Tag Archives: Community

CNBP attracts the crowds at RMIT Open Day

13 August 2017:

Over 400 interested members of the public, including prospective students,  dropped by the CNBP laboratories as a part of RMIT University’s annual Open Day event, Sunday 13th August, 2017.

The Centre had two optics laboratories open and both were fully staffed by researchers eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for science.

In the first laboratory, an Olympus wide field microscope was on display with a live-cell incubation chamber and a daphnia (water flea), with brightfield and fluorescence videos.

In the other, a cryogenic confocal microscope was on show, which is able to look at the optical properties of nanomaterials, down to temperatures of 4K (which is -269 deg C).

According to CNBP node leader at RMIT, A/Prof Brant Gibson, the day was a great success.

“We saw a large, interested and engaged crowd who really wanted to find out more about our research and activity, and were curious as to how nanoscale biophotonics was going to impact society over coming years.”

There was also a large number of prospective students who visited and talked with CNBP team members. They had a wonderfully diverse range of interests ranging across the physics, chemistry, biology, IT and engineering disciplines.”

“It was fantastic to see the next generation of excited young scientist!”

School science conference impresses

15 June 2017:

Dr Nima Sayyadi, CNBP researcher, has undertaken guest judging duties at the 2017 Sydney Girls High School Science Conference.

Each year students at Sydney Girls High School complete a research project as part of the NSW Science Curriculum. This project provides Year 9 students with an opportunity to design and perform an investigation into an area of their choice. The annual Science Conference then gives the students a forum where they can present their research to an expert panel.

The panel not only provides students with feedback relating to their investigation, but also determines the projects worthy of further recognition. The determination considers both experimental design and the ability of the student to communicate their ideas.

According to Nima, the standard of work on display was of an incredibly high standard.

“The way that the young students designed their research projects – the hypotheses and preparation and understanding of data limitations was generally quite remarkable.”

Projects being showcased included DNA extraction from fruits with limited facilities through to the analysis of the plastic waste found in water on different beaches in Sydney.

“It was a great experience for me to meet the students, teachers, and other judges from different universities at this event,” concluded Nima.

“Hopefully the passion that these students show for science continues through High School and into tertiary education and beyond.”

Deputy Director presents at Wagga Wagga

Ewa Goldys Low Res Edit 015929 November 2016:

CNBP Deputy Director Prof Ewa Goldys has given a talk at the School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga on her research success “A Eureka Moment for Cell Colour Technology.”

The talk results from Prof Goldys being awarded the recent Australian Museum Eureka Prize for ‘Innovative Use of Technology’.

Prof Goldys, together with Dr Martin Gosnell, developed a hyperspectral imaging technique that allows for the successful extraction of specific biomolecular information hidden in fluorescent colour signatures of living cells and tissues.

The talk examined the technology and the real world translational outcomes that will result from this exciting area of study that will support clinicians in making improved diagnosis and health decisions for patients.

 

NeuRA Invited Seminar Series

Ewa Goldys Low Res Edit 015925 November 2016:

Professor Ewa Goldys, Deputy Director of the CNBP, has given an invited talk at the Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) Invited Lecture series, 25th November 2016, Sydney.

The talk was titled “A Eureka moment for cell colour technology” and explored the research behind Prof Goldys and her success in being awarded the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for ‘Innovative Use of Technology’.

Professor Goldys and her team were recognised for their innovative colour-focused research (and pioneering hyperspectral imaging technique), able to distinguish between healthy and diseased cells, in areas as diverse as embryology, neurodegeneration, cancer and diabetes.

Real-world translational outcomes that will result from this exciting area of study, that will support clinicians in making improved diagnosis and health decisions for patients, was also discussed.

The NeuRA lecture series attracts leading national and international researchers from all fields of neuroscience.

 

Conference outreach inspires

_mon255419 October 2016:

As a part of the SPIE Biophotonics Australasia conference, the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics organised a half day outreach session for approximately 100 South Australian students on the 19 October, 2016.

The session, focused on inspiring the next generation of scientists, saw Yr 10 and 11 students  from Concordia College, Seaview High School and Seymour College all attend the conference and enjoy talks, poster sessions, light inspired science demonstrations and discussion time with leading researchers.

Feedback from the teachers and students, and CNBP researchers involved was hugely positive with a sample of comments from students included below –

Melisa – Seaview High School Student

“I really enjoyed the exhibition and presentation due to how professional the researchers/scientists were about their job and what they do. They explained the importance of science and the significance new modern research have on the world and society, in addition to how diverse science is and the vast range of job opportunities available in various fields of the industry. I enjoyed the practicals which were demonstrated as the visuals and results of the experiments were something I had never seen before. Furthermore, the practicals conducted made me realise how amazing and powerful science can be and how everything should be done outside the box with no limits. I’ve always enjoyed science though I was never sure if I would contribute to the industry in the future, however this excursion opened me up to new opportunities and I can potentially see myself having a career in science.

Minh – Seaview High School Student

“The excursion was really eye opening to see how advanced we are and our capabilities of how we can benefit in the medical field with new technology. The event was really fascinating and displayed a lot of visuals to help with the explanation. I learnt about how we can manipulate light properties to change and create new methods and technology to help in the medical field. This BioPhotonics excursion impacted my view on future careers and courses in the science field and how new job fields can be created.”

Stephanie – Seaview High School Student

“It was a great opportunity to delve into the various aspects of science, especially biology and physics, that allowed me to think deeper about the different careers science can provide. The many different ways that light can be used in researching was interesting and the various experiments conducted were definitely a new experience. It was an inspiring event that changed my view on science, which changed my perspective of science and the courses I could take in the future related to Biophotonics.”

Below – CNBP researcher Denitza Denkova explains photonics to students.

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CNBP on Scope TV!

Malcolm Purdey Low Res Edit 007524 September 2016:

Scope TV  takes a look at the latest and greatest in scientific advancements and explores what’s up and coming in the wonderful world of science.

CNBP researcher Dr Malcolm Purdey features in the latest episode of Scope, discussing light based sensing and explaining how innovative optical technologies are opening up exciting new windows into the body.

Click to the 5.20 minute mark to see Malcolm and his science communication in action!

 

Researchers light-up festival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA10 September 2016:

Researchers from the RMIT University node of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) were out in force to support this year’s AstroLight Festival at Scienceworks, Melbourne, undertaking a wide variety of talks, displays, hands-on activities and demonstrations that entertained and educating over 2000 excited members of the public.

From talks encompassing laser combat in the movies (and how lasers work in real life), to the natural ‘glow-sticks’ found in the living environment, to astronomy at the nanoscale, the CNBP-RMIT team had a blast, in taking their passion for lasers, optics, fluorescence, and all things ‘light-based’ and molecular out to the wider community.

From an evening of highlights, brought together by professional researchers, industry bodies, science communicators and community science groups (and over 250 volunteers), there were amazing wonders of astronomy, light and science to be seen at AstroLight 2016. Not least, a cutting edge fluorescence microscope brought to the event by CNBP that allowed attendees to view the amazing biology that makes up cells, to a scanner that could take 3D images of objects in real-time, to colourful laser based activities that demonstrated just how light waves work.

A/Prof Brant Gibson, CNBP node leader at RMIT University saw the festival as a huge success. “All of the contributors and organisations came together to share their knowledge and expertise and there was plenty of fun and engaging activities for individuals of all ages to participate in.”

Gibson was particularly happy with the way in which the CNBP-RMIT researchers came together to support the event. “They worked tirelessly in producing suitable talks and demonstrations as there was a real desire to showcase our science in the most appealing and engaging way possible. The large numbers of people at our stand and in our CNBP demonstration rooms, all curious about biophotonics, was testament to the effort, energy and enthusiasm shown by our team in making this event so memorable.”

Gibson also commented on the importance of taking science out to the community. “It’s critical that we communicate the fantastic research that we are doing, and that we do it in a way that makes it real and important to the general public and that they can see how it impacts on their everyday lives. Of course, making it fun and exciting as well, is the perfect way to showcase what we do which is why AstroLight is such an outstanding festival.”

Inspiring the next generation of potential researchers was also a key objective to participating. “We really want to encourage an interest in, and continued learning in STEM subjects that will foster future innovation,” said Gibson. “Hopefully some of the children wowed by our lasers and talks will be doing my job in twenty-five years time. Wouldn’t that be great!”

Below – CNBP researcher Emma Wilson demonstrates use of a fluorescence microscope.

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Outreach session at St. Ignatius College

Michelle-Zhang_1_sq23 August 2016

CNBP researchers from the University of Adelaide, Michelle Zhang and Sabrina Heng, have undertaken a school outreach session at St. Ignatius College, Adelaide, August 23, 2016.

The scientists spoke to two groups of children in an early-learning program about the science of light and the use of light in medicine. Several hands-on activities were also then run for the children to demonstrate that science can be fun as well as educational.

This included:

  • the use of UV-sensitive beads for making into a bracelet that was then worn for several outdoor activities
  • sunscreen applied to the beads to teach how sunscreen protects against sun-burn
  • the use of spectroscopes that can diffract room-light into a series of colourful bands at differing wavelengths (the students were asked to draw what they saw)
  • a simple kit that converted youtube videos to holograms
  • and CNBP colouring-in sheets that demonstrate life at the nanoscale

Positive feedback from the teachers at St. Ignatius College and also the parents of the children that attended the session was received over the course of a very fulfilling day!

Open Day at Macquarie University

MQ Open Day_sq20 August 2016:

CNBP researchers at Macquarie University celebrated the formal end of National Science Week by participating in Macquarie University’s Open Day, Sunday August 20th.

With a table and demos set-up to entice intending students and members of the public, CNBP researchers discussed their science and talked about the opportunities that a science education can provide. A key focus was the potential of the biophotonics field which will lead to exciting new diagnostic tools and techniques, which will be hugely beneficial to society.

Demonstrations were also undertaken by CNBP researchers including participation in a 30 minute magic show (showcasing real life science that appears fantastical). CNBP Research Fellow Martin Ploschner entertained and educated young and old with his fluorescing bubbles!

The day was hugely fulfilling and given a big thumbs up by CNBP Research Fellow Lianmei Jiang (pictured below) who led the outreach coordination on the day.

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Inaugural Professorial Lecture by CI Greentree

Andy-Greentree_web19 August 2016:

CNBP Chief Investigator Andrew Greentree presented to a full-house at RMIT University during his Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Friday evening, August 19th, 2016.

Over 150 colleagues, friends, family and members of the public were in attendance to hear about Andy’s innovative research, and to better understand the exciting potential of quantum technology and its many applications.

The inspiring 60 minute talk included live light-based demonstrations and a Q&A session with the audience giving Andy a heartfelt ovation as proceedings concluded. Informal feedback from guests as they departed was that the talk had been inspiring, educational and thoroughly enjoyable in nature!

Below – images from the event.

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