World Science Festival: A perfect match for Brisbane

Dr Karl

From bionic organs to insect neuroscience, the country’s top scientific minds are creating surprising and life-changing advancements right here in Brisbane. It’s no surprise that World Science Festival chose to make the city its exclusive Asia-Pacific headquarters.

Brisbane is home to the nation’s first “bench to bedside” medical research centre, The Translational Research Institute (TRI) in Woolloongabba. Uniting two universities and two hospitals, the institute produced Ian Frazer’s world-first cancer vaccine and is currently developing new medical innovation, including a herpes simplex vaccine, new treatment for diabetes and advanced breast tissue engineering.

Brisbane has also produced a bionic heart without a pulse. Developed by local engineer Dr Daniel Timms, the world-first device could last 10 years longer than previous artificial heart designs because of a lack of wear and tear associated with pumps.

In a similar vein, Brisbane researchers have been developing prosthetic 3D-printed ears for children, with a long-term view that the technology will be used to eventually create a biofabricated ear from a child’s own cells.

We’re also attracting researchers from around the world with Australia’s biggest facility solely dedicated to brain research, The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) located at The University of Queensland. Featuring five levels of laboratories and an incredible 450 scientists, the institute is delving into the mysterious depths of the brain, including work by dementia researcher Jurgen Gotz whose breakthrough ultrasound technology is being developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not just human brains, however – on the roof of the QBI some 200,000 honey bees fly freely around the All Weather Bee Flight Facility, the largest of its kind in the world.

These are just scratching the surface of Brisbane’s exciting and collaborative scientific community and are a great testament to the city’s passion and appetite for science.

World Science Festival Brisbane allows science to venture out of the labs and into our streets, parks, museums and theatres. Last year the festival saw more than 120,000 people flood the streets to soak up everything on offer. This year expect everything from live turtle hatching and weird science with Dr Karl to an exhibit on the Hadron Collider and debates about driverless cars, space exploration and renewable energy.

World Science Festival will take over Brisbane for five days from 22 March. Check out the full World Science Festival Brisbane program.