A Macquarie PhD student believes he’s come up with a way to turn coffee waste into biodegradable plastic coffee cups. He’s developed a method to turn coffee grounds into lactic acid, which can then be used to produce biodegradable plastics, and is now refining the process as he finishes his PhD. Continue reading → Turning coffee waste into coffee cups
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Monica Espinosa Gomez is a PhD Candidate in the Paulsen SynBio Group at Macquarie University. Earlier this year she was awarded a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform PhD Scholarship. While undertaking her Bachelors of Biotechnology (Hons), Molecular Biotechnology, at UQ she worked in numerous labs as a research assistant. In 2016, she worked under synthetic biologist, Dr Claudia Vickers, at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology before embarking on her PhD journey in 2017. Twitter handle: @monicaespgom Continue reading → Synbio profile interview – Monica Espinosa
Synthetic biology underpins an international market worth $355 billion a year, climbing to $1.1 trillion in five years. The market is in pharmaceuticals, engine fuels, plastics and more, all made using genetically engineered microbes. Macquarie University’s Distinguished Professor Ian Paulsen wants Australia to have a slice of this high-tech, job-creating, transformational industry.
Read the full story at The Lighthouse, Macquarie University
by Jestin George
Even though plans to colonise Mars are progressing rapidly, it is very hard to actually comprehend what a permanent life out there would be like. One can’t help but imagine it to be pretty Earth-centric; we will need to design spaces and resource solutions that provide what we need and use down here, out there. Food will definitely be an issue; Continue reading → Synthetic biology solutions for Mars colonization
Dr Michele Fabris is a CSIRO Synthetic Biology FPS Fellow, working on a diverse group of microalgae called diatoms. He is a core member of the Algal Biosystems and Biotechnology group led by Prof. Peter Ralph in Climate Change Cluster, of the University of Technology Sydney (C3:UTS), and a CSIRO Visiting Scientist in the group of A/Prof. Claudia Vickers. Michele completed his Ph.D. in 2013, where he worked on the reconstruction of diatom metabolic networks, and characterised novel aspects of diatom metabolism. Twitter handle: @fabrismichele
Dominic Logel is a PhD Candidate in Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney. He was recently awarded the CSIRO Future Science Platform PhD Top Up Scholarship. Dominic began his journey into synthetic biology research in 2013 as a member of Macquarie University iGEM team. Dominic hopes to use his research to further the design of organisms to provide useful benefits to humanity, be that in food production or medical applications. Twitter handle: @DominicLogel
Dr Alison McLennan is an Assistant Professor at Faculty of Business, Government and Law, University of Canberra. Alison is particularly interested in the challenges posed to regulation by emerging technologies, especially biotechnologies. Her PhD investigated regulation of synthetic biology and was awarded in 2014. In 2017, she presented the legal issues relating to synthetic biology at the SBA conference held in Sydney. She has continued to publish work on SynBio regulation and patent law, including for general audiences via The Conversation, and has a new book about synthetic biology law and policy issues coming out in 2018. Alison is interested in how we can not only manage the risks of new technologies, but also maximise their potential benefits. Twitter handle: @asmclennan
We are excited to present synthetic biologist, Dr Karen Weynberg, who is the ECR representative of SBA Executive Board. Karen is a CSIRO Future Science Research Fellow based at University of Queensland.
She completed her PhD in the UK in 2009, uncovering new viruses that infect marine phytoplankton. Her first fellowship, the ARC Super Science Research Fellowship, investigated the role of viruses in coral reefs. Her current fellowship uses synthetic biology to develop phage therapy for addressing bacterial biofilms and antibiotic resistance. Suffice to say that Karen is something of a virus aficionado, and has even given a TedX talk and media interviews to BBC News and ABC News. Twitter handle: @ReefViruses
If you are reading this post, you probably have an interest in synthetic biology, its potential, and the way it challenges our typical perceptions of biology as a field.
CSIRO has awarded 11 PhD top-up scholarships to talented PhD students across Australia. Congratulations to all the successful applicants (especially to our executive board member Dominic Logel) ! Continue reading → SynBio PhD Top-up Scholarships awarded by CSIRO