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Latest University of Melbourne Stories

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2011-02-23 13:41:22

Scientists hope the toxic cane toad that has rampaged around northeastern Australia may at last be stopped. The cane toad, which is a native of Central America, was introduced to Australia in 1935 to kill beetles devastating sugar-cane crops, only to become a pest in its own right. However, a new investigation says the toad has an Achilles' heel. The imported anuran desperately needs access to nearby standing water in order to survive, unlike indigenous amphibians that have adapted to arid...

2011-02-15 19:42:07

The genome of the Blackleg fungus, which causes the most damaging disease to canola crops worldwide, has been sequenced for the first time by a team of French and Australian scientists. Professor Barbara Howlett from the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne, who led the Australian research team, said the discovery was a significant step towards controlling the rampant Blackleg disease. "The 12,500 genes that constitute the genetic blue print for the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans...

2011-01-13 14:36:35

Scientists have developed Australia's first adult induced pluripotent stem cell lines using skin biopsies from patients with the rare genetic disease Friedreich Ataxia (FA). The study was conducted by the University of Melbourne and Monash Institute of Medical Research and is published in the current online edition of the international journal Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. It is the first time adult pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells have been developed for a specific disease in...

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2011-01-12 10:20:00

An Australian study of over 5,600 teens finds that those with a bright outlook on their lives and the world they live in suffer fewer depression symptoms than their pessimistic counterparts. Published in the journal Pediatrics, Dr. George C. Patton of the University of Melbourne and Royal Children's Hospital in Australia and his colleagues followed 5,634 Australian students who were between the ages of 12 and 14 at the outset. Whether their optimism deserves the credit is not clear. The...

2010-12-22 19:16:00

Most Australians do not approve of IVF or abortion for sex-selection purposes, and most do not think a hypothetical blue or pink pill to select the sex of a child should be legal, a new study has found. The study, led by Dr Rebecca Kippen from the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne, analysed responses from more than 2,500 people participating in the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, combined with a series of in-depth parental interviews. The survey found that 69...

2010-12-20 13:47:50

Australian researchers have identified a way to measure the structure of membrane proteins despite being damaged when using X-ray Free-Electron Lasers (XFELs), a discovery that will help fast track the development of targeted drugs using emerging XFELs technology. About 70% of drugs on the market today depend on the activity of membrane proteins, which are complex molecules that form the membranes of the cells in our body. A major problem for the design of new pharmaceuticals, often known as...

2010-12-03 15:45:42

Scientists have discovered that the alteration of a single gene could cause some male embryos to develop as females. The breakthrough will improve diagnosis and clinical management of patients with disorders of sex development (DSD). These conditions occur when the testis or ovary does not develop properly in the embryo, causing genital abnormalities in one in 4500 babies. An international team including University of Melbourne researchers at the  Murdoch Childrens Research Institute...

2010-11-10 14:14:15

An Australian research team from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland has identified a new risk factor for developing breast cancer. This has been published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. The risk factor involves a modification (DNA methylation) to the BRCA1 gene. BRCA1 is known for its involvement in breast and ovarian cancer. Women with mutations in this gene, which inactivates its function, are predisposed to...

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2010-10-28 12:40:00

By Matt Shipman, North Carolina State University Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to optimize the development of DNA self-assembling materials, which hold promise for technologies ranging from drug delivery to molecular sensors. The key to the advance is the discovery of the "Goldilocks" length for DNA strands used in self-assembly "“ not too long, not too short, but just right. DNA strands contain genetic coding that will form bonds with another strand...

2010-10-13 19:16:00

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Victorian Premier John Brumby and IBM announced today plans to build IBM's first global research and development laboratory at the University of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia. In a world first for IBM, the new global lab will combine research and development in a single organization focused on accelerating progress toward a smarter planet. With this announcement, IBM will expand its presence in...


Word of the Day
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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