Think back to your days at University. What do you remember about your courses and your lecturers? Be honest. Some were exciting and inspiring, and others…, well, not so much. But at the Research School of Biology, every one of our faculty was, and still is, involved in research. The work they do makes it into textbooks, and often changes the world and what we know about it.
In this issue of The Snowgum, you will read about research that has the potential to profoundly affect the way we live. Howard Bradbury, an emeritus professor, developed a simple method that releases cyanide from cassava, a staple starch in many countries. The presence of cyanide can lead to a debilitating neurological disease called konzo. Howard’s method is so simple that it can be applied without sophisticated equipment. His work helps people live fuller lives.
Carsten Kulheim and David Kainer think a great deal about oil. Specifically, eucalyptus oil. We all know that eucalyptus oils are used in medicinal remedies, but Carsten and David have a plan to use the oil in jet fuel! A renewable source of high energy fuel on our doorstep.
Malaria kills 600,000 people a year. The malaria parasite, like many pathogens, develops resistance to drugs quickly. Rowena Martin and Sashika Richards think they may have figured out a way to stop this from happening. If they are right, we can stop the arms race between parasites and pharmaceuticals.
Think back to your days at University. Those scientists who taught you, worked with you: Our scientists have not stopped making life-changing, mind-changing discoveries.