Lucas Heights, in the Sutherland Shire. It also operated the now closed National Medical Cyclotron at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 19, 2017

Newly discovered artifacts are evidence of humans living in Australia between about 46,000 and 51,000 years ago, researchers say, making them some of the earliest traces of aboriginal settlement there. The artifacts included what was left of a shellfish meal and were found in a cave on Barrow Island off the coast of northwestern Australia, according to a study in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews. They paint a picture of a society that adapted to its surroundings and made use of the resources available. While it’s more isolated now, at the time the ancient aboriginal people migrated to Australia and up until several thousand years ago, Barrow Island was a coastal desert connected to the mainland by a land bridge that is now underwater. “Archaeological deposits … reveal some of the oldest evidence for Aboriginal occupation of Australia, as well as illustrating the early use of marine resources by modern peoples outside of Africa,” according to the study. “First occupation occurs between [51,100 and 46,200 years ago], overlapping with the earliest dates for occupation of Australia.” In the limestone Boodie Cave, researchers found charcoal, shell and other animal remains and stone artifacts, the researchers say, and the thousands of items the early humans left behind show they adapted to a changing, arid environment. The hunter-gatherers started to use marine creatures in their diet 42,500 years ago, the earliest known time this happened in Australia, and “despite fluctuating sea levels and dramatic extensions of the coastal plain,” the people kept using those marine resources. “Although the coastal areas where the first inhabitants of our continent lived now lie under water, the team located a site on a continental island that has proved to be remarkably rich,” researcher Vladimir Levchenko said in a statement from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization. As time went on, they relied on a wider variety of both land and marine species for food. That is until about 6,800 years ago, when sea levels were rising, the land bridge was disappearing and the location was becoming the island we know it as today — around that time, the early settlers abandoned the cave. The research “has helped to clarify our understanding of the behaviour of modern peoples who dispersed from Africa and reached Australia,” Levchenko said. The timeframe is consistent with previous estimates of when people first began migrating to and settling Australia, long before Europeans showed up. A recent genetic analysis has definitively connected today’s aboriginal population to those first immigrants, after another team of researchers compared DNA from old hair samples. They found that the native tribes had been living in their homeland for about 50,000 years, all of them descended from those first migrants.

News Article | April 2, 2016

Scientists discover what happens underneath the toxic lakes of Titan during a hydrological cycle. Not only does it leave evaporate materials, these are actually made by a unique combination of benzene and ethane. As one of the biggest planets in the solar system — it fits 764 Earths — Saturn is remarkable. However, Titan, its largest moon, is just as extraordinary with its giant ice clouds and expansive dunes. What makes it even more interesting is that it shares many similarities with Earth such as volcanoes, tectonics, and bodies of water, although theirs are composed of methane and ethane. It's these water forms, specifically what remains after the liquids have evaporated, that captured the researchers' attention: what material, which resembles Earth's bath scum, is left behind? On Earth, when the bodies of water evaporate, they leave behind materials composed of hydrates and salt. Titan also leaves something, based on the images captured by the Cassini spacecraft, but the scientists haven't figured out exactly what they are made of. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) then undertook an investigation by determining the possible chemicals aside from ethane and methane that could be found on the moon. They combined them to find out which could possibly develop into solid forms and eventually discovered that a mixture of benzene and ethane tend to create the same effect. However, researchers didn't know how the crystalline material now called benzene: ethane co-crystal actually form or the ratio of these mixtures to achieve the same result as the one found in the moon. Enter Helen Maynard-Casely of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) who, together with colleagues who used the "high-energy X-ray beam" of Australian Synchroton, was able to ascertain not only the structure of the material but also the fact that the material is entirely new. "The benzene molecules form a channel, and the ethane molecules which are more elongated sit down these channels," said Maynard-Casely. The presence of ethane, which is discovered in the dried-up lakes, is not completely surprising since it's left once methane evaporates and becomes part of the moon's thick atmosphere. Nevertheless, it remains a "remarkable structure," she added. The study is now available in the open-access journal of International Union of Crystallography (IUCrJ).

Carilli J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization | Walsh S.,Brown University
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

Community assemblages of live and dead benthic foraminifera from Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, Kiribati, were used to investigate changes in nutrification before and after human occupation. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages have previously been shown to have strong empirical relationships with water quality: mixotrophic, symbiont-bearing foraminifera dominate in clear, nutrient-poor waters, while heterotrophic and/or opportunistic foraminifera are more prevalent in polluted or nutrified waters. After human occupation, the proportion of mixotrophic taxa decreased significantly at all sites on Kiritimati with the largest decreases observed at sites with the highest fishing pressure. These changes in the benthic foraminiferal assemblage indicate that nutrification has occurred on Kiritimati over the scale of decades, possibly due to changes in trophic structure and nutrient cycling caused by fishing. © Inter-Research 2012.

Randau C.,Institute For Werkstoffkunde Und Werkstofftechnik | Garbe U.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization | Brokmeier H.-G.,Institute For Werkstoffkunde Und Werkstofftechnik
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2011

Modern materials science diffractometers are generally equipped with area detectors that allow a high time efficiency to be achieved by simultaneously collecting the scattering pattern over large angular regions. These area-detector-based instruments, however, produce a huge amount of data, especially if they are located at large-scale neutron or synchrotron sources. The software StressTextureCalculator (STeCa) was designed to facilitate fast, easy and automated access to such area-detector data. Its outstanding features are direct calculation of diffraction patterns from different types of area-detector measurements, automatic data treatment and peak fitting using several implemented fit options. The resulting information on intensity, peak shift and broadening can then be exported into several data formats. These in turn can be used as input for a wide range of texture, stress and microstructure analysis software packages without additional prior treatment. © 2011 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved.

Carilli J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization | Donner S.D.,University of British Columbia | Hartmann A.C.,University of California at San Diego
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Coral bleaching is the breakdown of symbiosis between coral animal hosts and their dinoflagellate algae symbionts in response to environmental stress. On large spatial scales, heat stress is the most common factor causing bleaching, which is predicted to increase in frequency and severity as the climate warms. There is evidence that the temperature threshold at which bleaching occurs varies with local environmental conditions and background climate conditions. We investigated the influence of past temperature variability on coral susceptibility to bleaching, using the natural gradient in peak temperature variability in the Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati. The spatial pattern in skeletal growth rates and partial mortality scars found in massive Porites sp. across the central and northern islands suggests that corals subject to larger year-to-year fluctuations in maximum ocean temperature were more resistant to a 2004 warm-water event. In addition, a subsequent 2009 warm event had a disproportionately larger impact on those corals from the island with lower historical heat stress, as indicated by lower concentrations of triacylglycerol, a lipid utilized for energy, as well as thinner tissue in those corals. This study indicates that coral reefs in locations with more frequent warm events may be more resilient to future warming, and protection measures may be more effective in these regions. © 2012 Carilli et al.

Australian Nuclear Science, Technology Organization and University of Sydney | Date: 2014-03-13

The present invention relates to transgenic animal models. Specifically, the present invention relates to transgenic animal models for applications associated with TSPO-related normal physiology, diseases and disorders. The present invention features a transgenic nonhuman animal comprising cells with at least one copy of a non-functional, endogenous TSPO gene. Also disclosed are compounds for investigating or modulating TSPO-related functions.

Howarth J.D.,University of Otago | Fitzsimons S.J.,University of Otago | Norris R.J.,University of Otago | Jacobsen G.E.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization
Geology | Year: 2012

Large earthquakes in mountain regions commonly trigger extensive landsliding and are important drivers of erosion, but the contribution of this landsliding to long-term erosion rates and seismic hazard remains poorly understood. Here we show that lake sediments record postseismic landscape response as a sequence of turbidites that can be used to quantify erosion related to large (moment magnitude, Mw > 7.6) earthquakes on the Alpine fault, New Zealand. Alpine fault earthquakes caused a threefold increase in sediment flux over the ~50 yr duration of each postseismic landscape response; this represents considerable delayed hazard following earthquake-induced strong ground motion. Earthquakes were responsible for 27% of the sediment flux from the lake catchment over the past 1100 yr, leading us to conclude that Alpine fault earthquakes are one of the most important drivers of erosion in the range front of the Southern Alps. © 2012 Geological Society of America.

The conventional reaction yield evaluation for radioisotope production is not sufficient to set up the optimal conditions for producing radionuclide products of the desired radiochemical quality. Alternatively, the specific radioactivity (SA) assessment, dealing with the relationship between the affecting factors and the inherent properties of the target and impurities, offers a way to optimally perform the irradiation for production of the best quality radioisotopes for various applications, especially for targeting radiopharmaceutical preparation. Neutron-capture characteristics, target impurity, side nuclear reactions, target burn-up and post-irradiation processing/cooling time are the main parameters affecting the SA of the radioisotope product. These parameters have been incorporated into the format of mathematical equations for the reaction yield and SA assessment. As a method demonstration, the SA assessment of 177Lu produced based on two different reactions, 176Lu (n,γ)177Lu and 176Yb (n,γ) 177Yb (β- decay) 177Lu, were performed. The irradiation time required for achieving a maximum yield and maximum SA value was evaluated for production based on the 176Lu (n,γ)177Lu reaction. The effect of several factors (such as elemental Lu and isotopic impurities) on the 177Lu SA degradation was evaluated for production based on the 176Yb (n,γ) 177Yb (β- decay) 177Lu reaction. The method of SA assessment of a mixture of several radioactive sources was developed for the radioisotope produced in a reactor from different targets. © 2011 by the authors.

Blazek J.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization | Gilbert E.P.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2010

Enzymatic digestion of six starches of different botanical origin was studied in real time by in situ time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and complemented by the analysis of native and digested material by X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, small-angle X-ray scattering, and scanning electron microscopy with the aim of following changes in starch granule nanostructure during enzymatic digestion. This range of techniques enables coverage over five orders of length-scale, as is necessary for this hierarchically structured material. Starches studied varied in their digestibility and displayed structural differences in the course of enzymatic digestion. The use of time-resolved SANS showed that solvent-drying of digested residues does not induce any structural artifacts on the length scale followed by small-angle scattering. In the course of digestion, the lamellar peak intensity gradually decreased and low-q scattering increased. These trends were more substantial for A-type than for B-type starches. These observations were explained by preferential digestion of the amorphous growth rings. Hydrolysis of the semicrystalline growth rings was explained on the basis of a liquid-crystalline model for starch considering differences between A-type and B-type starches in the length and rigidity of amylopectin spacers and branches. As evidenced by differing morphologies of enzymatic attack among varieties, the existence of granular pores and channels and physical penetrability of the amorphous growth ring affect the accessibility of the enzyme to the substrate. The combined effects of the granule microstructure and the nanostructure of the growth rings influence the opportunity of the enzyme to access its substrate; as a consequence, these structures determine the enzymatic digestibility of granular starches more than the absolute physical densities of the amorphous growth rings and amorphous and crystalline regions of the semicrystalline growth rings. © Published 2010 by the American Chemical Society.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization | Date: 2011-08-15

A particulate substance comprising particles of a ceramic matrix bearing a functional group, the functional group being capable of promoting penetration of the particles into cells, and a biomolecule disposed within pores of the particles, the biomolecule being releasable from the particles by dissolution of the ceramic matrix.

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