Perth, Australia
Perth, Australia

Murdoch University is a public university based in Perth, Western Australia with campuses also in Singapore and Dubai. It began operations as the state's second university in 1973, and accepted its first students in 1975. Its name is taken from Sir Walter Murdoch , the Founding Professor of English and former Chancellor of the University of Western Australia. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Murdoch University | Date: 2015-04-14

An osmotic separation process for the extraction of a solvent from a first solution with low osmotic pressure, in a first compartment to a second solution with higher osmotic pressure in the second compartment. The first solution and the second solution are separated by a semi-permeable membrane. An hydraulic pressure gradient is applied and on the first compartment to enhance the water permeation from the first solution to the second solution


Patent
Murdoch University | Date: 2015-04-03

The invention discloses a method of removing dissolved elements from a liquid. The method comprises a first heating step for heating the liquid using a first heat source, a plurality of distillation steps for purifying the liquid heated by the first heating step, each of the plurality of distillation steps comprising at least one evaporation step and at least one condensation step, and a second heating step, using a second heat source to heat a plurality of flashing chambers, each generating a volume of vapor; wherein the vapor from at least one of the plurality of flashing chambers of the second heating step is introduced into at least one of the plurality of distillation steps.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Newborn humpback whales 'whisper' to their mothers to avoid being overheard by killer whales, researchers have discovered. The recordings - the first obtained from tags directly attached to the whales - are published in Functional Ecology. Ecologists from Denmark and Australia used temporary tags on humpback mothers and their calves in Exmouth Gulf off western Australia to learn more about the first months of a humpback's life. According to lead author Simone Videsen of Aarhus University: "We know next to nothing about the early life stages of whales in the wild, but they are crucial for the calves' survival during the long migration to their feeding grounds." "This migration is very demanding for young calves. They travel 5,000 miles across open water in rough seas and with strong winds. Knowing more about their suckling will help us understand what could disrupt this critical behaviour, so we can target conservation efforts more effectively." Humpbacks spend their summer in the food-rich waters of the Antarctic or Arctic, and in the winter migrate to the tropics to breed and mate. While in tropical waters such as Exmouth Gulf, calves must gain as much weight as possible to embark on their first, epic migration. Together with colleagues from Murdoch University, Videsen tagged eight calves and two mothers. To capture the faint sounds of the calves, they used special tags developed by the University of St Andrews. The tags attach to whales via suction cups and record sounds made and heard by whales, along with their movements, for up to 48 hours before detaching to float at the surface. The study found that mothers and calves spend significant amounts of time nursing and resting. The recordings also revealed that newborn humpbacks communicate with their mothers using intimate grunts and squeaks - a far cry from the loud, haunting song of the male humpback whale. The data tags showed that these quiet calls usually occurred while whales were swimming, suggesting they help mother and calf keep together in the murky waters of Exmouth Gulf. "We also heard a lot of rubbing sounds, like two balloons being rubbed together, which we think was the calf nudging its mother when it wants to nurse," says Videsen. Such quiet communication helps reduce the risk of being overheard by killer whales nearby, she believes: "Killer whales hunt young humpback calves outside Exmouth Gulf, so by calling softly to its mother the calf is less likely to be heard by killer whales, and avoid attracting male humpbacks who want to mate with the nursing females." The findings will help conserve this important humpback habitat and - crucially - ensure these nursery waters are kept as quiet as possible. "From our research, we have learned that mother-calf pairs are likely to be sensitive to increases in ship noise. Because mother and calf communicate in whispers, shipping noise could easily mask these quiet calls." There are two major humpback whale populations, one in the northern hemisphere and the other in the south. Both breed in the tropics during the winter and then migrate to the Arctic or Antarctic during the summer to feed. Humpback whales are slow to reproduce. Pregnancy lasts for around one year and calves - which are 5 metres at birth - stay with their mothers until they are one year old. During their first weeks of life, calves can grow by up to one metre per month.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Newborn humpback whales 'whisper' to their mothers to avoid being overheard by killer whales, researchers have discovered. The recordings - the first obtained from tags directly attached to the whales - are published in Functional Ecology. Ecologists from Denmark and Australia used temporary tags on humpback mothers and their calves in Exmouth Gulf off western Australia to learn more about the first months of a humpback's life. According to lead author Simone Videsen of Aarhus University: "We know next to nothing about the early life stages of whales in the wild, but they are crucial for the calves' survival during the long migration to their feeding grounds." "This migration is very demanding for young calves. They travel 5,000 miles across open water in rough seas and with strong winds. Knowing more about their suckling will help us understand what could disrupt this critical behaviour, so we can target conservation efforts more effectively." Humpbacks spend their summer in the food-rich waters of the Antarctic or Arctic, and in the winter migrate to the tropics to breed and mate. While in tropical waters such as Exmouth Gulf, calves must gain as much weight as possible to embark on their first, epic migration. Together with colleagues from Murdoch University, Videsen tagged eight calves and two mothers. To capture the faint sounds of the calves, they used special tags developed by the University of St Andrews. The tags attach to whales via suction cups and record sounds made and heard by whales, along with their movements, for up to 48 hours before detaching to float at the surface. The study found that mothers and calves spend significant amounts of time nursing and resting. The recordings also revealed that newborn humpbacks communicate with their mothers using intimate grunts and squeaks - a far cry from the loud, haunting song of the male humpback whale. The data tags showed that these quiet calls usually occurred while whales were swimming, suggesting they help mother and calf keep together in the murky waters of Exmouth Gulf. "We also heard a lot of rubbing sounds, like two balloons being rubbed together, which we think was the calf nudging its mother when it wants to nurse," says Videsen. Such quiet communication helps reduce the risk of being overheard by killer whales nearby, she believes: "Killer whales hunt young humpback calves outside Exmouth Gulf, so by calling softly to its mother the calf is less likely to be heard by killer whales, and avoid attracting male humpbacks who want to mate with the nursing females." The findings will help conserve this important humpback habitat and - crucially - ensure these nursery waters are kept as quiet as possible. "From our research, we have learned that mother-calf pairs are likely to be sensitive to increases in ship noise. Because mother and calf communicate in whispers, shipping noise could easily mask these quiet calls." There are two major humpback whale populations, one in the northern hemisphere and the other in the south. Both breed in the tropics during the winter and then migrate to the Arctic or Antarctic during the summer to feed. Humpback whales are slow to reproduce. Pregnancy lasts for around one year and calves - which are 5 metres at birth - stay with their mothers until they are one year old. During their first weeks of life, calves can grow by up to one metre per month.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Tiny, individual crystals on the underside of a Mexican butterfly’s wings give the insect a distinctive green color that allows it to hide from predators. Researchers at the University of Fribourg’s Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) in Germany, and Murdoch University in Western Australia, have shown for the first time how these crystals might grow. The scientists investigated the nanostructure on the wing scales of the green Hairstreak butterfly. What they found on each wing scale were structured nanocrystals that were surprisingly not interconnected. Rather they were a series of regularly spaced points where so-called gyroid photonic structures had grown. Gyroids are labyrinth-like three-dimensional structures first described by NASA scientist Allan Schoen. These structures, which are partially pigmented, are responsible for the butterfly’s green color. According to the researchers, the repetition of these nanostructures is similar to the wavelength of visible light which explains its peculiar optical property of producing a green color without any pigment. This was the first time this pattern was observed in butterflies, which are known for their particularly diverse wing scale structures. These structures are important to the insects for multiple functions such as signaling and water repellency. How the complex structures develop remains to this day largely unknown since it is impossible to observe on living specimens. The researchers were however able to infer that the structure they observed, using electron and x-ray microscopy, grew in a multistep process. In a first stage, an enveloping casing or mold develops. Then it is filled by a biopolymeric gyroid structure with a different chemical composition. This growth pattern contradicts previous theories. “Previous theories lacked the sampling and/or time resolution needed for the investigation,” explains Bodo Wilts, the lead AMI researcher on the project. “The unique structure found in these scales looks like it is still ‘growing’. Theories so far were based on single time points of the development. With our dataset, we are able to infer whether these are correct.” The results give insights into how butterfly wing cells develop, but could also provide inspiration for new nanoscale assembly techniques. The structures are not only precisely formed, but also developed under normal temperature and pressure conditions. “With optics and photovoltaics, we have taken inspiration from nature in terms of what structures we can copy and adapt. But we seem to neglect that we can also learn from the mechanisms nature employs to make these structures,” says Murdoch University’s Gerd Schroeder-Turk, one of the study’s co-authors. “Efficiencies and innovations are sure to be revealed if we can unpick these processes.” The results have been published in Science Advances, an open-access journal.


Roossinck M.J.,Pennsylvania State University | Roossinck M.J.,Murdoch University
Annual Review of Genetics | Year: 2012

Viral metagenomics is the study of viruses in environmental samples, using next generation sequencing that produces very large data sets. For plant viruses, these studies are still relatively new, but are already indicating that our current knowledge grossly underestimates the diversity of these viruses. Some plant virus studies are using thousands of individual plants so that each sequence can be traced back to its precise host. These studies should allow for deeper ecological and evolutionary analyses. The finding of so many new plant viruses that do not cause any obvious symptoms in wild plant hosts certainly changes our perception of viruses and how they interact with their hosts. The major difficulty in these (as in all) metagenomic studies continues to be the need for better bioinformatics tools to decipher the large data sets. The implications of this new information on plant viruses for international agriculture remain to be addressed. © 2012 by Annual Reviews.


Two new empirical correlations based on proximate and ultimate analyses of biomass used for prediction of higher heating value (HHV) are presented in this paper. The correlations have been developed via stepwise linear regression method by using data of biomass samples (from the open literature) of varied origin and obtained from different geographical locations. The correlations have been validated via incorporation of additional biomass data. The correlation based on ultimate analysis (HHV = 0.2949C+0.8250H) has a mean absolute error (MAE) lower than 5% and marginal mean bias error (MBE) at just 0.57% which indicate that it has good HHV predictive capability. The other correlation which is based on proximate analysis (HHV = 0.1905VM+0.2521FC) is a useful companion correlation with low absolute MBE (0.67%). The HHV prediction accuracies of 12 other correlations introduced by other researchers are also compared in this study. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Thompson R.C.A.,Murdoch University
International Journal for Parasitology | Year: 2013

This review examines parasite zoonoses and wildlife in the context of the One Health triad that encompasses humans, domestic animals, wildlife and the changing ecosystems in which they live. Human (anthropogenic) activities influence the flow of all parasite infections within the One Health triad and the nature and impact of resulting spillover events are examined. Examples of spillover from wildlife to humans and/or domestic animals, and vice versa, are discussed, as well as emerging issues, particularly the need for parasite surveillance of wildlife populations. Emphasis is given to Trypanosoma cruzi and related species in Australian wildlife, Trichinella, Echinococcus, Giardia, Baylisascaris, Toxoplasma and Leishmania. © 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.


Objective: To review mechanisms that might contribute to sensory disturbances and sympatheticallymaintained pain in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Background: CRPS is associated with a range of sensory and autonomic abnormalities. In a subpopulation of patients, sympathetic nervous system arousal and intradermal injection of adrenergic agonists intensify pain. Results: Mechanisms responsible for sensory abnormalities in CRPS include sensitization of primary afferent nociceptors and spinothalamic tract neurons, disinhibition of central nociceptive neurons, and reorganization of thalamo-cortical somatosensory maps. Proposed mechanisms of sympathetically-maintained pain include adrenergic excitation of sensitized nociceptors in the CRPSaffected limb, and interaction between processes within the central nervous system that modulate nociception and emotional responses. Central mechanisms could involve adrenergic facilitation of nociceptive transmission in the dorsal horn or thalamus, and/or depletion of bulbo-spinal opioids or tolerance to their effects. Conclusions: Sympathetic neural activity might contribute to pain and sensory disturbances in CRPS by feeding into nociceptive circuits at the site of injury or elsewhere in the CRPS-affected limb, within the dorsal horn, or via thalamo-cortical projections.


Borowitzka M.A.,Murdoch University
Journal of Applied Phycology | Year: 2013

Microalgae (including the cyanobacteria) are established commercial sources of high-value chemicals such as β-carotene, astaxanthin, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosahexaenoic acid, phycobilin pigments and algal extracts for use in cosmetics. Microalgae are also increasingly playing a role in cosmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and functional foods. In the last few years, there has been renewed interest in microalgae as commercial sources of these and other high-value compounds, driven in part by the attempts to develop commercially viable biofuels from microalgae. This paper briefly reviews the main existing and potential high-value products which can be derived from microalgae and considers their commercial development with a particular focus on the various aspects which need to be considered on the path to commercialisation, using the experience gained in the commercialisation of existing algae products. These considerations include the existing and potential market size and market characteristics of the product, competition by chemically synthesised products or by 'natural' compounds from other organisms such as fungi, bacteria, higher plants, etc., product quality requirements and assurance, and the legal and regulatory environment. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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