Monthly Archives: August 2019


August 7, 2019

Comments Off on Star that could be chomping a planet

Star that could be chomping a planet

Debris surrounding the star RW Aur A, which could be munching on a planet or mini-planets.Astronomers may have caught a relatively nearby star munching on a planet or mini-planets.


A NASA space telescope noticed that the star suddenly started looking a bit strange last year. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory spotted a 30-fold increase in iron on the edge of the star, which is only 10 million years old, along with pronounced dimming.

Astronomers have been watching the baby star – in the constellation Taurus – for decades and iron levels weren’t high in 2015, the last time the Chandra telescope looked at it.

The star, called RW Aur A, is 450 light-years away. A light-year is 5.9 trillion miles.

Hans Moritz Guenther, a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says he’s never seen anything quite like this before, calling it “a lot stranger than we thought we’d be seeing.”

“We’ve never seen any star that’s changed its iron abundance like that,” he said.

Guenther said one potential simple explanation is that the star is eating a planet or mini-planets.

He looked at other possible explanations, and of the two that make sense, he prefers the planet-munching one. Computer simulations show it can happen, but it has never been seen before, he said.

Outside experts are wary.

“This could be an exciting discovery, but the evidence is circumstantial and not definitive,” said Harvard’s Avi Loeb.

Guenther’s preferred explanation is speculative, said Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science, an expert on planets outside our solar system.

The study is published in Wednesday’s Astronomical Journal.


August 7, 2019

Comments Off on NRLKnights backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon’s two match ban turned into five weeks on the sideline. He’s ready to make up for lost time

NRLKnights backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon’s two match ban turned into five weeks on the sideline. He’s ready to make up for lost time

Raring to go: Knights backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon [pictured caught in a bear-hug by teammate Mitch Barnett] will start on the right edge against the Titans tomorrow after a two game suspension. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAPIt was atwo matchsuspension that turned into a frustrating five week stinton the sideline for Lachlan Fitzgibbon.


But the silver lining out of his enforced lay-off is the Knights backrower says he is physically and mentally raring to rip into the Gold Coast Titans at McDonald Jones Stadium tomorrow.

Originally named on the bench for the Titans clash,Fitzgibbon will start on the right edge and will be out to make up for lost time after his suspension stretched to a period of five weeks in limbo because of the representative round and a bye.

He was outed for a “crusher” tackle on Melbourne Storm forward Tim Glasby on June 17 which carried a one match ban for an early guilty plea.

Fitzgibbon and the club rolled the dice and he lost so copped an extra week.

“It was tough. We went down there with the expectation to win and not miss any games,” Fitzgibbon said.

“As it was, I get two weeks and we had the two byes in between. It was disappointing to say the least but that’s just a little road block in the season for me and I’m through it now and can’t wait to get out there.”

Despite losing at the judiciary, Fitzgibbon says there was no intended malice in the tackle and he has no regrets in fighting the charge.

“I think if I didn’t challenge it, I would have had to cop aweek and I’d be thinking back “what if” so it is what it is,” he said.

“They were two tough games to sit out, especially the Bulldogs game. We had aspirations of doing really well and it was tough on the sideline to get beaten the way we did.

“The Eels have been struggling but they still have some quality players and they came to play on the weekend so credit to the boysthat we held them out for that last 15 odd minutes.”

Fitzgibbon has been far from idle on the sideline and says he was put through a grueling “mini pre-season” training block to make up for the fact he wasn’t playing.

“It was a big four weeks [leading into this week] but in saying that, the silver lining of it all is I’m feeling fit and healthy and pretty strong at the moment,” he said.

While the Knights’ 33-26 loss to the Titans on the Gold Coast earlier in the season wastwo competition points the playersconcedethey threw away, it does not add any motivation to this game according to Fitzgibbon.

“We went up there with plenty ofexpectation and we had control for most of that game,” he said.

“But a couple of lapses and in the last 10 minutes, they came home with a wet sail and they managed to do a number on us up there which was very disappointing.

“But it’s not as if we owe them one. We want to beat every team and I don’t think there is extra motivation because of what happened last time.

“It’s just another week and another game and we should go out and perform strongly and hopefully win.

“There are seven or eight games left and our goal is to win as many as we can.”


August 7, 2019

Comments Off on Ristevski’s statement was ‘flimsy’: aunt

Ristevski’s statement was ‘flimsy’: aunt

Borce Ristevski’s accounts of the day his wife Karen vanished seemed “flimsy”, her aunt told police.


Patricia Gray, who flew to Melbourne from NSW after her niece went missing, also said in her statement that Ristevski wasn’t helping police as best he could.

Ms Gray stayed with Ristevski and his daughter Sarah at their Avondale Heights home for more than a week to support them and assist in the search for Ms Ristevski.

“I provided as much support as I could for both of them,” Ms Gray said in a statement, released by a court on Thursday.

“But I could tell Borce wasn’t assisting police or himself to find Karen, which I found frustrating.”

It’s alleged Ristevski killed his wife at home and dumped the body in the quiet bushland area, taking Karen’s Mercedes-Benz roadster to do so.

Ms Gray told police that Ristevski originally said he took the car to several garages for quotes that day.

But Ristevski said that was wrong and he actually drove the car to get petrol, changing his mind when the faulty fuel gauge showed it wasn’t needed.

He claimed he kept driving towards Ms Ristevki’s dress store but missed the turn-off so decided to return home.

“I accepted this first account about going to the garages for the quotes, and (was) relieved because I believed police could verify his movements,” Ms Gray told police.

“But this second account appeared to be flimsy and I found it hard to fathom.”

Ms Ristevski’s body was found between logs at Macedon Regional Park by two horticulturalists eight months after she vanished in June 2106.

Ristevski is facing a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court to determine if there’s enough evidence to send him to trial charged with murder.

Prosecutors have compiled a 22,000-page evidence brief, including CCTV footage of what they allege is Ristevski driving his wife’s Mercedes to dump the body.

A computer systems and digital imagery expert testified on Thursday, saying CCTV footage taken near Diggers Rest shows a car like Ms Ristevski’s.

The footage is blurry but Dr Matthew Sorell, a lecturer at the University of Adelaide, said the driver in question had features “broadly consistent” with Ristevski.

“I would note the short hair, coloured light grey,” he said.

Dr Sorell also noted the driver’s physical features were not consistent with the brunette Karen Ristevski.

“The physical features are not a match in terms of long hair, in particular the colour.”

Ristevski was charged in December last year and he’s fighting the allegations.

The hearing continues.


August 7, 2019

Comments Off on Eats shoots and leaves … in Borneo

Eats shoots and leaves … in Borneo

I have just returned from taking 20 undergraduate students on a two-week New Colombo Plan expedition to the Kalimantan Provinces of Indonesia on the enchanted and exotic island of Borneo.


All of us agreed it was the trip of a lifetime. Our itinerary was organised expertly by our partner Lambung Mangkurat University. We set out with the twin goals of cultural immersion and to understandthe pressures of palm oil plantations on the survival of the many unique fauna of Borneo, particularly the proboscis monkey and the orang-utan.

Palm oil has become a major and lucrative export of this island and the expansion of these plantations has led to a devastating loss of tropical forest habitat. The consensus was that we all learnt much, and indeed achieved these goals. The proboscis monkey is found exclusively in the mangrove forests along the waterways of Borneo, and its primary diet is mangrove fruits, shoots and leaves, analogous to our koala with its dependence on eucalyptus leaves. The males are very distinctive with a long and fleshy nose and a swollen stomach. We spent several days observing the ecology of these endearing animals. We stood waist-deep in muddy water to plant more than 100 mangrove trees to expand their habitat on an island sanctuary. The plastic pollution problem was evident wherever we looked, as the coastal river flow not only brought huge barges loaded with coal to the sea, but myriaddiscarded cups, bottles and bags downstream.

A short flight took us to our departure point for a magical boat ride into the large Tanjung Putting National Park to spend three days traversing the waterwaysin search of the orang-utan. We saw many primates, including orang-utan, langur, macaques, gibbons and, my favourite, the proboscis monkey, along with squirrelsand bearded pigs.We visited the research camp where Dr Birute Galdikas has spent the past 47 years observing the orang-utan. Unfortunately, we did not meet her as she and her team were out in the forest carrying on with their research. She is such a testimony to the dedication of the scientists of this world.Hopefully some of our tour group will continue in her tradition.

Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts,School of Enviromental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle.


August 7, 2019

Comments Off on Helping your blood vessels go with flow

Helping your blood vessels go with flow

GOOD CIRCULATION: Vascular ultrasound is used to assess blood flow to the brain and the body’s organs and extremities.ADVERTISING FEATUREVascular ultrasound is a specialised application of ultrasound looking specifically at blood vessels – arteries and veins, and blood flow.


Your doctor may send you for a vascular ultrasound on your arteries or veins if they suspect you have a blockage: for example, if you are experiencing pain in the legs with walking or exercise –a condition known as intermittent claudication.

Other common examples include evaluation of suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or of extra-cranial carotid disease in someone with a minor stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

“Vascular ultrasound is used to assess varicose veins, vascular malformations, aneurysms or unusual anatomy,” Dr Mathew Sebastian, from Vascular HealthCare said. “It helps the vascular surgeon or physician to plan treatments, and is of significant use in assessing the outcome of interventional procedures. Many modern varicose vein treatments are performed under ultrasound guidance.”

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Vascular HealthCareUltrasound is a non-invasive procedure with no radiation, making it the safest of all imaging techniques.

It is also relatively inexpensive compared to CT scan and MRI, and can be repeated multiple times without any detriment to the patient i.e. no radiation or contrast (the ‘dye’ used to delineate vessels).

“There are no needles or dyes used to obtain your results, and there are no harmful side effects,” Dr Sebastian said. “Once your clothing is loosened or removed, a gel is applied to your skin and a probe (transducer) is moved along your skin, over the blood vessels being examined. You may hear some unusual sounds from the Doppler during your examination but this is quite normal and is an indication of blood flow.”

Vascular ultrasound scans can be time consuming because theyinvolve the detailed collection of blood flow information from many locations along the course of the blood vessels, depending on whatyour doctor has asked to check. This is essential for the most accurate results.

“Our experienced vascular sonographers at Vascular HealthCare do not take ‘short cuts’ in order to finish your test as quickly as possible,” Dr Sebastian said. “They adhere to specific, Medicare-recognised protocols that ensure no abnormalities are missed so that your results are as comprehensive as possible. Examinations typically take 30 -90 minutes, depending upon the test your Dr has requested.

The quality of an ultrasound examination is heavily dependent on the ability of the sonographer performing the test and the only way to maintain the high standards of all examinations is to have regular audit of scans by the end-users, the clinicians.

“All the sonographers at Vascular HealthCare are dedicated vascular sonographers and liaise regularly with the vascular surgeons in the practice discussing patient results and carrying out audits – a comparison of the ultrasound findings with what the doctor finds when they perform an angiogram,” Dr Sebastian said.

“This audit process ensures accuracy of scans performed at Vascular Health Care.”

Vascular HealthCare is a specialist medical practice treating arteries, veins and circulation disorders in the Newcastle and Hunter regions of New South Wales.

It comprises the surgical services of Drs Mathew Sebastian and Nicole Organ, and phlebologist Dr Naomi Hunter from The Hunter Vein Clinic.The ultrasound team is lead by senior sonographers Richard Rounsley and Kylie Burnley, who are excellently supported by sonographers David Wroblewski and Shannon Taylor.

“Our patients are typically older, over the age of 50, and are typically affected by atherosclerosis, or plaque, in the arteries,” Dr Sebastian said. “We do perform many examinations for varicose veins and other arterial disorders, which generally affect younger people.”

Vascular HealthCare has fourlocations conveniently located across Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, at Gateshead, East Maitland, Merewether and Toronto.

Doctors consult at all these sites and all sites have wheelchair access with free on-site or street parking.

Bulk Billing is available and all ultrasound referrals are accepted. Appointments can be made by phoning 1300 664 227, email [email protected]杭州桑拿 or by using the contact form at www.vascularhealthcare杭州桑拿