AQ Apr-June 2017
A Steampunk Vision: Prosumers and Frequency Control
Australia’s electricity system is created as a giant rotating mass. Hundreds of fast-spinning turbines are elegantly joined together by three-phase electrical currents twisting along the transmission network – Australia’s is the longest in the world. Yet with changing generation methods hooking up to the grid, our old steampunk image of the network is going to have to change. What if greater number of renewables could mean greater grid stability?
Land of the Free (Market): The oxymoron of American Democracy
The paradox of democracy is that it is designed to defend the freedoms of all and to subject the government to the legitimate concerns of the people. Yet those very freedoms give licence to those who fundamentally spurn them and threaten the ideals of democracy themselves. The Inauguration of Donald Trump illustrates the paradox. The demonstrations against his accession were greater that the public show of support at his swearing in. What does ‘American Democracy’ mean to Australia and how can we be more conscious of its influence?
Open Source Drug Discovery: Global Solutions to Global Problems
Despite phenomenal advances in diagnostics, medical interventions, and therapeutics, universal access to medicines and healthcare has not been realised. While access to curative medicines for diseases such as Alzheimer’s or diabetes is limited by progress in research and development, many other diseases are entirely preventable and/or treatable and their continued prevalence is inextricably linked with poverty. How can we achieve equitable global healthcare when disease solutions are so tightly bound to corporate profitability?
Alice E Williamson
Personalised Medicine: More Than Just Personal
Personalised medicine? What’s new about that? Best practice in medicine has always had the patient at its centre. What is new however, is that the most unique and personal information a patient has – that which is contained in their DNA – is available to clinicians. In only a decade, the cost and time of generating an analysis of just one person’s genome has reduced from about $10 million to $2,000-3,000, and from years to days respectively. The benefits are great, the risks could be greater…