Tiny robots could serve all kinds of useful functions, but shrinking their actuators has proven challenging. Now researchers at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia have made artificial muscles that surpass your puny natural ones, inspired by the “supercoiling” of DNA strands.
A truly unique piece of Australian real estate is up for grabs. Architect Graham Birchall’s personal home, based around a series of 11 intersecting bubble domes, has gone up for sale in Ipswich, Queensland.
Birchall built the home in the 1980s as a study of the adaptable nature of spheres. The domes range in diameter from 4 to 8 meters (13.1 to 26.2 ft), and give the whole building a unique look. Some of the bubbles look distinctly like eyeballs, and that’s because of the remote-controlled iris-like window shades; to help build these windows Birchall actually emailed NASA to ask for some design drawings of the Mars Rover, which they supplied.
Generally, there are two types of twins in humans – identical and fraternal. But now, researchers have announced that twins born in Queensland, Australia, have been found to belong to an extremely rare in-between type known as “semi-identical” twins. This is only the second known case in the world, and the first time it has been identified during pregnancy using genetic testing.
Some of architecture’s biggest names are vying to lead a new mixed-use skyscraper development on a prominent site in Melbourne, Australia. From twisting greenery-covered towers to an “illuminated cloud,” the six designs for Southbank by Beulah show the firms letting their imaginations run wild. Furthermore, most of the designs show towers that would become Australia’s new tallest skyscraper if built.
An impressive Australian trial that released millions of sterilized male mosquitoes in Queensland has resulted in a more than 80 percent drop in the population of this disease-spreading insect. The international collaboration involved scientists from Australia’s James Cook University (JCU) and the CSIRO, working with a new mosquito-rearing technology developed by Verily, an independent subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
The perfect gift for the billionaire who has everything has just come on the market – an idyllic tropical island tucked away in the Great Barrier Reef.
However, the Australian island is far from being a deserted getaway, as it hosts a 300-room luxury hotel and spa.
Daydream Island in Queensland, near the Whitsunday Islands, has doubtless shot to the top of the shopping list for the mega-rich after going up for sale for £75 million($114 million).
Its hotel boasts a private golden beach for each guest, and the outdoor aquarium features 50 different corals and 80 types of sea life.
Moguls who are keen to enjoy snorkelling, jet-skiing, scuba diving and other aquatic activities will be keen to stake their claim to be the new owner of Daydream Island.
WHAT TO DO ON DAYDREAM ISLAND
Snorkelling: Visitors can explore the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s hotbeds of biodiversity
Jet-skiing: The tropical setting is perfect for watersports adventurers
Aquatic life: The island’s man-made reef hosts amazing tropical fish such as stingrays
Fishing: Visitors go out in boats to catch a tasty lunch or just indulge in a bit of sport
Mini golf: Less intrepid guests can enjoy a relaxed round before dinner
Flamboyant businessman Vaughan Bullivant snapped up the island in 2000, and is now hoping to hand it on to another entrepreneur after his retirement.
‘But I’m 65 now and looking to at some stage put my feet up and enjoy doing other things in life including more travel and spending time with my family, which has long been my goal,’ he said.
‘I intend to make sure that Daydream remains an industry leader and am looking for a suitable operator to take Daydream Island forward.’
Resort boss Phil Casey said that the island had never looked better, and claimed that its natural beauty had helped it thrive throughout the recession.
‘Daydream Island has just completed a very positive 12 months of trading which is extremely pleasing considering the tourism industry has had a very difficult time in recent years,’ he said.
‘The island’s management has worked hard to position Daydream as an Australian holiday destination of choice.
‘Visitors are voting with their feet and giving fabulous feedback about our beautiful island and the great times they are having there.’
He insisted the resort would not be sold to just anyone, and said he was confident the island would find a proprietor who is a good fit for the beautiful getaway.
It may have looked like something out of a disaster movie – but the driver passing through was probably under no illusions to the very real threat posed by this gigantic waterspout.
The amazing natural phenomenon, which is created when tornadoes form above the sea, was spotted earlier today along the shoreline near Batemans Bay, which is 140 miles (225km) south of Sydney.
Also known as ‘water twisters’, they form when layers of cool air blowing over the water cause warm, moist air to sweep up from underneath, which then creates a swirling column of condensation.
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A car races on ahead as this waterspout appeared close to the shoreline at Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney
They can move as fast as 80 miles an hour and inside winds can spiral from 60 to 120 miles an hour.
Out on the water, they can cause considerable damage to coral reefs and marine life and pose a very real threat to boats, aircraft and swimmers.
Although rare in Australia, four colossal waterspouts swirled off the coast of Sydney at Avoca Beach in May 2011.
Meanwhile, the weather conditions in the Florida Keys are just right for the formation of at least 500 waterspouts each year.
In June, a waterspout formed off America’s east coast and swept through Hampton, Virginia, damaging boats and causing debris to fly through the air.
People look at the waterspout near to the shoreline at Batemans Bay
Even the British Isles are not immune to this natural phenomena, where around 15 water twisters are sighted each year around the coastline.
The Batemans Bay waterspout appeared as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a gale warning and forecast rough seas for the coastal region.
Attribution: Daily Mail