June 2016

Event Date: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 18:00 - 18:15
Institution: 
Macquarie University
Title: 

Insights into microalgal oils, the oil body, and the limits of nutrient limitation

Abstract: 

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a commonly used model unicellular green alga. Popular for studies since the 19th century it has earned a place as a model for higher plants, photosynthesis, genetics, flagella, light perception and as a model for countless of its other myriad of fascinating features. As the world moves towards the post-peak era in oil production its focus has been shifting away from a dependency on fossil derived oil. Plant oils have become a hot topic and special attention has been paid to the long-chain hydrocarbons made in algae which can prosper in non-arable non-traditional agricultural settings. By genomic scale investigation of an oil producing mutant alga, our research has shown that light intensity can be a key element in carbon flux within the cell. The link between light intensity and oil production was further studied in the standard wildtype alga, 137-C mt+. In the majority of peer reviewed scientific publications on oil production in Chlamydomonas, nutrient limitation is used to ilicit a lipogenesis response. However in replete growth conditions, we show it is still possible for microalgae to produce oils. We characterize the organelle in which the oils are assembled, and we show the types of oils produced, in a combination of lipidomics and proteomics. In the context of biofuels, this work suggests that light intensity may be a factor more useful to industrial scale biofuel production than nutrient limitation.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 18:15 - 18:30
Institution: 
University of New South Wales
Title: 

Biofunctionalized nanoparticles for point – of – care diagnostic applications

Abstract: 

Infectious diseases are posing to be a major healthcare problem throughout the world. The contagious nature of these diseases makes it imperative for early diagnosis of the microbial cause of infection to prevent the spread of epidemics. Conventional standard diagnostic methods have limitations including laborious sample preparation, poor sensitivity and delayed data readout. Hence rapid, field deployable diagnostic modalities are in urgent need to combat the problems in identification of food contamination, direct pathogen detection from clinical samples etc. Despite clinical need, translation of biosensors from research laboratories to clinical applications has remained limited to a few notable examples, such as the glucose sensor. Nanoparticles based approach present a great opportunity to develop fast, accurate and cost effective diagnostics. The nanoparticles possess unique optical, electrical and magnetic properties based on their core materials that render them as a sensitive signalling probe. Also, nanoparticles are amenable to surface modifications and bio - functionalization which can be exploited as target specific and sensitive signalling tool in the development of diagnostic biosensors. I would like to discuss about the challenges and potentials of nanoparticles based probes towards developing a next generation point – of – care diagnostic tool.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 19:00 - 19:30
Institution: 
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Title: 

The landscape of epistasis in bacterial populations