Double Take

JEANS GENIES: PhD student Beini Zeng and Dr Noelene Byrne.

Knees usually wear out jeans but could jeans fix worn out knees?

According to the latest in unusual Geelong research, the answer is surprisingly ‘yes’.

Deakin University scientist Dr Noelene Byrne and research sidekick Beini Zeng have discovered how to turn denim into a material with potential for use as artificial cartilage in joint reconstructions.

The pair dissolved the material in a special potion to produce an “aerogel” with a structure identical to cartilage, Dr Byrne explained.

The similarity allowed the gel to mimic cartilage’s “weeping” lubrication mechanism, which protected joints form wear and tear, she said.

Great work! Now let’s make the most of it with a used-jeans appeal for the Cats’ physiotherapy department.


More evidence has surfaced of the shark danger in local waters – many millions of years ago, thankfully.

The local daily reported this week the discovery at Jan Juc of fossilised fangs from a prehistoric shark almost twice the size of a contemporary great white. Yikes!

The find was apparently an Australian-first for the species in question. But it wasn’t the first time evidence had emerged of mega-biteys circling local waters in the primordial past.

Way back in the mid-2000s the Indy reported on a discovery also at Jan Juc of fossils from a vicious looking half-shark/half-whale animal with big, nasty teeth.

At the time, a concept image of the big fish imagined it preying on a shark. Talk about a fearful food chain!

At least local shark-phobiacs can take comfort in knowing it was worse, much worse, 25 million years ago.


The market for Geelong’s long-proposed conference centre could be much wider than expected, if an announcement this week is anything to go by.

Jim’s Fencing went to the expense of employing a national news agency to trumpet that Geelong was hosting the franchise’s annual conference.

The big show started Wednesday and would finish on Saturday, the official statement said, with Jim’s fencers gathering at Geelong’s waterfront Novotel hotel for their big talkfest.

A national conference for fencers? Better get moving on that conference centre quick smart!


Meanwhile, fencing sounds like a much better career option for three dumb crooks who burgled some display homes recently.

Police this week posted on Facebook surveillance camera images of the suspects, revealing they stole a wall-mounted TV from a display home at Lara.

A commenter on the post said the trio knocked off two other displays as well – all for a haul of fake decorative TVs.

“So (they’re) not the sharpest tools in the shed,” the commenter observed.

Indeed, but sharper than anyone who buys the fake TVs.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.