Monthly Archives: March 2016

CNBP hosts John Gardner MP

Mark-and-John-Gardner_low11 March 2016:

John Gardner MP (Liberal Shadow Minister for Education; Multicultural Affairs; The Arts and Higher Education, Science and the Information Economy) and SA State Member for Morialta, took time out to visit CNBP and the University of Adelaide on Friday March 11th, 2016.

Meeting with CNBP Director Mark Hutchinson and General Manager Mel Trebilcock, CNBP’s research focus and innovation strategy was discussed with the visit also including a laboratory tour, allowing  MP Gardner to meet with staff and students.

Feedback from the MP was extremely positive citing an ‘inspirational afternoon at CNBP’ with ‘cutting edge science with practical applications.’

 

Women in Life Sciences

Nicki Packer Low Res Edit 012511 March 2016:

Centre Chief Investigator Prof Nicolle Packer and researcher Dr Annemarie Nadort represented CNBP at the inaugural ‘Women in Life Sciences’ luncheon’, held in Sydney, Friday 11 March 2016.

The event was a celebration of success in the Life Sciences sector with a panel of industry leaders exploring entrepreneurial and leadership opportunities for women.

Discussed were issues relevant to women in the workplace, including targets versus quotas to increase participation rates, as well as  thoughts on what is needed to achieve equality.

Attendees also had the opportunity to network with industry colleagues as well as to share their personal stories, challenges and insights.

A sold-out event, it is expected that the luncheon will become a regular annual fixture.

Supporting ‘Scientists and mathematicians in schools’ program

Visit to Lockleys_web10 March 2016:

Dr Sabrina Heng, CNBP researcher has undertaken a further school visit to Lockleys Primary School in Adelaide as a part of her involvement in the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) outreach program.

SMiS is a national volunteer program bringing real science, mathematics and ICT into the classroom through ongoing flexible partnerships between teachers and scientists, mathematicians and ICT professionals.

Sabrina has been involved with SMiS since 2010 and working with Lockelys Primary School since mid 2014. In her most recent visit to the school, the Year 5/6 science students learned about the concepts of solubility and saturation through a series of simple experiments that Sabrina had designed. Working in groups, the students were taught to ‘think like a scientist’ i.e. ask the question (e.g. how many scoops of NaCl does it take to saturate X amount of water?), perform the experiment and to then come up with a conclusion.

Said Sabrina, “My trips to Lockleys are always rewarding and I look forward to my next visit where we will be performing experiments around the topic of ‘Light’.”

Single-ring hollow core optical fibers produced

Georgios Tsminis_web9 March 2016:

CNBP researchers have published a paper in Optics Express, reporting on the fabrication of the first extruded hollow core optical fiber with a single ring of cladding holes. The fibers were used to perform Raman sensing of methanol, demonstrating their potential for future fiber sensing applications.

Title:  Single-ring hollow core optical fibers made by glass billet extrusion for Raman sensing.

Authors: G. Tsiminis, K. J. Rowland, E. P. Schartner, N. A. Spooner, T. M. Monro and H. Ebendorff-Heidepriem.

Abstract: We report the fabrication of the first extruded hollow core optical fiber with a single ring of cladding holes, and its use in a chemical sensing application. These single suspended ring structures show antiresonance reflection optical waveguiding (ARROW) features in the visible part of the spectrum. The impact of preform pressurization on the geometry of these fibers is determined by the size of the different hole types in the preform. The fibers are used to perform Raman sensing of methanol, demonstrating their potential for future fiber sensing applications.

The paper is available online.

 

Visiting scholar to Macquarie Uni node

Prof-Chongfeng-Guo_edit8 March 2016:

CNBP welcomes Prof. Chongfeng Guo, a visiting scholar from the Department of Physics of Northwest University in China to its Macquarie University node.

Prof Guo will join Prof. Ewa Goldys’ research team for 12 months – his activity, a focus on the synthesis, mechanism and application of rare earth doped inorganic luminescent materials, including down conversion, up-conversion, photo-catalyst and first principle theory calculation. He hopes to promote application of these luminescent materials to biology through his visit.

Prof Guo obtained his PhD degree from the School of Chemistry of SUN YAT-SEN University, then worked at the University of Hong Kong, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China), Pukyong National University (Korea) as a Post-doctorate, Associate Professor, and Research Professor from 2004-2010. He then became a full professor in 2010 at Northwest University.

With more than 100 publications as the first or corresponding author and 12 patents, we look forward to working closely with Prof Guo!

 

Invited talk at WCSM-2016

Roman Kostecki4 March 2016:

Roman Kostecki, CNBP researcher, has given an invited talk at the ‘Annual World Congress of Smart Materials’ in Singapore, 4th March 2016 (WCSM-2016).

Talk title: Smart Microstructured Optical Fibers for Chemical and Biological Recognition.

Abstract:

Optical detection of chemical or biological species relies on the interaction between a target species and light. While conventional optical fibers are exceptionally good at carrying light, they have limitations towards sensing applications due to the small fiber tip interaction area. To overcome this problem, microstructured optical fibers (MOFs) provide extended interaction between the light and chemical or biological species, while maintaining the integrity of the device. Thin struts from the surrounding structure suspend the MOF core, the surface of which can be used as a scaffold to add functionality and provide specificity. Guided light that extends outside the core of a MOF provides opportunities for measurements of the composition and concentration of an analyte along the fiber length.

We will review the use of suspended- and exposed- core MOFs for optical sensing, with focus on the different modalities for their deployment in sensing applications using label-based fluorescence and label-free detection techniques. For label-based fluorescence sensing, we discuss the different chemical and physical mechanisms used for surface attachment of suitable marker and photo-switchable molecules, the fiber geometries, and the varied target species that can be detected. For label-free sensing we explore whispering gallery modes, surface plasmon resonance, Bragg grating-based sensing, and Raman spectroscopy using MOFs, highlighting the toolset of sensing mechanisms for MOF-based chemical and biological sensing.

Full details regarding the conference can be found online.

 

CNBP meets the pollies

Hannah-and-CPyne4 March 2016:

CNBP fully embraced the opportunities provided by the just completed ‘Science meets Parliament’ event, organised by Science & Technology Australia, March 1-2, 2016.

The event, attracting 200 of Australia’s top scientists across all disciplines, aimed to help researchers understand how politics, policymaking and the media work, and gave them an opportunity to look at their science from an alternate point of view.

Over 100 federal parliamentarians also took part in the event, taking one-to-one meetings with scientists, attending debates and dinners and having informal discussions.

Attending from the CNBP were Director Prof Mark Hutchinson and researchers Dr Hannah Brown, Dr Alfonso Garcia-Bennett and Dr Melanie McDowall – all were focused on networking, meeting politicians and better understanding ways of improving communication of CNBP science to media, policymakers and parliamentarians.

STA President and CNBP Chief Investigator Professor Jim Piper was also actively involved, undertaking hosting and MC duties throughout the full two-day program, as well as meeting with key politicians and stakeholders.

Highlights included Prof Hutchinson and his involvement on a Q&A style panel, discussing his experiences as a ‘Science meets Parliament’ alumni. Outlined were tips on dealing with politicians including the need for researchers to engage more effectively with stakeholders, to keep it simple, to talk with passion and to stimulate interest through high-quality communication of exciting science.

An undoubted highlight for CNBP’s Hannah Brown and Alfonso Garcia-Bennett was getting the chance to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss their science. Both absolutely enjoyed the experience of meeting Australia’s leader and seeing his enthusiasm for innovative and ground breaking research.

In addition to this, the CNBP team managed to meet a wide number of parliamentarians throughout the two day program (both formally and informally), this including Minister Christopher Pyne, Minister Simon Birmingham, Assistant Minister Karen Andrews, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and MPs Terri Butler, Adam Bandt, Andrew Southcott and Melissa Parke.

CNBP Director Mark Hutchinson summed up the event, “The SmP 2016 experience continued to surprise and inform me of new challenges and opportunities for scientific endeavours in the Australian political arena. It was so refreshing to hear from scientific leaders and policy makers of their driving passion to support our research efforts through quality and workable policy and political engagement.”

A ‘Behind the Scenes’ video taken at Science Meets Parliament by the RiAus also featured CNBP talent, with researchers Mel and Hannah figuring prominently.

CNBP is already looking forward to next year’s event!

PM _Science meets Parliament

Jeremy Thompson gives talk at ESHRE

Jeremy Thompson3 March 2016:

CNBP Chief Investigator, Jeremy Thompson, has given an invited talk at a European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) workshop in Brussels, Belgium (March 3, 2016).

The workshop explored ‘Oocyte maturation: from basics to clinic’ and the title of Jeremy’s talk was ‘Haemoglobin in the antral follicle – an oocyte oxygenation story or not?’

Workshop information can be found online.