Dr Manickam Minakshi Salt Water Batteries

How Murdoch is solving one of sustainable energy’s greatest challenges: Unreliability

Murdoch University researchers have come up with a potential solution for the central obstacle facing sustainable energy. Wind turbines don't turn on a still day. Solar doesn't work at night and can be hampered by cloud, dust or snow coverage. To make sustainable resources a reliable form of energy their excess needs to be stored in batteries, currently making them an expensive and impractical option.

Dr Manickam Minakshi has developed a water-based sodium-ion battery that has shown excellent potential for affordable, low-temperature energy storage.

The battery has the added advantage of being based on globally abundant and affordable sodium (iron, nickel and manganese), a leap forward for green energy.

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Prof John Howieson Sustainable Agriculture

Why 600,000 African farmers are coming to Murdoch

Murdoch University’s world leading research is changing the lives of these farmers, and their communities, forever. You’d hardly think microscopic bacteria on the roots of legumes could change the world, but it can. It’s called rhizobium. And what this little thing does is incredible.

No one understands this better than Professor John Howieson. He’s using rhizobium to raise plant productivity in developing countries and is renowned around the world.

Rhizobium takes the nitrogen in the air and turns it into a form plants can use. In effect, turning air into fertiliser and turning barren fields into flourishing paddocks for animals. It’s completely natural and, most importantly for these impoverished African farmers, it’s free.

Now they can keep their livestock alive through the dry season. This means they can buy medicines, clothe and school their children, and have a chance at breaking free from poverty.

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Prof Andrew Thompson Parasitology

Why the world's biggest drug companies have funded Murdoch research

It’s a feeling most travellers have experienced – cramps and nausea, or worse, diarrhoea and vomiting.

You may think it’s the contaminated water, but Professor Andrew Thompson knows it’s actually “Giardia,” the parasite causing agent of illnesses like “Bali Belly”. He’s an expert in parasitic diseases and heads Murdoch University’s research into the area at the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

He’s also the reason why GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, funded Murdoch’s research into finding a treatment for this common sickness. Professor Thompson’s research involves changing and testing the chemical structure of drugs to find treatments for parasitic diseases. Once new indications have been developed the drugs are able to go to clinical trial.

This is exactly what he did for that nasty “Giardia”. The drug that treats it is now known as “Zentell” and can be purchased over the counter in South East Asia to treat Giardia in children.

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Prof Duane Varan The future of television

Why the world’s leading TV networks come to Murdoch to see the future of television

Some of the world’s biggest TV networks and advertisers sponsor Murdoch’s research into the future of television programming and advertising. Disney-ABC, CBS, and NBC from the United States have all been sponsors, as well as the music network MTV, sports network ESPN, and the Discovery Channel.

The Beyond Thirty Seconds research program is led by Professor Duane Varan, Director of Murdoch’s Audience Labs and the Disney Media & Advertising Lab in the U.S.

While people are viewing content in the Audience Lab’s world-class observation rooms, Professor Varan’s team study where they’re looking with pin point precision, and what emotions they’re feeling by monitoring biometrics, such as skin conductance and heart rate, and facial expressions.

Over the past eight years, the project has conducted what is now, almost certainly, the world’s largest lab-based exploration of new advertising and programming models for emerging media platforms.

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