Monthly Archives: January 2015

John Horsely wins IPAS Best PhD Student Paper

John Horsley Low Res Edit 014130 January 2015

Congratulations to John Horsley who recently joined CNBP as  postdoctoral researcher for winning the “IPAS Best PhD Student Paper Awards” for his 2014 CNBP publication “Unraveling the Interplay of Backbone Rigidity and Electron Rich Side-Chains on Electron Transfer in Peptides: The Realization of Tunable Molecular Wires” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014, 136, 12479.
The research reported in this paper provides a crucial step in the design and fabrication of molecular-based electronic devices. The paper was highlighted by F1000Prime, a post-publication peer review comprising of more than 5,000 of the world’s leading scientists and recommended as being of special significance in its field.
*The above paper was also highlighted in the Feb. 2015 edition of the magazine ‘Chemistry in Australia’ (p.12).
**It was also listed in the top ten articles since 2014 in BioMedLib.

Publication: New probes for detection of defects in human sperm.

Malcolm Purdey Low Res Edit 007530 January 2015: Free Radical Biology Medicine

New fluorescent molecules for detecting oxidative stress in sperm has just been published by researchers in the Recognise theme at the University of Adelaide. The article in Free Radical Biology and Medicine outlines the use of the compounds in human sperm, and their ability to differentiate between poor and good sperm. It is hoped that these fluorescent probes will aid in the diagnosis of male infertility.

Purdey, Malcolm; Schartner, Erik; Monro, Tanya; Thompson, Jeremy; Abell, Andrew: New molecules for detecting oxidative stress in sperm; Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Dowload the full article:

Dr Georgios Tsiminis visits Oxford University

georgiostsiminis28 January 2015: Department of Pharmacology, Oxford University.

“Taking a closer look at vitamin B12”, delivered by CNBP researcher Dr Georgios Tsiminis and  co-author Dr Joanna Brooks from the ARC Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University.

The talk gave an overview on the potential for using Raman spectroscopy as a minimally invasive tool to measure and track vitamin B12 levels in humans. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been identified as a potential modifiable risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in later life and is also the mechanism through which pernicious anaemia affects humans (vitamin B12 does not get absorbed through food due to lack of intrinsic factor). Current techniques for measuring vitamin B12 in humans, such as microbial growth and ELISAs, are both resource- and time-consuming, resulting in the general population not being regularly tested for vitamin B12 deficiency. Our aim is to produce a portable device that can measure vitamin B12 and its associated chemical compounds in a reproducible, reliable, fast and minimally-invasive manor. In this talk we explained the basic principles of Raman spectroscopy and showed some initial results that generated great interest at Oxford, who have asked us to keep them up to date with future developments on our work.

To find out a bit more about this presentation see Martyn Hooper’s Blog post “the Blog from  he chair of the Pernicious Anaemia Society.

Undergraduate students take on a CNBP summer project

2015 summer student YuanJanuary 2015 – Summer student at Adelaide Node

Working with Dr Jinxian Yu and the recognise theme; Ms Yuan Yeoh has spent 6 weeks as a University of Adelaide summer research student.  It has been a pleasure to participate in a summer research project. This has given me an opportunity to learn, as well as to polish my lab skills. I feel happy to utilise the scientific knowledge into real-life applications. A summary of her project is described below.

Synthesis of Azobenzene as a Photo-inducible Molecular Switch

Azobenzene changes configuration (cis & trans) when illuminated with light of particular wavelength. This molecular switch can be incorporated into functional molecules, such as proteins, sensors, electronic devices, etc. Thus, by controlling the configuration of the switch, the electron transfer in functional molecules can be fine tuned.

Book Chapter: the Use of Nanotechnology in Pregnancy

25 January Achini Vidanapathirana Low Res Edit 01162015:

This book chapter by CNBP researcher Dr Achini Vidnapathirana examines  ‘the applications of nanotechnology during pregnancy (current, research, and potential applications), the unique pregnancy-related characteristics that relate in the application of nanoscale materials, and the concerns on maternal/fetal well-being.’ 

Fertility Friday podcast: beyond the birds and the bees

Mel McDowall High Res Edit 004023 January 2015: Podcast about fertility

Dr Mel McDowall was interviewed by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack from “” for an up and coming podcast and blog about the basic biology of fertility. Topics covered include ovulation, egg and sperm production and the influence of health and age on female and male fertility.

The podcast and blog will be published on February 27th.

Publication: Polymer based whispering gallery mode laser for biosensing applications

January Alexandre Francois Low Res Edit 00832015: Publication

Polymer based whispering gallery mode laser for biosensing applications

Alexandre François, Nicolas Riesen, Hong Ji, Shahraam Afshar and Tanya M. Monro

Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 031104 (2015);

For the full article click here