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Chemistry
 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 natureís 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.
Thursday 11
13:00 - SEMINAR - Personalised Fluorescent-based Call Analysis from Merck Millipore More Information
CMCA will be hosting a seminar on cell health by Laura Morley from Merck Millipore on Thursday 11th October 2012 from 1-2pm in the Pharmacology Seminar Room (Rm 1.18, 1st floor, M Block, QEII Medical Centre). The seminar will cover topics including viability, cell cycle and apoptosis assays and will introduce the Muse Cell Analyser instrument.

The seminar will be followed by a demonstration of the Muse Cell Analyser at [email protected] in lab 1.42 at 2pm.

16:00 - SEMINAR - Battling bacterial slime: Bacterial persistence mechanisms in chronic and recurrent respiratory infections More Information
Respiratory infections (including ear, nose, throat and lung infections) caused by viruses and bacteria are the most common diseases in children (and adults). Some children are particularly vulnerable to these, developing chronic or recurrent disease and reducing their quality of life, educational outcomes and life expectancy. Ways in which bacteria persist particularly in high-risk populations are poorly understood, as are immune responses to these bacteria. This means that many treatments that target the acute infection have little effect on the chronic or recurrent nature of the diseases. Likewise, preventions are difficult to develop in these vulnerable populations. Our work in the Vaccine Trials Groups and the School of Paediatrics and Child Health focuses on elucidating the role of bacterial biofilms (slime), intracellular infection and host immune response in the development of chronic and recurrent respiratory disease. This presentation will provide an overview of the work we have done and are currently conducting, including both basic research and translational studies.
Wednesday 17
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Luminescent Tetrazolato Complexes: More Information
Luminescent species find applications in a wide variety of fields, including optical technologies and devices, sensors, biomedical diagnostics and many more. Our group is interested in the design of transition metal and lanthanoid coordination compounds that possess phosphorescent properties, as well as their use in materials and life science. This presentation will illustrate efforts within our research group centred on the synthesis of organometallic tetrazolato metal complexes and the investigation of their photophysical properties. As these complexes exhibit efficient luminescent properties, we have also assessed their cellular incubation and cytotoxicity, and the results highlight these species are promising candidates for the design of improved cellular labels. More recent results on the use of N-heterocyclic carbene ligands for the construction of luminescent metal complexes will also be presented.

Thursday 18
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase complex of plants: Function in respiration and photosynthesis : The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase complex (complex I) is the largest enzyme complex of the Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system and the main entrance site for electrons into the respiratory electron transfer chain. More Information
Complex I has several unique features in plants. Most notably, it includes 15 extra subunits, some of which introduce side activities into this respiratory enzyme. For example, subunits resembling an archaebacterial gamma-type carbonic anhydrase form an integral part of complex I in plants. These carbonic anhydrase subunits constitute a spherical extra domain which is attached to the membrane arm of complex I on its matrix exposed side. Furthermore, L-galactono-1,4 dehydrogenase (GLDH), which catalyses the terminal step of ascorbate biosynthesis in plants, is associated with complex I in plants. Novel data on the structure of the NADH dehydrogenase complex and its multiple functions in plant cells will be presented and discussed.
Wednesday 24
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Biomolecular detection via electrochemistry at liquid-liquid interfaces More Information
The beauty of electrochemistry at liquid-liquid interfaces is that it enables the detection of ions or ionisable species by ion-transfer reactions. As a result, problems associated with the detection of analytes by oxidation/reduction reactions at solid electrodes can be surmounted. These problems may include an inability to easily oxidise/reduce the target analyte(s), the simultaneous oxidation/reduction of interferences, or electrode fouling by reaction products. Proteins are extremely important analytical targets because of their roles in regulating biological processes and the fact that diseases often result in changes in protein behaviour. Such altered protein behaviour leads to these biomacromolecules becoming markers or indicators of that disease, so-called biomarkers. Not all proteins are redox-active and even redox-active proteins cannot always be easily detected by oxidation or reduction at a metal or carbon electrode. For this reason, the electrochemical behaviour and electrochemical detection of proteins via ion-transfer reactions at the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (ITIES) has been of growing interest. This presentation will discuss the main idea that electrochemistry at liquid-liquid interfaces enables the detection of ions via non-redox reactions, which may be applied to detection of proteins. Recent progress towards achievement of nanomolar detection of proteins as well as formation and characteristics of nanoscale liquid-liquid interfaces will be presented.
Thursday 25
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - Wasp Love Got to Do With It? The Evolutionary Implications of Sexual Mimicry in Orchids. : Most flowering plants engage animals to carry out the essential service of pollination. The majority of these plants have evolved flowers that advertise rewards for this service via visual and chemical cues such as petals and scent. There are however a number of species whose false advertisements draw pollinators to rewardless flowers. More Information
My research shows that the chemical mimicry crucial to sexual deception is responsible for reproductive isolation and potentially even speciation. I also show through mating system analysis and studies of wasp behaviour that this strategy is a superbly adaptive solution to the problem flowers face of simultaneously attracting pollinators before persuading them to leave quickly.
Sunday 28
9:00 - EVENT - The UWA Science Experience 2013 : A three-day program of science events Website | More Information
Applications CLOSE 30th November for the Science Experience 2013. Current year 9 and 10 students apply on-line at the Science Experience website. Late applications will be accepted if a place is available. To check whether a program is fully booked at any time go to www.scienceexperience.com.au/when-where/wa

The Science Experience is a three day program of events for students about to enter Year 10 and Year 11. The program is held Tuesday 15th - Thursday 17th January 2013 and is designed to excite students about science and technology and introduce the students to the variety of career options in science and engineering, with the aim that more will choose to study and pursue a career in science.

 November 2012
Wednesday 07
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : The Carbon Nanoform Jungle: Is Graphene the king? More Information
Carbon nanostructures have been the topic of two Nobel prizes to date, Chemistry in 1996 (fullerenes) and Physics in 2010 (graphene), but carbonís versatile bonding has resulted in the discovery of a wide range of other exotic nanoforms. We will take a quick safari through this jungle of bamboos, peapods, nanohorns, scrolls, nanobuds, etc. To help make sense of this bewildering array of forms I will propose a nomenclature based on their structure.

The underlying structural differences of each carbon nanoform can fundamentally alter their reaction chemistry and mechanical and electronic properties. Using first principles calculations I will examine specific examples where these effects modify the underlying chemistry and physical properties of these materials, such as their oxidation behaviour and mutual interaction. As well as giving unique insight into experimental results, such calculations can predict fascinating new behaviour and open up undiscovered pathways for synthesis and post-processing.





Thursday 22
16:00 - SEMINAR - New insights into the proteome of the transcriptionally active chromosome from spinach chloroplasts : Chloroplasts possess their own DNA (ptDNA), which is packaged with proteins proteins into structures analogous to bacterial chromosomes, termed nucleoids or plastid nuclei. Website | More Information
Dr Melonek completed her PhD in 2010 in Plant Cell Biology at University of Kiel, Germany. She continued her work in Kiel for the next 1.5 years but recently moved to Perth to join the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at UWA. Her research will focus on characterization of proteins implicated in regulation of chloroplast gene expression in Arabidopsis. MORE INFO AT https://www.plantenergy.uwa.edu.au/aboutus/seminars/seminars.shtml or email [email protected]
Tuesday 27
9:00 - COURSE - R Basics : An introduction to the statistical package R Website | More Information
This course will take you through the basics you need to do statistical analyses in R, a powerful freeware statistical package.

The course will cover basic statistics such as t-tests, regression and ANOVA as well as producing high quality graphics.

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.
Thursday 29
9:00 - COURSE - Design and Analysis of Experiments : A Statistics Short Course using R Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about designing and analysing experiments.

It will cover material ranging from a review of simple one-way ANOVA, to more complex designs and analyses including crossed and nested factors with fixed and random effects.

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.

 December 2012
Tuesday 04
9:00 - COURSE - Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling : A Short Course using AMOS and Mplus Website | More Information
SEM is used widely by researchers to test complex relationships among observed (measured) and latent (unobserved) variables. This course will introduce you to SEM and also covers issues relating to model specification, identification and estimation, assessing model fit (goodness-of-fit criteria), and dealing with problem 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.
Monday 10
9:00 - COURSE - Applied structural equation models : A Short Course using Mplus Website | More Information
The course is designed as a comprehensive coverage of applied SEM techniques using the Mplus statistical software package. Mplus offers a general modelling framework that allows both the modelling of cross-sectional and longitudinal data using observed variables that are a combination of continuous and categorical variables.

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.

 February 2013
Monday 18
9:00 - COURSE - Introductory Statistics : A short course using SPSS Website | More Information
The aim of this course is to introduce you to basic statistics. It will cover descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations); data exploration; basic categorical data analysis; simple linear regression and basic analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Subsidised rates are available for UWA Graduate Research Students.

Please register online.

 March 2013
Thursday 21
16:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series: "X-ray phase contrast imaging using conventional sources" by Dr Peter Munro More Information
Image contrast arises in conventional X-ray radiography due the differential absorption of X-rays throughout the sample. Many objects of interest, for example, soft biological tissue, possess weak absorption contrast. Furthermore, by definition, absorption contrast is directly correlated with the radiation dose received by the sample. X-ray phase imaging was developed, initially using synchrotron radiation, in order to overcome the limitation of weak absorption contrast. This technique develops contrast based upon the difference in X-ray propagation times through a sample, which, in general, results in greater contrast than absorption based imaging. In this seminar I will discuss how X-ray phase imaging can be performed using conventional X-ray sources such as those used in clinics and give examples from a variety of fields including mammography, non-destructive testing, security screening and small animal imaging.

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