Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017: John Shine still loves laboratory discovery

John Shine’s historic medical research has improved the lives of millions of people over a long, successful career but the gene-cloning pioneer still gets a kick out of lab discoveries.

Awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for his service to medical research, particularly in bio­pharmaceuticals and molecular biology, Professor Shine was among the first researchers, to clone the insulin gene and the human growth hormone.

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Tauranga to host marine convention

The region’s growing reputation as the centre for blue innovation has seen Tauranga successfully secure the International Marine Biotechnology Convention, which is being held in New Zealand for the first time.

The ‘Blue2Green Marine Biotechnology Convention’ will take place from August 8–10.

It will constitute a joint meeting between the newly formed Australia New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society (a member of the International Marine Biotechnology Association), the International Conference on Coastal Biotechnology (convened in China), and the New Zealand Aquaculture Science Association.  In addition, the Korean Society for Marine Biotechnology will be sending a special delegation.

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Southern Wild Distillery distils Tasmania in a single shot

After a long career in food science, George Burgess swapped a life of benchmarking for seasonal variety, turning his hand to making a luxury gin that is distinctly Tasmanian. Southern Wild Distillery offers three gin varieties under the Dasher + Fisher label – a brand named after two rivers that tumble from mountains to the island’s north-west coast.

What makes your gin revolutionary?
I’m rebelling against standardised products by focusing on the seasonality and regionality of the ingredients and allowing them to shine. Our gins are different because they are made to be enjoyed with food, with a longer palate compared to traditional gins. To top it off, I use French perfume techniques to layer the top notes, mid notes and base notes.

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Scientist John Shine honoured for discovery that formed basis of genetic engineering

A man whose discovery was essential for the development of genetic engineering, and used that technology to create several therapies now helping many thousands of people, says receiving a Queen’s Birthday honour is a great recognition from the community of the value of scientific research.

John Shine started his career by discovering a sequence of DNA now called the Shine-Dalgarno sequence as part of his PhD in the mid 1970s.

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Zoetis Inc (ZTS): Can the high growth still justify its June share price?

Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS) is a stock well positioned for future growth, but many investors are wondering whether its last closing price of $62.58 is based on unrealistic expectations. When an investor is questioning how much value a company is showing at this time, I regularly advise they conduct some further analysis. Let’s examine a couple of key checks for ZTS based on it’s latest price.

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Scalp-cooling during chemo to save hair: it’s a game-changer – for some

It’s a bright, hot day. Outside, the city is baking; through a window I can see a cloudless blue sky. But I am inside, shivering, covered with blankets and hugging a heat pack.

Jammed tightly over my wet hair, secured with a chin strap, is a silicone cap filled with liquid circulating at -4 degrees Celsius. The pain is excruciating – like a frozen clamp screwed tight around my skull. Bits of white gauze have been tucked under the edge of the cap so it doesn’t burn my skin, and I’ve had painkillers, a sedative and chocolate.

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Investing In Biotech’s

Investing in biotech and pharmaceutical stocks can be incredibly lucrative. It is an industry where companies can live or die on the back of a single drug approval; and where share prices can move to a degree that reflects this extreme dichotomy. There are therefore large potential profits to be made in the sector, but it pays to be cautious, and to take a measured approach.

The sector benefits from spending and demographic trends, which sees an aging population in the western world spending increasing amounts of money to meet their healthcare needs. Indeed, per capita healthcare spending is rising at around 4.61% globally and around 7.24% in Australia per year.

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Building brains with bioengineering

A few years ago, Jürgen Knoblich and his team at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) developed a method for cultivating three-dimensional brain-like structures, known as cerebral organoids, in a dish. Now, scientists from IMBA and the University of Cambridge have teamed up to present a new method that combines the organoid method with bioengineering.

The IMBA’s initial lab-grown organ models were found to mimic early human brain development in a surprisingly precise way, allowing for targeted analysis of human neuropsychiatric disorders that was otherwise not possible. Using this cutting-edge methodology, research teams around the world have already revealed new secrets of human brain formation and its defects that can lead to microcephaly, epilepsy or autism.

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Livestock wastes fuel bioproducts industry

A $14 million national project aims to catapult Australia’s growing bioproducts industry while advancing the war on waste.

The project will be managed by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) through $6 million funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program. The federal funding was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce today.

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