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Today's date is Monday, October 26, 2020
Chemistry
 June 2012
Thursday 21
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - New horizons in plant mitochondria group-II intron splicing : In plants, transcription of mitochondrial genes is catalyzed by single subunit phage-type RNA-polymerases in conjunction with accessory factors which aid promoter recognition. More Information
The primary transcripts must then undergo extensive processing, including the maturation of 5’ and 3’ termini, RNA-editing and the splicing of many group-II-type introns (the precise number varying by species), which lie mainly within complex I subunits but also disrupt the coding-regions of several genes encoding ribosomal proteins. The splicing of these introns is therefore essential for the expression of the coding sequences they interrupt, and thus for respiratory activity. Yet, despite the importance of proteins that influence mitochondrial gene-expression, functions have been established for only a handful of such proteins in plants. In non-plant systems, the splicing of group-II introns is facilitated by proteins encoded within the introns themselves (Maturases, Mat’s). Yet, the plant mitochondrial introns are degenerated and also lost their intron-encoded ORF. It is thus anticipated that their splicing in the organelles requires the participation of nuclear gene products. In addition, the roles of nuclear-encoded factors in mitochondrial RNA-metabolism may provide means to link organellar gene expression and function to other cellular responses to energy state, environmental stimuli, and/or developmental cues. However, the precise functions still remain largely unknown for many of these proteins in plant mitochondria. By using biochemical and genetic approaches we established the roles of different proteins in the splicing of many of the mitochondrial introns in plants. These are diverse in origin and presumably in mechanism. Defects in interactions between this class of proteins and their RNA partners have been linked to growth and developmental defects, which include reduced germination, retarded growth phenotypes and cytoplasmic male sterility.
Monday 25
12:00 - SEMINAR - LIWA Medical Research Seminar Series : Prof Jennifer Harrison presents "eResearch and the opportunities of applying digital technology in healthcare research" Website | More Information
LIWA invites you to a free seminar on: "eResearch and the opportunities of applying digital technology in healthcare research" by Professor Jennifer Harrison from [email protected] Time: 12 noon for light lunch with 12.30pm – 1.30pm presentation

 July 2012
Thursday 05
16:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series - 5 [email protected] 4PM: Unlocking the secrets of archaeological materials from shipwrecks. Dr Ian Godfrey : Analyses of shipwreck artefacts using NMR spectroscopy Website | More Information
Analyses of shipwreck artefacts are essential in order to gain information about the chemical nature of materials, provenance, state of deterioration and even technological information about formation processes. For more than 20 years, conservation scientists from the WA Museum and UWA staff have collaborated to resolve many such issues, particularly those associated with organic archaeological materials. Solution NMR spectroscopy, for example, has been used to identify pitches, resins and tars, to gain information about the precursors to these materials and to reveal information about the heating regimes that they were subjected to in their preparation while solid state NMR spectroscopy has been used to determine the deterioration of waterlogged wood and ivory and to identify chemical processes that have occurred after their conservation treatment. Dr Godfrey’s illustrated presentation will highlight archaeological, conservation and analytical aspects of work undertaken on a variety of objects from local and international shipwrecks
Tuesday 10
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : From Molecular Motors To Fungal Intelligence More Information
Protein molecular motors are natural nano-machines that convert the chemical energy obtained from the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into mechanical work which is central to cellular motion, muscle contraction, cell division and a multitude of other critical biological processes. Remarkably, protein molecular motors differ fundamentally from artificial devices in that the conversion from chemical energy to mechanical energy is done directly, rather than via an intermediary state as in e.g., heat for thermal engines. This fundamental difference results in a far better efficiency (close to 100%, for both linear and rotary motors) of these natural mechanical devices compared to artificial ones. This exceptional efficiency, together with the small scale of protein molecular motors, has prompted an increasing number of studies focused on their integration in hybrid micro- and nanodevices. However, and despite tremendous progress in the engineering of molecular motors, much needs to be learnt from Nature, in particular regarding the cooperative behaviour of molecular motors in vivo, before coming even close to efficiency in in vitro devices.

Filamentous fungi are very successful in colonizing micro-confined maze-like networks (e.g., soil, wood, leaf litter, plant and animal tissues), suggesting that they may be efficient solving agents of geometrical problems. The growth behaviour and optimality of space-searching algorithms of several fungal species has been tested in microfluidic mazes and networks. First, it was found that the growth behaviour of all species was strongly modulated by the geometry of micro-confinement. Second, the fungi used a complex growth and space-searching strategy comprising two algorithmic subsets: (i) long-range directional memory of individual hyphae and (ii) inducement of branching by physical obstruction. Third, stochastic simulations using experimentally measured parameters showed that this strategy maximizes both survival and biomass homogeneity in micro-confined networks, producing optimal results only when both algorithms are synergistically
Wednesday 11
12:00 - EVENT - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : The Chemistry and Physics of Charge-Resonance More Information
Organic dyes with a charge-resonant electronic structure (for example, Michler’s Hydrol Blue, below) are venerable molecules, having played a critical role in the development of the synthetic chemical industry. More recently, they have attracted attention because the environmental sensitivity of their optical response makes the useful as molecular sensors and markers. The fluorescence quantum yield of dyes can be modulated over six orders of magnitude in different environments. Large variations in the nonlinear optical response are also observed. In my talk, I will discuss the chemical and physical concepts underlying the notion of charge-resonance, and describe its mathematical formulation. I will show explicitly that relatively simple 2- and 3- state models based on these concepts can be used to understand and even predict the results of quite complicated and high-level computational quantum chemistry calculations. I will show that models based on the concept of resonating charge forms, which were originally designed to model the color of dye molecules, can also be applied to understand apparently unrelated properties e.g. their nonlinear optical response and also their nonradiative decay behavior. These properties are important to understanding the use of these dyes in several very recent applications, which I will also discuss.

Thursday 12
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Macrocycles: conformation that dictates biological activity More Information
Urukthaplestatin A (Ustat A) is a novel natural product, consisting of oxazoles and thiazoles inbedded in a macrocycle. It has extraordinary cytotoxicity against cancer cells in the desirable low nanomolar range (average GI50 = 5.6nM). It does not share structural homology with other classes of marketed cancer therapeutics, and it has a different activity profile to compounds with structural similarities indicating a possible novel and unique mechanism of action. We use novel, modular oxazole methodology that generates numerous Ustat A analogs, and specifically we have designed compounds that will explore its structure-activity relationship and mechanism of action. Given the cytotoxicity and the novelty of these molecules, they are ideal starting points for developing new cancer therapies.

Molinski and co-workers discovered Sanguinamide B (San B) from a single species of nudibranch. The San B natural product contains two thiazoles and one oxazole, and is a modified octapeptide macrocycle; unlike other natural products isolated from this sponge, San B contains two proline residues, where these two residues are control the conformation of the macrocycle. The potent cytotoxic and antibiotic properties of other macrolides isolated from this nudibranch species, and the small microgram quantities of the compound that are available from the natural source, make this natural product a very attractive compound to synthesize. We have synthesized and tested San B and numerous analogues against gram +ve, gram –ve bacteria as well as against mammalian cancer cell lines. Not surprisingly, the conformation of these compounds dictates their biological activity.





Wednesday 18
8:30 - EVENT - A Day in the Life of a Chemistry Student : Experience a typical day in the life of a UWA Chemistry Student Website | More Information
Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be a Chemistry student at UWA?

"A Day in the Life of a Chemistry Student" gives year 11 and 12 students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of hands-on activities that will be interactive, fun and very rewarding.

Places are strictly limited. Applications close 22 June 2012.

Note: times shown are a guide only and are subject to change. Refer to the respective event brochure/application form for detailed information.

9:00 - CANCELLED - STUDENT EVENT - A Day in the Life of UWA Chemistry Student : A program for activities for high school students in the July school holidays Website | More Information
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.

PSO created event - this is a duplicate

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Event to be confirmed - contact us for further details.

‘A day in the life of a UWA Chemistry Student’ gives year 10 and 11 students the opportunity to explore the different areas of chemistry currently available at UWA and to participate in a range of fun activities which will help to explain the wonderful world of chemistry!

Students will have the opportunity to speak with UWA staff and current students to find out more about life as a UWA student, what the campus has to offer, UWA's new course structure, study pathways and career options.

10:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - The Transition from Health to Sickness - the role of plant hormones in underpinning plant pathogen virulence strategies : Speaker will also present at CSIRO Floreat on previous day. More Information
"Our research focuses upon how the virulent bacterial phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae establishes disease in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. P. syringae delivers a suite of ~ 30 effector proteins into the plant cell." Detailed abstract available [email protected]
Tuesday 24
9:00 - COURSE - Linear Regression and ANOVA : A Short Course using IBM SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

The course is hosted by the Centre for Applied Statistics and we offer discounted rate fees to UWA Graduate Research Students.

Fee information is available on our website cas.maths.uwa.edu.au. Please register online.
Wednesday 25
12:00 - Competition - Three Minute Thesis Final : 10 PhD students will explain their research and its significance in just 3 minutes each. Website | More Information
The 3MT competition challenges research students to give a dynamic and engaging presentation about their research and its significance in a way that can be understood by everybody. The audience will select the "People's Choice" winner.
Thursday 26
9:00 - COURSE - Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis : A Short Course using IBM SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about how to analyse binary or survival data.

The course is hosted by the Centre for Applied Statistics and we offer discounted rate fees to UWA Graduate Research Students.

Fee information is available on our website https://www.cas.maths.uwa.edu.au/courses. Please register online.

 August 2012
Sunday 12
10:00 - EVENT - 2012 Open Day : Experience what's on offer at UWA Website | More Information
UWA opens up the whole campus to the public.

Come and find out about the courses on offer, career options, scholarship opportunities, our valuable research, community programs and facilities.

There's also residential college tours, hands-on activities, live music and entertainment, and plenty of fun activities for the whole family.
Thursday 23
17:00 - WELCOME - NEW ACADEMIC STAFF MEMBER! "By Way of Introduction" : Dr Mylne is soon to join UWA as an ARC Future Fellow. More Information
Currently at University of Queensland, Dr Mylne will speak about his past, current and future plans for his Fellowship at UWA. Welcome Dr Mylne! "At UWA I intend to focus on three areas; 1) study the various genetic ‘innovations’ that create these ultra-stable peptides, 2) hone in on the in vivo biochemical process that produce such biomedically relevant peptides; and 3) develop a new biological system to discover the elusive biochemical targets of important anti-malarials drugs." DETAILED CV AVAILABLE !!! email [email protected]
Monday 27
12:00 - SEMINAR - LIWA Medical Research Seminar Series : W/Prof David Mackey presents "Genome-wide Association Studies Success in Ophthalmology" Website | More Information
LIWA invites you to a free seminar on: "Genome-wide Association Studies Success in Ophthalmology" by W/Prof David Mackey, Managing Director, Lions Eye Institute. Time: 12 noon for light lunch with 12.30pm – 1.30pm presentation.

 September 2012
Tuesday 04
17:30 - SCREENING - UPS Screening Night : A screening of "Journey to the Edge of the Universe" and "ATOM" More Information
As part of a tradition at the University Physics Screening, fortnightly screenings of various Science Fiction Movies, documentaries and famous recorded lectures will continue screening weekly all through this semester.

This week's screening features 'Journey to the Edge of the Universe" by Alec Baldwin and Part 1 of "ATOM" by Jim Al-Khalili

$2 for UPS members $5 for non-members Free entry for Physics staff

Free can of soft drink provided with paid entry!
Wednesday 19
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - WHAT A PLANT KNOWS : PLEASE NOTE DATE & VENUE CHANGE !!!!! More Information
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? How do flowers know when to show their pretty colours? Can plants actually hear the chatter of the neighbourhood? This seminar is a window open onto the realm of plants, one hour detour into the history of how we perceive them, what we know about them but most importantly, how plants themselves perceive and sense their world. Dr Gagliano completed a PhD in marine ecology at James Cook University in 2007 and was then awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at Australian Institute of Marine Science, where she studied the physiological effects of climate change on coral reef fishes. In November 2009, she joined the Centre for Evolutionary Biology (CEB) at The University of Western Australia, where she is currently a postdoctoral research fellow. While continuing her work on marine life. She has since stretched the boundary of her scientific thought and ecological research into new directions, including the behavioural ecology of plants.
Wednesday 26
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : When nano meets bio: Interdisciplinary applications of electron microscopy More Information
As leader of the electron microscopy capability in the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA), my core role is to support those wanting to apply advanced electron microscopy techniques in their research. With a background in Physics and an interest in the development of microscopy techniques, I have traditionally collaborated with researchers in the physical sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of the CMCA has, however, encouraged collaborations that bridge the physical and biological sciences where my knowledge of electron microscopy complements the discipline-specific expertise within the research groups.

One area where the benefit of this fusion of technique and discipline-specific expertise is readily apparent is when the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnology meets the discipline of biology. From understanding nature’s ability to form minerals at the nanoscale to the interaction of man-made nanomaterials with biological systems, an interdisciplinary combination of physical and biological scientists with experts in characterisation techniques creates distinct advantages. I hope to demonstrate this by presenting data from several ongoing collaborations such as studies of biomineralisation processes in marine molluscs, magnetic nanomaterials for biomedical applications and drug delivery capsules.

The common theme of this research is the application of transmission electron microscopy techniques such as electron diffraction, high resolution imaging, energy-filtered TEM, and electron spectroscopy to extract structural and compositional information down to the nm or atomic scales.


 October 2012
Wednesday 03
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : A Tale of Two Metalloenzymes: More Information
Binuclear metallohydrolases are a functionally diverse class of metalloenzyme whose members require two closely spaced metal ions in their active site to catalyse the hydrolysis of amides and phosphate esters [1].

Purple acid phosphatases (PAPs) are found in animals, plants and fungi. They catalyse the hydrolysis of a broad range of phosphate esters and anhydrides under acidic conditions. PAPs contain an Fe(III) and a divalent metal ion in their active site. In animals, they are responsible for bone resorption in osteoclasts, and there is substantial evidence to support the role of PAPs in osteoporosis, a disease characterised by excessive bone resorption. PAP is, therefore, an attractive target for the development of drugs to treat this debilitating condition [1].

β-Lactam-containing antibiotics such as penicillins, cephalosporins and carbapenems, are the most widely used drugs for the treatment of bacterial infections. A large number of pathogenic bacteria are now producing metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs), enzymes that hydrolyse the β-lactam rings of nearly all known classes of β-lactam-containing antibiotics, and so make these bacteria resistant to these drugs. MBLs contain two zinc(II) ions in their active sites. As yet, there are no clinically useful antagonists of MBLs, and so bacteria expressing these enzymes pose a significant risk to human health.

This presentation will describe a multidisciplinary approach to the development of drug leads against PAP and MBL. Our approaches to the development of enzyme inhibitors have been twofold. In the first approach we have use the crystal structures of PAPs and MBLs to rationally design ligands to bind to the binuclear metal centre of the active sites, and to maximise non-covalent interactions at locations proximal to the active site [2,3]. In the second approach we have used fragment-based screening to identify small molecule inhibitors of PAP, and we have obtained crystals structures of these complexed in the active site of the enzyme [4]. These studies have led to development of the most potent PAP inhibitors yet reported.

[1] Schenk, Mitic, Gahan, Ollis, McGeary & Guddat, Acc. Chem. Res., 2012, 45, 1593. [2] Mohd-Pahmi, Hussein, Schenk & McGeary, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett., 2011, 21, 3092. [3] Faridoon, Hussein, Vella, Ul Islam, Ollis, Schenk & McGeary, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett., 2012, 22, 380. [4] Feder, Hussein, Clayton, Kan, Schenk, McGeary & Guddat, Chem. Biol. & Drug Des., 2012, In Press. doi: 10.1111/cbdd.12001

Wednesday 10
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Water Oxidation Catalysts Inspired by Photosynthesis More Information
Our group is interested in developing highly active water oxidation catalysts for incorporation into (photo)-electrochemical water splitting devices. Inspired by the only water oxidation catalyst known to be active in vivo, the Mn4Ca1O5 cluster found in Photosystem II (PSII), we initially imbedded tetranuclear Mn complexes into Nafion films and demonstrated sustained water oxidation catalysis in vitro on illumination with visible light and application of a bias.1 By combining these photoanodes with a ruthenium(II) sensitiser into a photo-electrochemical cell water oxidation was achieved using visible light as the only energy source, as occurs in PSII.2 Examination of the fate of the Mn cluster during catalysis using X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) revealed that it dissociates in Nafion forming MnII species which, on application of a bias, are oxidized to MnOx nanoparticles (detected by TEM). These are reduced on illumination and O2 is concurrently released.3 Recent EPR studies support the catalytic cycle proposed from the XAS studies. Thus, water oxidation catalysis does not involve the original cluster. The observed cycling between photo-reduced MnII species and the Mn-oxide parallels the well-known biogeochemistry of Mn where MnIII/IV oxides, formed by oxidative processes, are photoreduced to Mn2+ in sunlight. Given that catalysis did not involve the original Mn4O4 cluster, catalytic activity was expected to be independent of the Mn precursor. To our surprise, however, an examination of a series of Mn complexes found that the size, crystallinity and catalytic activity of the MnOx nanoparticles varied with precursor used to generate them. The presentation will also cover our recent research exploring various approaches for the deposition of catalytically active metal oxide films, including the application of ionic liquids.

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