September 3, 2010

Baroness Susan Greenfield-Annual Florey Lecture

Posted in Adelaide, news, Research, science tagged , , , , at 12:15 am by cascius

The Human Brain is now wired for change

Date/Time: Friday, 3 September 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Location: Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide, North Terrace
Cost: Gold coin entry at the door with proceeds to Florey Medical Research Foundation
More information: Visit website

August 25, 2010

Are ‘refined’ carbohydrates worse than saturated fat?

Posted in Adelaide, Research, schools, science, seminar tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:07 am by cascius

The Inaugural Innovation in Food Lecture

Date/Time: Monday 6th September, 4pm

Location: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus

School of Agriculture, Food & Wine Named Lecture Series: Innovation in Food Lecture 2010

Speaker: Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, University of Sydney

Are ‘refined’ carbohydrates worse than saturated fat?

The take home message from health authorities for the past three decades has been ‘eat less fat, especially saturated fat’. Now a new paradigm is arising: that the processed carbohydrates which replaced the energy from fat, may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease more so than fat – a finding that has enormous implications for the Australian food and agricultural industry.  Both quantity and quality of carbohydrate are relevant to the debate. The rate of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates is assessed as their ‘glycemic index’ (GI). This lecture will focus on well-designed studies demonstrating that carbohydrates that are slowly digested and absorbed (i.e. low GI carbs) are good for health and reduce risk factors associated with lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes. Improving carbohydrate quality is therefore a better approach to health and sustainability issues than ‘ditching the carbs’. Professor Jennie Brand-Miller is recognised for her work on carbohydrates and diabetes. Her books under the series title The New Glucose Revolution have sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide and appeared in 12 languages.

The inaugural Innovation in Food Lecture was established to recognise individuals making significant research advances in the areas of food, health and nutrition. The Lecture was named for the world class FOODplus Research Centre which is a joint venture between the Functional Food group at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus and the Child Nutrition Research Centre at the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute. FOODplus is undertaking research linking sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition to improve human health. This research fosters economic relationships with industry and coal-face agriculture, creates research sustainability and translates nutrition research into food products with real health outcomes.

To be followed by drinks and nibbles

Contact: Dr Amanda Able (email), School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Business: +61 8 8303 7245

August 11, 2010

Open Day-Inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Finals

Posted in Adelaide, news, Podcasts, Research, science, study, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 2:41 am by cascius

Frogs – a source of potential medicines ‘ – a three minute thesis

What is the 3MT?
It’s about developing academic and research communication skills. Research higher degree (PhD and Masters) students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

3MT Finals

When:2.30pm, Sunday 15 August 2010

Where: Scott Theatre, North Terrace Campus

To get a taste of what’s to come this Sunday, 15 Aug,  listen to one of  our contenders, Antonio Calabrese who presented his thesis, Frogs – a source of potential medicines ‘. This event showcases our postgraduates and their brilliant research endeavours.

June 21, 2010

Free Lecture: Winemaking – A Continuum between Art and Science?

Posted in Adelaide, news, Research, science, seminar, social tagged , , , , , , at 6:17 am by cascius

If you have an interst in wine and wine making, then this lecture on Monday 12th July delivered by Louisa Rose from Yalumba is a must!

Date/Time: Monday 12th July, 4pm

Location: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus

School of Agriculture, Food & Wine Named Lecture Series: The A.R. Hickinbotham Lecture 2010

Winemaking – A Continuum between Art and Science?

Most winemakers sit somewhere on the continuum between being pure artists or scientists.  Arguably the best wines are made by those that sit somewhere between the two; knowing where to and when to rely on their instincts and experience and when to reach for the lecture notes, text book or phone.  Without going into a debate on what is science, it’s fair to say that winemakers have different needs of the scientific and research community that fall into three main types. The “Oh my gosh something has gone wrong and I need help” type; the “I wonder what I can do to make this more efficient or understand it better” type, and the “blue sky – I never would have thought! – pure research but sometimes revolutionary” type.  This lecture will discuss these ideas and give examples where all have been or are relevant to current Australian winemaking.

The inaugural A.R. Hickinbotham Lecture is named in honour of the former Roseworthy Lecturer who is regarded as the father of Australian oenology (wine-making) education. This Lecture recognises individuals that have had an impact on the wine industry and are world leaders in the field of oenology. Alan Robb Hickinbotham (1898-1959) joined the staff at Roseworthy College in 1929 as a Lecturer in Physical and Chemical Sciences. In 1936, he established the nation’s first wine-making course which evolved into the University of Adelaide’s world-renowned Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology which is now run at the Waite Campus. Alan R. Hickinbotham remained at Roseworthy College until 1948. His research and writing on wine-making under Australian conditions laid the foundation for a technically advanced Australian wine industry. The Hickinbotham family continued their father’s passion for wine through their ongoing interests in viticulture and wine production. The National Wine Centre has recognised the Hickinbotham family by naming its major function hall after the family while the Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory was established at the University’s Waite Campus in 1998 with the family’s support.

To be followed by drinks and nibbles

Contact: Dr Amanda Able (email), School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Business: +61 8 8303 7245

May 12, 2010

Mid-Year Science Postgraduate Scholarships Available

Posted in Awards/Prizes, jobs, Research, science, study, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 2:37 am by cascius

The Faculty of Science at the University of Adelaide  is offering mid – year scholarships for the Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) and Divisional Scholarships.

Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) and Divisional Scholarships are available to domestic students who have completed an Australian Honours degree or equivalent at the level of 2A or above.

Value: approximately $22,500 per annum (2010 rate), tax free for up to 3 years (indexed annually).

For information on mid-year research projects available within the Faculty of Science, please click here.

May 4, 2010

Yale University Professor presents:The evolution of the genetic code

Posted in Adelaide, news, Research, science, seminar, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:33 am by cascius

Professor Dieter Söll from Yale University will be guest speaker at the  3rd Bob Symons lecture, ‘The evolution of the genetic code: a work in progress‘:

At the time of its elucidation the genetic code was suggested to be universal in all organisms, and the result of a ‘frozen accident’ unable to evolve further even if the current state were suboptimal. How do we see the genetic code today – 40 years after the familiar ‘alphabet’ with 20 amino acids was established?  Professor Soll, with over 470 scientific publications, has led the team which discovered selenocysteine and pyrrolysine, the 21st and 22nd amino acids which are directly inserted into growing polypeptides during translation. Based on the realization that protein plasticity is a feature of living cells, man-made expansion of the genetic code has begun by adding non-standard amino acids to the repertoire of the cell. Professor Soll will discuss these present evolutionary developments and how they underpin the creation of new organisms in the realm of synthetic biology.

Date/Time: Monday 24th May, 4pm
Location: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus
School of Agriculture, Food & Wine Named Lecture Series: The Bob Symons Lecture 2010
Contact: Dr Amanda Able, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Business: +61 8 8303 7245

At the time of its elucidation the genetic code was suggested to be universal in all organisms, and the result of a ‘frozen accident’ unable to evolve further even if the current state were suboptimal. How do we see the genetic code today – 40 years after the familiar ‘alphabet’ with 20 amino acids was established? Of course, the ‘genetic code’ is the product of its interpretation by the translational machinery and it is only static as long as the components of this machinery do not evolve or are strictly conserved between organisms. Professor Soll, with over 470 scientific publications, has led the team which discovered selenocysteine and pyrrolysine, the 21st and 22nd amino acids which are directly inserted into growing polypeptides during translation. Based on the realization that protein plasticity is a feature of living cells, man-made expansion of the genetic code has begun by adding non-standard amino acids to the repertoire of the cell. Professor Soll will discuss these present evolutionary developments and how they underpin the creation of new organisms in the realm of synthetic biology.

February 10, 2010

Paying their way

Posted in Adelaide, news, Research, science, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:00 am by cascius

David Sly recently interviewed Dr Bob Hill about the Faculty of Sciences’ commercial partnerships. These partnerships have yeilded millions of dollars in research funding for the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide and this in turn has allowed the Faculty to recruit the best of the best from around the world. A few examples include Professor Andy Lowe from the UK who heads up the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology & Biodiversity which focuses on plant change biology; Professor Corey Bradshaw, Research Director of Ecological Modelling who is conducting joint research with South Australian Research and Development Institute at West Beach; Professor Barry Brook, director of the Research Institute for Climate Change & Sustainability, whose blog BraveNewPlanet has attracted more than 500,000 hits.

Read the Adelaide Review article for more details.

Please note the following important fact corrections for the article:

  • The Faculty of Science attracted approximately $60 million, not $160 million through research grants in 2009
  • The correct title and spelling of Professor Tanya Monro’s surname (not Dr Munro). Dr Monro heads up the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS)

January 19, 2010

IPAS hosts Harvard University Physics Professor

Posted in Research, science, seminar tagged , , , , at 11:50 pm by cascius

Professor Eric Mazur the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University visited Adelaide University yesterday to present his talk “Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale” at IPAS.

We hear it on good authority (Mike Seyfang) that this was a most interesting and exciting talk by Professor Mazur. Click here for more information.

Climate Change & the Wine industry in 2010

Posted in Adelaide, Research, science, seminar tagged , , , at 5:08 am by cascius

“Research indicating that greenhouse gases produced by humans are very likely to have contributed to the recent warming of the climate, and that concentrations of these gases are projected to increase in the future, is to me compelling and, of course, central to my work. I do not think any person working in the wine industry can deny how important climate is to their product……so I believe an understanding of the changing climate, and potential implications of this, is essential to the future of this industry”. Dr Leanne Webb, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Melbourne/CSIRO

Listen to Dr Leanne Webb’ s lecture, ‘Climate change: Current status and future strategies for the Australian wine industry‘ on:

Date/Time: Monday, 15 February 2010, 4:00 pm

Location: Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus

Cost: FREE

School of Agriculture, Food & Wine Named Lecture Series: The Robyn van Heeswijck Lecture 2010