Founded in 1850, it is Australia’s first university and is regarded as one of its most prestigious, ranked as the 27th most reputable university in the world. In 2013, it was ranked 38th and in the top 0.3% in the QS World University Rankings. Five Nobel or Crafoord laureates have been affiliated with the university as graduates and faculty.
The University comprises 16 faculties and schools, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In 2011 it had 32,393 undergraduate and 16,627 graduate students. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD.
Sydney is a member of Australia’s Group of Eight, Academic Consortium 21, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the Worldwide Universities Network. The University is also colloquially known as one of Australia’s sandstone universities.
University of Sydney research articles from Innovation Toronto
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- Wheat disease-resistance gene identified, potential to save billions – November 11, 2015
- Oxytocin has social, emotional and behavioral benefits in young kids with autism – October 31, 2015
- Silk and Ceramics Offer Hope for Long-term Repair of Joint Injuries – September 26, 2015
- Drones used to track wildlife – August 27, 2015
- Power of the media’s impact on medicine use revealed – June 16, 2015
- MIT engineers hand “cognitive” control to underwater robots – May 8, 2015
- A step closer to bio-printing transplantable tissues and organs – July 1, 2014
- Australian cardiologist regrows monkey hearts with human stem cells – May 1, 2014
- Heart attack damage slashed with microparticle therapy
- CowBot: Robot used to round up cows is a hit with farmers
- Australian Startups Zookal And Flirtey To Begin Delivering Textbook Orders By Drone
- Surface that stays dry forever, never needs cleaning or able to repel bacteria or even prevent mould and fungi growth
- From Cancer Treatment to Ion Thruster: The Newest Little Idea for Nanosat Micro Rockets
- Scientists Refine Warp-Drive Concept Using Space-Time Distortion
- Robots to drones, Australia eyes high-tech farm help to grow food
- Geo-engineering against climate change
- Automated agriculture
- Breakthrough in solar cell efficiency
- Researchers create nano-architectured aluminum alloy with strength of steel
What if you could see the future and stop your IT from breaking?
Sydney physicists have demonstrated it is possible to overcome the most significant hurdle to building reliable quantum technologies, in a major technical achievement. The research is published in Nature Communications.
“We’re developing new capabilities that turn quantum systems from novelties into useful technologies”
Scientists at the University of Sydney have demonstrated the ability to “see” the future of quantum systems, and used that knowledge to preempt their demise, in a major achievement that could help bring the strange and powerful world of quantum technology closer to reality.
The applications of quantum-enabled technologies are compelling and already demonstrating significant impacts – especially in the realm of sensing and metrology. And the potential to build exceptionally powerful quantum computers using quantum bits, or qubits, is driving investment from the world’s largest companies.
However a significant obstacle to building reliable quantum technologies has been the randomisation of quantum systems by their environments, or decoherence, which effectively destroys the useful quantum character.
The physicists have taken a technical quantum leap in addressing this, using techniques from big data to predict how quantum systems will change and then preventing the system’s breakdown from occurring.
The research is published today in Nature Communications.
“Much the way the individual components in mobile phones will eventually fail, so too do quantum systems,” said the paper’s senior author Professor Michael J. Biercuk.
“But in quantum technology the lifetime is generally measured in fractions of a second, rather than years.”
Professor Biercuk, from the University of Sydney’s School of Physics and a chief investigator at the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, said his group had demonstrated it was possible to suppress decoherence in a preventive manner. The key was to develop a technique to predict how the system would disintegrate.
Professor Biercuk highlighted the challenges of making predictions in a quantum world: “Humans routinely employ predictive techniques in our daily experience; for instance, when we play tennis we predict where the ball will end up based on observations of the airborne ball,” he said.
“This works because the rules that govern how the ball will move, like gravity, are regular and known. But what if the rules changed randomly while the ball was on its way to you? In that case it’s next to impossible to predict the future behavior of that ball.
“And yet this situation is exactly what we had to deal with because the disintegration of quantum systems is random. Moreover, in the quantum realm observation erases quantumness, so our team needed to be able to guess how and when the system would randomly break.
“We effectively needed to swing at the randomly moving tennis ball while blindfolded.”
The team turned to machine learning for help in keeping their quantum systems – qubits realised in trapped atoms – from breaking.
What might look like random behavior actually contained enough information for a computer program to guess how the system would change in the future. It could then predict the future without direct observation, which would otherwise erase the system’s useful characteristics.
The predictions were remarkably accurate, allowing the team to use their guesses preemptively to compensate for the anticipated changes.
Doing this in real time allowed the team to prevent the disintegration of the quantum character, extending the useful lifetime of the qubits.
“We know that building real quantum technologies will require major advances in our ability to control and stabilise qubits – to make them useful in applications,” Professor Biercuk said.
Our techniques apply to any qubit, built in any technology, including the special superconducting circuits being used by major corporations.
“We’re excited to be developing new capabilities that turn quantum systems from novelties into useful technologies. The quantum future is looking better all the time,” Professor Biercuk said.
Learn more: Seeing the quantum future… literally
Malaria remains one of the world’s leading causes of mortality in developing countries. Last year alone, it killed more than 400,000 people, mostly young children. This week in ACS Central Science, an international consortium of researchers unveils the mechanics and findings of a unique “open science” project for malaria drug discovery that has been five years in the making.
The current gold standard antimalarial treatments are based on artemisinin, a compound developed in the 1970s in China, combined with a partner drug. Yet, resistance to artemisinin and its partners has already emerged in some parts of the world. If the resistance spreads, there are no viable replacement treatments. Given the lack of commercial incentive for industry to develop drugs for neglected diseases such as malaria, and because academic researchers often lack resources to move compounds forward, there is a clear need for new approaches. In response, Matthew Todd from the University of Sydney together with the not-for-profit research and development organization Medicines for Malaria Venture proposed an “open source” solution akin to the open source concept used in software development.
More than 50 researchers from 21 organizations in eight countries added their research to the project, which started with a large set of potential drug molecules made public by the company GlaxoSmithKline. Anyone willing to contribute — anywhere in the world — was welcome to share data and collaborate by adding comments to an electronic notebook as part of the Open Source Malaria Consortium. Some scientists designed and synthesized new generations of the antimalarial compounds; others ran assays and interpreted results. Several rounds of research were conducted, addressing water solubility and structural issues, with all the data being made public in real time. A wide array of scientists, from professors to undergraduates, participated by choice, agreeing that no one would individually seek patents to protect their contributions. The authors note that the current results, while promising, are merely the beginning of the story. They continue to welcome additional contributions, also researched openly and collaboratively.
A breakthrough by an Australian collaboration of researchers could make infra-red technology easy-to-use and cheap, potentially saving millions of dollars in defence and other areas using sensing devices, and boosting applications of technology to a host of new areas, such as agriculture.
Infra-red devices are used for improved vision through fog and for night vision and for observations not possible with visible light; high-quality detectors cost approximately $100,000 (including the device at the University of Sydney) some require cooling to -200°C.
Now, research spearheaded by researchers at the University of Sydney has demonstrated a dramatic increase in the absorption efficiency of light in a layer of semiconductor that is only a few hundred atoms thick – to almost 99 percent light absorption from the current inefficient 7.7 percent.
The findings will be published overnight in the high-impact journal Optica.
Co-author from the University of Sydney’s School of Physics, Professor Martijn de Sterke, said the team discovered perfect thin film light absorbers could be created simply by etching grooves into them.
Breakthrough could help address growing demand for the staple that already provides a fifth of global caloric intake.
An international team of scientists has identified a gene that can prevent some of the most significant wheat diseases—creating the potential to save more than a billion dollars in lost production in Australia each year.
Estimates put potential losses from wheat rust diseases in Australia alone at more than one-and-a-half billion dollars each year.Associate Professor Harbans Bariana
The findings should have wide-reaching ramifications, with wheat already providing a fifth of global caloric intake and set to spike in the next 50 years.
A gene that can prevent some of the most important wheat diseases has been identified—creating the potential to save more than a billion dollars in lost production in Australia each year.
In a global collaboration including the University of Sydney’s Plant Breeding Institute (PBI), the CSIRO, CIMMYT (Mexico), University of Newcastle, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, the gene Lr67 has been identified as providing resistance to three of the most important wheat rust diseases, along with powdery mildew, a significant disease in Norway.
The findings, published today in Nature Genetics, should have wide-reaching ramifications, with wheat already providing a fifth of global caloric intake and set to spike in the next 50 years.
Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) and The University of Sydney have developed a world-first radio-tracking drone to locate radio-tagged wildlife.
Lead researcher Dr Debbie Saunders from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society said the drones have successfully detected tiny radio transmitters weighing as little as one gram. The system has been tested by tracking bettongs at the Mulligan’s Flat woodland sanctuary in Canberra.
“The small aerial robot will allow researchers to more rapidly and accurately find tagged wildlife, gain insights into movements of some of the world’s smallest and least known species, and access areas that are otherwise inaccessible,” Dr Saunders said.
“We have done more than 150 test flights and have demonstrated how the drones can find and map the locations of animals with radio tags.”
Researcher Oliver Cliff, from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at the University of Sydney, said the technology had generated international interest.
“Lots of people are trying to do this. It is not an easy process, but we believe we’ve come up with a solution,” he said.
“We’ve had interest in our system from all around the world. We are still doing some fine tuning but we’ve achieved more than has ever been done before, which is exciting.”
Dr Saunders, a wildlife ecologist, came up with the idea eight years ago to track small dynamic migratory birds such as the endangered swift parrot.
The new system, funded by an ARC Linkage Project Grant and Loro Parque Foundacion, has been built and tested over the past two and a half years with Dr Robert Fitch and his team at the ACFR at the University of Sydney.
The robot consists of an off-the-shelf drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The custom-built miniature receiver and antenna provide real-time information on radio-tracked wildlife, which are mapped live on a laptop.
ANU Associate Professor Adrian Manning, also from the Fenner School of Environment and Society, has helped the team by attaching VHF and GPS collars on bettongs at Mulligan’s Flat.
“Radio tracking of collars manually is very time consuming,” Associate Professor Manning said.
“Early indications are that the drones could save a huge amount of time. If you have two operators working and they can put the drone up in two bursts of 20 minutes, they can do what would take half a day or more to do using ground methods.”
Read more: Drones used to track wildlife