Queensland algae to potentially combat obesity and more zedlines...

Queensland-grown algae could help prevent cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, and help to reduce obesity. Image sourced from Mariusz Zedzierski at Naturalnie

Researchers from The University of Southern Queensland and James Cook University are working to create an industry for the seaweed in regional Queensland.

The algae is being grown in prawn and barramundi farms to remove nutrients from wastewater that might otherwise flow into the Great Barrier Reef, and also produces a valuable biomass.

Project leader Lindsay Brown says their research indicates algae is a functional food with various health benefits for humans, including disease prevention, finding promising results in initial tests.

Indigenous stories shared through stargazing tours

Indigenous stories are now being told through stargazing tours in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria.

The tours take place just north of Burketown, which is 900km west of Cairns, and commence with stargazing before traditional Indigenous stories are retold.

Many of the stories convey the Indigenous people’s connection to the land or reveal important values to the Indigenous community.

Tour leader, Mr. Kumsing hopes the tours will increase tourism in the area as well as create more jobs for those in the community.

Australia to enter the ‘Space Race’

Australia could be entering the ‘space race’ within a year, according to The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, Michael Gunner.

Mr. Gunner is planning to turn Top End into an exploration hub, in the hopes Australia can capture a greater part of the global space industry.

A private company called Equatorial Launch Australia has already sized up the remote town of Nhulunbuy, which is about 1000km from Darwin, on the Gove Peninsula in East Arnhem Land as a potential rocket launch site.

Arnhem Land is deemed ideal because of its proximity to the equator and its sparse population.

The area has been home to the Yolngu Aboriginal people for over 40 000 years.

Mental health issues in the legal profession could go unnoticed

A New South Wales local court magistrate has warned that the mental health of lawyers and judges could be deteriorating and go unnoticed.

According to the magistrate David Heilpern, the most recent research indicates a fifth of barristers and a third of solicitors suffer from depression.

During a speech at the Federal Court in Sydney, Magistrate Heilpern said those in the legal profession can feel traumatised from certain cases.

He says too often lawyers feel isolated and do not seek help, sometimes turning to alcohol instead.

Protests erupt in Kenya’s presidential election

Conflict has erupted between police and protesters in Nairobi, Kenya, since presidential election polls opened Thursday morning, killing at least one person and leaving countless others injured.

The vote for Kenya’s new president is the second one within the past three months, due to irregularities in the previous voting process.

Consequently, protests have broken out in support of presidential opposition leader, Raila Odinga, with many protesters claiming the election is a ‘sham’.

Voter turnout on Thursday was only an estimated 48%.

Vietnam to produce artificial sand

Scientists report Vietnam may consume all their sand within the next five years due to excessive exploitation.

The country’s scientists are considering producing artificial sand, ground from rocks, as an alternative to natural sand, which would also produce better quality concrete.

Vietnam currently uses an estimated 100 million cubic metres of sand annually purely for concrete.

Science experts suggest artificial sand may be cost effective in the long run, as opposed to organic sand, and is already available in parts of the world for use in asphalt and construction concrete.