A generous gift of $5 million from one of Australia's leading businessmen will enable the University of Sydney to make major advances in the field of nanoscience.

The gift from John Hooke CBE, former Chairman and CEO of Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA) will endow a new academic chair in the School of Physics and the Australian Institute of Nanoscience which is to be built at the University of Sydney. The chair will be named the John Hooke Chair of Nanosciences.

"John Hooke has made an extremely generous and farsighted donation which will allow us to take important steps in cutting edge research," said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

The possibility of redesigning the illicit recreational drug ‘ecstasy' to treat blood cancers is being explored by a team of researchers from The University of Western Australia and the University of Birmingham in England.

A number of senior water researchers have warned of the possible effects of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry on water and salinity.

Western Australia has announced that a National Centre of Excellence for grains research will be build in Perth following an agreement between the State Government and the Grains Research Development Council (GRDC).

The Federal Government has introduced a new research and development tax credit system which will aim to assist small businesses offset the cost of conducting research in their respective fields.

Leading expert Dr Stephen Hanly has been lured back to Australia as the inaugural CSIRO-Macquarie University Chair in Wireless Communications.

An international research project to eliminate dengue fever has  reported successful results from a field trial in which 150,000 mosquitoes infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia that  prevents the dengue virus from growing in the insect were released into two suburbs in Cairns.

An international team of researchers, including Australians, has pioneered a new method of producing superdense aluminum by simulating the conditions found at the centre of the Earth. The superdense aluminum is around 40 per cent stronger and denser than the conventional counterpart.

The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research has called for responses to a consultation paper it released on its 2011 Review of HERDC Category 3 Income.

Nine outstanding Australian researchers have been awarded John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowships and Postgraduate Scholarships that will allow them to continue to conduct advanced research in their respective areas.

Researchers at RMIT University have explored how thermopower waves in thermoelectric materials can convert heat in solid fuels into electrical energy.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has introduced its new Standard for Clinical Practice Guidelines to streamline health professional’s access to diagnostic information and treatment.

A new Visualisation Laboratory (VisLab) has been launched at La Trobe University in Victoria, providing sophisticated visualisation technology that will allow researchers to run experiments remotely.


VisLab will link to the Australian Synchrotron and other local and international facilities, including those with existing La Trobe remote stations. It will link to analytical equipment at Berlin's BESSY Synchrotron, the Canadian Light Source at Saskatoon and Chicago's Argonne Advanced Photon Source machine. Within VisLab from their remote location, researchers are able to drive the instrument and perform experiments themselves. Alternately they can collaborate in real time with another team of researchers present at the instrument


VisLab also doubles as a classroom, promoting and teaching science and technology to high-school and university students.


VisLab was funded through the Victorian Government’s Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative (VeRSI). New funding of $2 million for the initiative has allowed VeRSI's membership to expand to include all of Victoria's eight universities, as well as the Australian Synchrotron and the Victorian Government Department for Primary Industries.


VisLab is a collaboration between the La Trobe eResearch Office, the Centre for Materials and Surface Science at La Trobe University and VeRSI.

A new Forensic DNA Laboratory dedicated to forensic DNA research has been opened at Flinders University in South Australia.

The Victorian Auditor-General, Des Pearson, has release a report into public sector investment in biotechnology in Victoria, finding that the state government had spent more than $722 million to support the biotechnology industry over the last decade without  adequate performance data on whether strategic aims had been met.

Arizona State University (ASU) will spearhead a new Engineering Research Center (ERC) aimed at creating high-efficiency solar technologies and manufacturing methods to increase solar energy uptake.

Senior medical researchers and those responsible for sourcing private medical funding will meet later this month with community and business leaders to discuss new ways for health and medical research to be funded.

The Group of Eight (Go8) has opened applications for its 2012 European Fellowships that will be open to early career researchers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, and, for the first time in the program’s history, Russia.

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls has been launched at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide.

The University of Newcastle and Hunter Water have announced a series of wastewater research initiatives under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

A report on university commerciallisation in Australia has found that university commercialisation activities are mostly an exercise in cost recovery with insufficient deal flow to support large Technology Transfer Offices.

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