[ASC-media] New asthma gene, oysters and heavy metal, bionic ears and healthy ginger

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Thu May 19 10:12:55 EST 2005

-         CRC postgraduate students demonstrate excellence

Embargoed until 3.30pm, Thursday May 19 2005
The media are invited to listen to Australia's top postgraduate students present a summary of their research findings at the Cooperative Research Centre Association (CRCA) conference being held at Melbourne's Sofitel Hotel at 3.30pm-4.45pm today (May 19).


Four student finalists will give 10 minute presentations of their research, with the best oral presenter being awarded a cheque for $2,000 for personal development:

-         Sreeraj Balachandran from the CRC for Bioproducts in Melbourne talking about extracting herbal compounds with medicinal benefits from fresh ginger. He's developed a new technique to extract them that is more environmentally friendly and economically competitive.

-         Carrie Newbold from the CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation in Melbourne talking about research solving the problem of tissue growth with cochlear implants. She's looking to control tissue growth that can reduce the effectiveness of cochlear implants with a technology that is both faster and cheaper.

-         Russell Richards from the CRC for Coastal Zone Estuary and Waterway Management in Brisbane talking about how oysters take in copper near stormwater and sewage outlets. His study in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland, provides better understanding about how to manage impacts from heavy copper concentrations.

-         Bennett Shum from the CRC for Asthma in Sydney talking about his discovery of a new asthma gene that was previously understood to be only involved in fat metabolism. This gene may prove to be the important link between asthma and obesity.


Another four students will give three-minute summaries of their work:

-         Natasha Petrovska from the Molecular Plant Breeding CRC in Melbourne talking about an allergy-free grass that snuffs out sneezes

-         David Pointing from the Antarctic CRC in Hobart talking about clean and green with renewable hydrogen energy

-         Simon deGraaf  from the Australian Sheep Industry CRC in Sydney talking about 'sexing' technology used to predetermine the sex of sheep offspring

-         Amie Albrecht from the CRC for Railway Engineering and Technologies in Adelaide talking about a new technique that helps make sure trains run on time and are also safe.


All eight students will be available for interview by the media today. The submissions from each student giving full details of their research are available from Jenni Metcalfe. Additional media releases and photos of students are also available. 


Media contact: Jenni Metcalfe; Phone 0408 551 866

Jenni Metcalfe
Econnect Communication
PO Box 734
South Brisbane Q 4101

Ph. 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866
jenni at econnect.com.au

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