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A fascinating insight into the world of science
As part of Ultimo Science Festival, UTS Science In Focus has collaborated with three UTS science researchers.
Dr Bojan Tamburic, Dr Dominic Hare and Dr Alison Beavis are three respected researchers who will be conducting lectures on microalgae, the brain and gunshot residue analysis.
Microalgae is microscopic algae found in freshwater and marine system. They can exist individually, in chains or in groups. Different species of microalgae can range in size from a few micrometres to a few hundred micrometres.
They do not have roots, stems or leaves and can produce approximately half of the athmospheric oxygen, hereby creating the possibility of producing fuel from this untapped resource.
Dr Bojan Tamburic, who is a Chancellor's Postdoctoral at UTS and second-in-command of the Algal Biofuel and Bioproducts research program, will be discussing Microalgae, dubbed the green gold of biotechnology.
Dr Tamburic has a scientific background in Applied Physics and Biochemical Engineering as well as an international expert on algal photo-bioreactor optics and design. He was awarded by Imperial College London on the topic of algal hydrogen production.
To be able to address the global energy challenge, he focuses his research on how sustainable biofuels can be harvested from microalgae.
Dr Tamburic will be discussing how this simple organism can produce future sustainable fuels, as well as the next generation's pharmaceutical needs. He will enlight the audience on how it works and the challenges that we may face in the process.
2. How the brain can destroy itself.
The human brain is a wonder that even a genius has not been able to understand its complexity. It has the ability to adapt, change, learn, and repair if needed. Recent studies had proven that their brain could possibly be its own enemy.
Our genetic make-up, our age, how we conduct the way we live
and the world around us are all factors that can turn our brain cells against us.
By Carmen Lee Spiers
Dr Dominic Hare completed his PHD in 2009. He is an Analytical Chemist who returned as a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in 2014 from Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne.
Dr Hare describes himself as an "analytical neurochemist". He is also a founding member of the Elemental Bio-imaging Facility at UTS. The facility boasts having one of the finest collections of high-tech analytical equipment in Australia.
One of the two major projects that Dr Hare is currently conducting in UTS is trying to ascertain the reason as to why the brain of a Parkinson's disease sufferers contains more iron than those who are not inflicted with this debilitating disease.
The other project is mapping metals in the healthy brain with the view of being able to provide a unique resource for neuroscientists worldwide, integrating 'metallic' data into their research.
3. Gunshot residue analysis
This discussion is a must for those of you who are interested in how the heavy metals from the gunshot residue impact our health and the environment.
Gunshot residue analysis can provide valuable and in most cases accurate information on the timeframe on when somebody discharged a firearm.
The concern of the heavy metals towards our health and the environment led to the increase of lead free ammunition, of
which may potentially compromise the effectiveness of forensic techniques.
Presenting Dr Alison Beavis, an analytical chemist,whose interests spans areas such as the analysis of explosives, firearms, chemical warfare agents and illicit drugs.
Dr Beavis is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Forensic Science and the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Faculty of Science.
These important lectures are not to be missed. Where else would you learn such valuable information for free. So make sure you mark the 11th of September 2014 (Thursday) on your calendar.