Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

Deakin University is an Australian public university with approximately 47,000 higher education students in 2014. Established in 1974, the University was named after the leader of the Australian federation movement and the nation's second Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. It has campuses in Geelong, Warrnambool and Burwood, Melbourne in the state of Victoria. Current Vice-Chancellor is Jane den Hollander.Deakin University receives more than A$600 million in operating revenue annually, and controls more than A$1.3 billion in assets. It received more than A$35 million in research income in 2011 and had 1,493 research students in 2012. In 2009, its academics authored 33 books, 233 refereed conference papers, and 705 refereed journal papers. Wikipedia.


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Deakin University and The Florey Institute Of Neuroscience And Mental Health | Date: 2015-06-05

The present invention relates generally to methods for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of neurological diseases and disorders involving administration of trans 10-HDA. In particular, the methods of the present invention are useful in the treatment and/or prophylaxis of acquired or progressive neurodevelopmental disorders and conditions in mammals. More particularly, methods are taught herein for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of diseases and disorders such as autism spectrum disorders.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: phys.org

Achieving an enhanced rate of ion flow through channels and porous membranes is important for a range of applications, such as energy storage and water desalination, but it is challenging. The collaboration of researchers from Deakin University and ANSTO in Australia, the Sorbonne in France and Drexel University in the US, has just published the study in The Journal of the American Chemical Society. Boron nitride nanosheets are usually hydrophilic and the team used an understanding of the nanosheet interactions in solution during a filtration process to allowing nanosheets to self-assemble into the special structure in aqueous solution. ANSTO instrument scientist Chris Garvey and Guang Wang an AINSE Post Graduate Research Award recipient from Deakin University, used small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) at the Australian Synchrotron as a structural tool to probe the material and characterise the nanofluidic channels in a dry and fully hydrated boron nitride membrane. "The interaction of the nanoparticles in solution allowed the nanosheets to self-assemble into material with an interesting structure as a thin film with enhanced conductivity," explained Garvey. "As you remove the water during the manufacturing/filtration process, the particles come closer together and the interactions between the particles become important in the self-assembly process and the final structure," said Garvey. The boron nitride nanosheets stacked up in a well-aligned manner and formed a lamellar membrane structure. Thousands of parallel slit shaped ionic channels formed in a particular orientation on the membrane that acted as a nanofluidic conduit. "By contrast to an electron microscope, with SAXS you can look inside a material and see how it is assembled, we can see what happens when you put water and salt in a nanosized compartment," said Garvey. Measurements at the Australian Synchrotron at the SAXS beamline allowed them to determine the average spacing between the layers. "The X-ray beam, which is about 200-300 microns in diameter, is well suited for analysing a many nanolayers, giving a statistical perspective on structure," said Garvey. SAXS measurements perpendicular to the beam indicated a lack of structural order along the lateral direction of the membrane, which had also been reported for nanosheets of graphene oxide. The overall structural perspective suggested the ions were being excluded from the inner spaces of the channels in the membrane. Measurement parallel to the boron nitride membrane allowed them to determine that water molecules and ions remained in the intra-layer channels. The way ions pass through the nanoscale fluidic channels is significantly different from the way ions pass through the bulk. The authors concluded that a negative surface charge at the interface between the channel wall and the electrolyte was found to play an important role in ion transport. Garvey said that the physics of filtration processes was not well understood, with further understanding having relevance for many applications, such as assembly of these materials but also including the way clay soils behave. Boron nitride membranes could be an attractive and promising replacement for current 2D nanomaterials subject to harsh conditions. Explore further: New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials More information: Si Qin et al. High and Stable Ionic Conductivity in 2D Nanofluidic Ion Channels between Boron Nitride Layers, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2017). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b11100


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

LOGAN,UTAH, USA -- Focusing on the management of carbon stores within vegetated coastal habitats provides an opportunity to mitigate some aspects of global warming. Trisha Atwood from Utah State University's Watershed Sciences Department of the Quinney College of Natural Resources and the Ecology Center has collaborated with several co-authors from Australia, including lead author Peter Macreadie from Deakin University, in an article published in the May 2017 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. "If we are going to fight off climate change not only do we need to cut CO2 emissions," Atwood states. "But we also need to protect and restore natural carbon sinks like coastal wetlands." Although vegetated coastal ecosystems occupy only 0.2 percent of the ocean's surface, they play a disproportionately large role in the capture and retention of global carbon. As a result, bio sequestration in vegetated coastal habitats, a process that takes up atmospheric CO2 and stores it for millennia in marine soils (e.g. blue carbon), is emerging as one of the most effective methods for long-term carbon storage. Researchers are learning how to increase the sequestration of the blue carbon. Historically, resource managers have relied on best-management practices to protect and restore vegetated coastal habitats. Researchers now theorize that incorporating catchment-level management strategies in addition to the preservation of shoreline vegetation can help keep global warming to under 2 degreesC. These highly productive vegetated coastal habitats, including seagrasses, tidal marshes and mangroves, provide the best opportunities to capture and retain marine-based carbon. Three key environmental processes influence blue carbon sequestration: nutrient inputs, bioturbation and hydrology. When these processes are altered by human actions, such as eutrophication of coastal ecosystems, it can result in large amounts of CO2 and methane being released back into the atmosphere. Managing these three processes provides the best option to protect the carbon with its' long-term storage capacity. "Wetlands have a tremendous capacity for storing carbon long-term," Atwood said. "This research highlights three ways in which we can protect and improve this capacity." She and her co-authors demonstrate that these actions have the potential to profoundly alter rates of carbon accumulation and retention in vegetated coastal habitats around the globe.


New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal (17-20 May) shows that stopping sales of unhealthy soft drinks in sports centres can lead to increases in sales of healthier drinks and the same level of overall sales. The study is by Professor Anna Peeters, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia and former President of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society; and Ms Tara Boelsen-Robinson, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues. Food retail within sports, aquatic and recreation centres is often nutritionally poor, with high sales of confectionary and sugar-sweetened soft drinks. As health-promoting settings they represent an opportunity to implement healthy food retail strategies. YMCA Victoria, the Australian state of Victoria's largest aquatic and recreation provider, recently committed to removing all full sugar soft drink from all its centres, except full sugar sports drinks. This study aimed to determine the impact of the removal of soft drinks from a sample of these recreation and aquatic centres in Melbourne on sales of unhealthy drinks and of all drinks. Monthly sales data from January 2013 to May 2016 was collected from nine YMCA centres with a kiosk or cafe. All centres had removed full sugar soft drinks by December 2015. Drinks were classified using state government nutritional guidelines* as 'green' (best choice - water, sparkling water with/without sugar free flavour, small reduced fat milk, small reduced fat chocolate milk, tea or coffee with skimmed milk), 'amber' (choose carefully-diet soft drinks or diet sport drinks, fruit juices of 99% fruit juice in servings of 250ml or less) or 'red' (full sugar soft drinks or sport drinks, fruit juices of more than 250ml). A statistical analysis was conducted to determine the effect of the policy, adjusting for various factors including seasonal effects. Analysis was conducted on changes to the volume of ready-to-drink beverages, as well as dollar sales value of all drinks. The researchers found that sales volume (ml) of the 'red' ready-to-drink beverages significantly decreased by 55% and sales of 'green' category (healthy) drink volume increased by 24%, with no overall change in 'amber' drinks; in terms of numbers of drinks sold green drinks rose by 13% and red decreased by 38%. The dollar value of all beverages sold did not change after the intervention compared to the pre-intervention period (this was because more green drinks were sold to start with so a small % increase in initially large green sales made up for a larger % fall in the initially smaller red sales). Professor Peeters concludes: "This innovative policy had its intended effect of reducing purchase of unhealthy drinks, without negatively impacting on overall drinks sales. The development of healthy yet business-friendly outcome measures is important to support the large-scale expansion of such policies." "The YMCA is committed to promoting health yet the food and drinks we were selling in our centres contradicted this," adds Ariana Kurzeme, Manager for Advocacy, YMCA Victoria. "We decided to remove unhealthy items including sugary drinks despite the unknown financial impact. Fortunately our policy has been positively received and our customers are choosing healthier options. We are focussing on removing sugar-containing sports drinks next." The authors say the next steps in their research will be to include further YMCA centres, and also work with YMCA on studies to reduce the amount of confectionary available (such as chocolate bars), as well as replacing all full-sugar sports drinks with the diet sugar-free alternatives over the next year.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Male moths with larger antennae are better equipped to detect the low quantities of sex pheromone, a chemical signal, that female moths release to attract mates, research shows. The finding, published in Science of Nature, lends support to one of Charles Darwin’s lesser known ideas. In 1871, Darwin suggested that a female’s choice of mate could drive the evolution of mating signals in males. The male is effectively advertising his qualities and if a female chooses to mate with him, the genes for his traits are passed on to their offspring in the next generation, which ensures the evolution of the male display and the female’s preference. The theory of sexual selection has dominated research into animal behavior for decades, and thousands of studies support Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, says evolutionary biologist Mark Elgar, professor in the University of Melbourne’s School of Biosciences. “But Darwin also proposed that sexual selection can favor males who are better at detecting and responding to signals from females, including chemical signals like pheromones. So males with sensory structures that can better detect female signals may have the edge in finding them in order to mate and pass on their genes.” The team set up field experiments with the gum-leaf skeletoniser moth, Uraba lugens. The moths get their name from the damage they cause to eucalyptus trees. The adults only live for around seven days and do not eat in this time, says PhD student Tamara Johnson. “Within this week, the moths must attract a mate, sometimes competing with many other moths in the same area,” she says. Female U. lugens moths attract the attention of males by releasing sex-pheromones, with the chemical signal peaking at seven hours into the first phase of darkness in their adult life. While adult females have a simple filiform or threadlike antennae, males have feathery, bipectinate antennae. Following Darwin’s original suggestion, the team predicted that males with larger antennae, which have more chemical sensors, would better detect smaller amounts of sex pheromone. As part of her PhD project, Johnson placed traps at dusk with either one or two female moths. The number of males, and the size of their antennae, that were caught in the traps were recorded the next day. The researchers found that male moths with larger antennae, independent of their body size, were more likely to detect the sex pheromone of a single female. “Our data are consistent with Darwin’s 1871 prediction that sexual selection favors exaggerated sensory receptor structures like antennae,” says Matthew Symonds of Deakin University. “As evolutionary biologists, it’s very rewarding to be able to support a long-standing idea, originally floated by Darwin, that hasn’t attracted much attention,” he says. The team also suggests that females adjust their signaling to maximize their encounters with particular kinds of males, rather than to simply maximize encounters with any males. “Our data suggest that by releasing smaller amounts of pheromone, the female increases the likelihood of attracting males with longer antennae. These males may be better mates because producing and maintaining a large sensory structure is costly and possible for higher quality males only. Those male qualities may be passed onto her offspring,” says Elgar. The team also found that if females are initially unsuccessful at attracting a male, then calling effort increases to attract more mates, but potentially poorer quality males with shorter antennae. Males attracted to traps with two females, whose combined pheromone emission was presumably greater, had relatively smaller antennae. Our results show that females may have a significant and largely unrecognized role in the sexual selection of elaborate antennae, Elgar says. “For the gum-leaf skeletoniser moth, males that are good listeners apparently make attractive mates.”


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: phys.org

In 1871, Charles Darwin suggested that a female's choice of mate could drive the evolution of mating signals in males. His idea stems from his observations of the iconic courtship displays of peacocks, the songs of crickets and his contemporary insights into the whimsical nature of human females. The male is effectively advertising his qualities and if a female chooses to mate with him, the genes for his traits are passed on to their offspring in the next generation, ensuring the evolution of the male display and the female's preference. The theory of sexual selection has dominated research into animal behaviour for decades, and Darwin's theory of sexual selection is well supported by thousands of studies, says evolutionary biologist Professor Mark Elgar, from the University of Melbourne's School of Biosciences. "But Darwin also proposed that sexual selection can favour males who are better at detecting and responding to signals from females, including chemical signals like pheromones. So males with sensory structures that can better detect female signals may have the edge in finding them in order to mate and pass on their genes." But he says this idea has been largely overlooked until now. Professor Elgar and his team have been investigating the idea using moths. They are now the first to show that males with larger antennae are better equipped to detect the low quantities of sex pheromone, a chemical signal, released by females moths to attract males. The study included PhD student Tamara Johnson, Professor Elgar and Dr Matthew Symonds from Deakin University and has been published in the journal Science of Nature. The team set up field experiments with the gum-leaf skeletoniser moth, Uraba lugens. The moths get their name from the damage they cause to Eucalyptus trees. The adults only live for around seven days and do not eat in this time, says PhD student Tamara Johnson. "Within this week, the moths must attract a mate, sometimes competing with many other moths in the same area," she says. Female U.lugens moths attract the attention of males by releasing sex-phermonones, with the chemical signal peaking at seven hours into the first phase of darkness in their adult life. While adult females have a simple filiform or threadlike antennae, males have feathery, bipectinate antennae. Following Darwin's original suggestion, the team predicted that males with larger antennae, which have more chemical sensors, would better detect smaller amounts of sex pheromone. As part of her PhD project, Ms Johnson placed traps at dusk with either one or two female moths. The number of males, and the size of their antennae, that were caught in the traps were recorded the next day. "We conducted our field experiments in Royal Park, Melbourne which has a large population of U.lugens," says Ms Johnson. The researchers found that male moths with larger antennae, independent of their body size, were more likely to detect the sex pheromone of a single female. "Our data are consistent with Darwin's 1871 prediction that sexual selection favours exaggerated sensory receptor structures like antennae," says Dr Symonds. "As evolutionary biologists, it's very rewarding to be able to support a long-standing idea, originally floated by Darwin, that hasn't attracted much attention," he says. The team also suggests that females adjust their signaling to maximise their encounters with particular kinds of males, rather than to simply maximise encounters with any males. "Our data suggest that by releasing smaller amounts of pheromone, the female increases the likelihood of attracting males with longer antennae. These males may be better mates because producing and maintaining a large sensory structure is costly and possible for higher quality males only. Those male qualities may be passed onto her offspring," says Professor Elgar The team also found that if females are initially unsuccessful at attracting a male, then calling effort is increased to attract more mates, but potentially poorer quality males, as reflected by their shorter antennae. Males attracted to traps with two females, whose combined pheromone emission was presumably greater, had relatively smaller antennae. Our results show that females may have a significant and largely unrecognised role in the sexual selection of elaborate antennae, Professor Elgar says. "For the gum-leaf skeletoniser moth, males that are good listeners apparently make attractive mates." Explore further: Male choosiness emerges when females have multiple partners More information: Tamara L. Johnson et al. Sexual selection on receptor organ traits: younger females attract males with longer antennae, The Science of Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00114-017-1466-4


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. On landscapes around the world, environmental change is bringing people and large carnivores together--but the union is not without its problems. Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise as development continues unabated and apex predators begin to reoccupy their former ranges. Further complicating matters, many of these species are now reliant on human-provided foods, such as livestock and trash. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Thomas Newsome of Deakin University and the University of Sydney. Writing in BioScience, Newsome and his colleagues use gray wolves and other large predators as case studies to explore the effects of human-provided foods. They find numerous instances of species' changing their social structures, movements, and behavior when these resources are available. Perhaps most concerning, they've found that human-fed populations often form distinct genetic subgroups, which could lead to future speciation events. To hear the whole discussion, visit this link for this latest episode of the BioScience Talks podcast.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-04-2015 | Award Amount: 3.72M | Year: 2016

This Project aims to address an increasingly pressing global challenge: How to achieve the EUs development goals and the UNs Sustainable Development Goals, while meeting the global target of staying within two degrees global warming and avoid transgressing other planetary boundaries. EU policies must align with sustainable development goals (Article 11 TFEU). The impacts of climate change and global loss of natural habitat undermine the progress achieved by pursuing the Millennium Development Goals and threaten the realisation of EU development policy goals. Our focus is the role of EUs public and private market actors. They have a high level of interaction with actors in emerging and developing economies, and are therefore crucial to achieving the EUs development goals. However, science does not yet cater for insights in how the regulatory environment influences their decision-making, nor in how we can stimulate them to make development-friendly, environmentally and socially sustainable decisions. Comprehensive, ground-breaking research is necessary into the regulatory complexity in which EU private and public market actors operate, in particular concerning their interactions with private and public actors in developing countries. Our Consortium, leading experts in law, economics, and applied environmental and social science, is able to analyse this regulatory complexity in a transdisciplinary and comprehensive perspective, both on an overarching level and in depth, in the form of specific product life-cycles: ready-made garments and mobile phones. We bring significant new evidence-based insights into the factors that enable or hinder coherence in EU development policy; we will advance the understanding of how development concerns can be successfully integrated in non-development policies and regulations concerning market actors; and we provide tools for improved PCD impact assessment as well as for better corporate sustainability assessment.


The application of the 'ecosystem approach' to marine conservation management demands knowledge of the distribution patterns of the target species or communities. This information is commonly obtained from species distribution models (SDMs). This article explores an important but rarely acknowledged assumption in these models: almost all species may be present, but simply not detected by the particular survey method. However, nearly all of these SDM approaches neglect this important characteristic. This leads to the violation of a fundamental assumption of these models, which presuppose the detection of a species is equal to one (i.e. at each survey locality, a species is perfectly detected). In this article, the concept of imperfect detection is discussed, how it potentially influences the prediction of species' distributions is examined, and some statistical methods that could be used to incorporate the detection probability of species in estimates of their distribution are suggested. The approaches discussed here could improve the collection and interpretation of marine biological survey data and provide a coherent way to incorporate detection probability estimates in the modelling of species distributions. This will ultimately lead to an unbiased and more rigorous understanding of the distribution of species in the marine environment. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Sharma S.S.,Deakin University
Applied Energy | Year: 2011

This study investigates the determinants of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) for a global panel consisting of 69 countries using a dynamic panel data model. To make the panel data analysis more homogenous, we also investigate the determinants of CO2 emissions for a number of sub-panels. These sub-panels are constructed based on the income level of countries. In this way, we end up with three income panels; namely, high income, middle income, and low income panels. The time component of our dataset is 1985-2005 inclusive. Our main findings are that trade openness, per capita GDP, and energy consumption, proxied by per capita electric power consumption and per capita total primary energy consumption, have positive effects on CO2 emissions. Urbanisation is found to have a negative impact on CO2 emissions in high income, middle income, and low income panels. For the global panel, only GDP per capita and per capita total primary energy consumption are found to be statistically significant determinants of CO2 emission, while urbanisation, trade openness, and per capita electric power consumption have negative effects on the CO2 emissions. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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