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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Salvation in Sight for Australian Synchrotron
23 February 2012 11:08 am
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—After months of uncertainty, a deal is taking shape to save the Australian synchrotron from going under.
The synchrotron here is one of just two in the Southern Hemisphere and has given Australian scientists access to powerful beams of light to probe new materials, proteins, and other substances. Last May, the synchrotron’s major backers—the federal government and the government of Victoria State, which hosts the facility—omitted funds for the synchrotron in their budgets beyond 30 June 2012.
An announcement about the facility’s fate will be made "in the near future," says a spokesperson for federal science minister Chris Evans. But ScienceInsider has learned that under a new agreement about to be inked, federal support for the synchrotron will be extended through the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiative, which awards large grants to university consortia. Monash University will lead the bid for the funds, says Ian Smith, the university’s pro vice-chancellor for research and research infrastructure. Smith says that the synchrotron will need at least AUS $100 million to operate over the next 4 years. The Special Research Initiative would provide about a quarter of the funds; universities would match that amount, and the remainder would come from the Victorian government, the New Zealand government, and three Australian government agencies.
The synchrotron is not quite out of danger. Australia’s corporate regulator, ASIC, could shut down its operations if guaranteed funding is not confirmed soon, says synchrotron Director Keith Nugent. “I’m not worried,” he says, “but I’ll be happier when the funding announcement is made.”