Monday, February 29, 2016

What do graduates say about the Sydney Bachelor of Pharmacy?

With an unrivalled reputation for excellence, the University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy offers a world-class professional pharmacy program, taught by internationally-renowned, award-winning academics that provides you with the ideal preparation for a career in pharmacy.

The Bachelor of Pharmacy is a four-year, full-time professional degree combining advanced scientific investigation with training in clinical practice and optimum patient care. Specifically, it covers the study of the chemical, physical, pharmaceutical, and pharmacological properties of medicinal substances and the application of these in the pharmacy profession.

Students connect with and learn from academics who are experts in their fields, and have access to the latest technology, facilities and teaching laboratories.

Course Content

The first year is a foundation year in which students study biology, chemistry, and basic pharmaceutical sciences and are introduced to the profession of pharmacy. The remaining three years are devoted to higher levels of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, together with specialised clinical pharmacy studies. During third and fourth year, considerable time is spent in clinical placements in community and hospital pharmacies, where valuable practical experience is gained.

University of Sydney Bachelor of Pharmacy

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: January 31 each year; however, candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Macquarie Hearing Hub seeks community volunteers

As the outdoor music festival season begins, researchers from the Macquarie Hearing Hub are continuing to recruit volunteers who have lived, worked, and enjoyed noisy environments for their study looking at how everyday noise exposure affects people’s hearing.

Macquarie Audiology School
Study audiology at Macquarie University

The study is looking into why it is that a proportion of people who report difficulty with everyday listening, particularly understanding speech in background noise, are found to have clinically normal hearing when tested. There is evidence to suggest that this type of hearing loss could be due to loud noises damaging the small hair cells that carry sound signals from the ear’s cochlear to the brain. In light of this, researchers will test volunteers for this particular type of hearing loss, in the hope of understanding more about how the condition occurs.

“We are looking for people with a history of noise exposure from work and/or leisure. For example, fire fighters, factory workers, bar staff, pilots, transport workers, landscapers, and builders are all examples of people who may have experienced noise exposure on the job. Also, people with substantial leisure noise exposure could include clubbers, motorbike riders, or motorsports enthusiasts,” explained Dr Elizabeth Beach, from the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) located in the Macquarie Hearing Hub.

Participants need to be between 30 and 55 years of age, and will be asked about their lifetime noise exposure history in an online survey that will take about 20 minutes. They will then be asked to attend a 3.5 hour lab appointment at the Macquarie University Hearing Hub (North Ryde campus), where the researchers will run a series of listening tasks to determine whether there is a correlation between a participant’s noise exposure and their auditory functioning. Participants can be provided with a written report about their hearing (including the results of their audiogram), and will also receive $40 for their involvement.

“If this study does find that these small hair cells are damaged by exposure to loud noise, it will have important implications for noise policy at public events, entertainment venues and the workplace,” concluded Dr Beach.

The study will continue until June 2016.

Macquarie Hearing Hub

The Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University unites researchers, educators, clinicians and innovators with expertise in audiology, speech pathology, cognitive and language sciences, psychology, nanofabrication and engineering sciences.

The Hearing Hub is a global leader in speech, hearing and language research. The Australian Hearing Hub leverages the university’s extensive international expertise in language sciences and cognitive sciences research, and in clinical research and professional training teams in audiology and speech language pathology.

Program: Master of Clinical Audiology
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the application deadline was October 30, 2015.

Newcastle Juris Doctor course provides strong foundation

In 2015, the University of Newcastle Law School created a new course (a foundation subject) called “Legal System and Method 1,” which aims to assist students to acquire the skills they need to complete their first year of the JD earlier in the year. The subject has been developed following discussions with current JD students and was officially implemented in trimester 1, 2016 (just before the regular semester 1 begins; and as such, requires students to be at Newcastle a few weeks prior to the traditional late-February program start).

“Legal System and Method I” is the first foundational course in the Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice. It introduces students to the core intellectual and analytical skills in the discipline of law. In addition, the course begins the process of professional education through the study of professional written communication skills. It also orients students to the core subjects they study in the first year of their degree and to the University Legal Centre, where, in later years, they will undertake studies relevant to the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

University of Newcastle Law School Juris Doctor

The Juris Doctor and the embedded Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Newcastle is designed to equip students with the knowledge, clinical experience and qualification for admission into legal practice in Australia. Students will study the JD concurrently with the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, allowing them to develop both high-level academic and legal skills, while also providing practical and real-world experience.

Program: Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
Location: Newcastle (Callaghan)
Duration: 3 years
Semester intake: February
Application deadline: There is no official application deadline; however, it is recommended that students apply at least three months prior to the program’s start date.

Griffith partners with World Science Festival Brisbane

Griffith University is an academic partner of one of the world’s most prestigious scientific and cultural festivals.

Queensland Museum will host the Festival in Brisbane from March 9 – 13.

The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane will take science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct in South Banks.

Griffith science degrees
Griffith University is a partner of the inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane. (Photo credit: World Science Festival New York)

A range of Griffith’s experts will join international leaders from across science and the arts for four action-packed days of public science at its best.

Held annually in New York since 2008, the World Science Festival is now one of the most celebrated science festivals in the world.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Sciences) Professor Debra Henly said Griffith Sciences was delighted to be a part of the inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane.

“Our researchers will be involved in a number of events that will showcase our world class research to the general public,” she said.

“There will be something for all ages—from hands-on science activities by the Griffith Science On the Go! team for children to stimulating and thought provoking discussions.”

During the festival, Griffith researchers will showcase the latest in 3D scanning technology to create an accurate model of the Museum’s “Mephisto” tank, while budding scientists will be able to experience Griffith’s groundbreaking Quantum Physics laboratory.

Griffith will lead a discussion about how revolutionary science may allow rapid mapping and analysis that might be able to save our reefs from climate change.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Monash researchers conduct trial to determine if antibiotics may relieve low back pain caused by infection

It is estimated that four in five Australians will experience low back pain during their lifetime. Treatment options are limited, and low back pain remains the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Monash University Public Health School
Monash researchers to conduct trial to determine effectiveness of antibiotics on back pain (Image credit: Monash University)

Researchers from Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine are conducting a clinical trial to determine whether antibiotics are an effective treatment for low back pain.

This work has developed from their systematic review, which shows evidence of bacteria in the spines of people with low back pain and a clinical trial conducted in Denmark which reported promising results for antibiotic treatment.

The trial is premised on the hypothesis that some cases of low back pain may be caused by an infection in the spine. It is thought that after an injury to a spinal disc bacteria circulating in the bloodstream enter the disc and establish an infection which prevents healing and leads to ongoing pain.

The clinical trial team, comprising Monash University researchers Dr Donna Urquhart, Professor Flavia Cicuttini, Associate Professor Anita Wluka and Ms Molly Bond, is hopeful that the trial will provide valuable clinical data.

Dr Urquhart explained that low back pain is not just one condition, but that there are different types of low back pain. It is possible that one type of low back pain which results from infection may respond to antibiotic treatment.

“At present there is only preliminary evidence to suggest antibiotics might be effective so we need further research to understand whether they are beneficial for some cases of low back pain. While we hear that people are already trying antibiotic treatment for low back pain, it is too early for people to be requesting this treatment.

“It is also important for us to understand the effectiveness of antibiotics for low back pain given the problem of antibiotic resistance in the community” Dr Urquhart said.

The trial has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and is currently recruiting participants.

Sydney IT School studies email security

An international research team has provided evidence for the first time of the vulnerability of electronic communication via email.

Dr Ralph Holz, lecturer in Networks and Security at the University of Sydney School of Information Technologies and co-appointed researcher at Data61 a premier innovation network, says experts have suspected weaknesses in email cryptographic setups and authentication for some time but there has been no hard evidence to support these suspicions.

Sydney IT School
Study information technology at Sydney Uni
The research team conducted active scans of the entire Internet, testing the setups of mail and chat servers before analysing the passive Internet traffic of more than 50,000 users in the United States in more than 16 million encrypted connections.

Results of their study revealing how emails can be poorly protected when in transit will be presented at the Internet Society’s Network and Distributed System Security Symposium in San Diego this week.

Dr Holz, a specialist in internet communication and co-appointed researcher at Data61, a premier innovation network, said “We investigated both the client-to-server interactions as well as server-to-server forwarding mechanisms. These can be configured in a number of ways, but these many combinations  are leading to insecure deployments.

“We ran continuous scans of the Internet’s most important security protocols and applications to detect deployment patterns that open systems to attacks.

“While email between users of major providers such as Gmail or Hotmail is relatively secure, this is not true in more general cases and several serious weaknesses exist.

“One of the largest problems identified in the analysis is the lack of support for encryption—less than half of the mail servers supported even basic encrypted communication, and 17 percent used insecure cryptography.

“Only a third of mail servers can prove their identity securely; this means that a sending party often cannot determine whether an email is going to reach the right receiver or will be intercepted at some point,” the Sydney IT School lecturer said.

The researchers will offer several recommendations based on their analysis to help change the status quo, which include providing more measurements and urging software makers to use sane default configurations.

University of Sydney researchers worked with a group which included members from Data61 (Australia), ICSI (USA), and the Technical University of Munich (Germany).

University of Sydney School of Information Technology

Information technology professionals create and manage business applications, websites, systems and the IT environment for organizations. Drawing on both computer science and information systems, it involves the study of computers and the programs that run on them as well as the creation of computer systems that satisfy individual and organizational needs.

The University of Sydney School of Information Technologies offers a Master of Information Technology for professionals wanting to extend and update their knowledge of advanced computing subjects, as well as a Master of Information Technology Management, for technically skilled graduates seeking to move up the management ladder.

Griffith asks if ecotourism save threatened species

Ecotourism can provide the critical difference between survival and extinction for endangered animals, according to new research from Griffith University.

Using population viability modelling, the Griffith team of Professor Ralf Buckley, Dr Guy Castley and Dr Clare Morrison has developed a method that for the first time quantifies the impact of ecotourism on threatened species.

Griffith University ecotourism
Griffith researchers, from left, Dr Guy Castley, Dr Clare Morrison and Professor Ralf Buckley (Photo credit: Griffith University)

The findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.

“We know that ecotourism is increasing on a global scale, with visitor numbers to many protected areas expanding each year. We also know that such activities can have negative as well as positive impacts,” said Professor Buckley, Griffith’s International Chair in Ecotourism Research.

“Until now, however, there has been no way to evaluate the net effect of ecotourism in increasing or decreasing the risk of extinction for endangered species, which is the key parameter for conservation efforts.”

Population viability models are widely used in practical wildlife management. They estimate cumulative population changes by simulating births and deaths iteratively, one generation at a time. inal predictions are based on thousands of repeated simulations.

The Griffith University scientists used the models to calculate future population changes for nine threatened species for which data exists: orangutan, hoolock gibbon, golden lion tamarin, cheetah, African wild dog, New Zealand sealion, African penguin, great green macaw and Egyptian vulture.

“We converted all ecotourism effects—positive and negative—to ecological parameters and found that for seven of the species involved, ecotourism provides net conservation gains through factors such as private reserves, habitat restoration, reduction in habitat damage, removal of feral predators, anti-poaching measures or captive breeding and food supplementation,” said Professor Buckley.

Dr Castley, from Griffith’s Environmental Futures Research Institute, said the research demonstrates how the net effects of tourism differ among species and sub-populations and that these effects are influenced by local circumstances.

“For example, they depend on the scale and intensity of ecotourism, the size of initial populations, rates of predation and on the impacts of other industries such as fishing and logging,” he said.

“Other factors, including poaching, are also important.”

Griffith School of Environment’s Dr Morrison said the research confirms that ecotourism is not always successful.

“In a few cases, this can have a net negative effect on threatened species,” she said. “However, for most of the rare and endangered bird and mammal species analysed, ecotourism makes the critical difference between survival and extinction.”

Griffith School of Environment

When Griffith University introduced the first environmental science degree in Australia, it was revolutionary. Griffith has expanded on their initial programs to offer not only environmental and natural sciences but urban planning and architecture with a focus on sustainable development.

In 1971, establishing a School of Environment was thought of as revolutionary. Over time the environment and sustainable practice has evolved from a fringe issue to a mainstream challenge to government, industry and even individual households.

Griffith University has expanded on their initial programs to offer not only environmental sciences and natural sciences but urban planning and architecture with a focus on sustainable development.

Program: Master of Environment
Location: Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February and July
Duration: 2 years

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Monash Master of International Business

Do you want to pursue a career in international business, diplomacy or politics? The Master of International Business gives you the opportunity to advance your business and management knowledge and give you the skills to operate from a global perspective.

Monash Master of International Business
Learn more about Monash Business School
Specifically designed for recent graduates and those in the early stages of their career, this Monash Business School program will build on your undergraduate credentials and further strengthen your business skills.

The course develops expertise in communicating and negotiating across cultures, and will develop your capacity for advanced analysis of firm internationalisation, international trade, and corporate strategy.

As part of the course you can build your knowledge and extend your expertise in one of two areas:
  • International Business
  • Diplomacy and Trade

International Business

The specialisation investigates inter-disciplinary contemporary international business. You will be engaged with international management, law, finance, economics, marketing, and strategy, enabling analytical skills that can be applied in a variety of organisational settings. International business develops your strategic and operational international business knowledge and skills, particularly for the complexity of contemporary environments. The specialisation prepares you for international business roles across the corporate, governmental and non-profit sectors.

Diplomacy and Trade

Diplomacy and trade provides formal academic study across a range of disciplines relevant to the needs of organisations operating in the global environment. It provides high-level training in the fields of diplomacy, economics, law and contemporary politics. The s specialisation is aimed at recent graduates who hope to work in the public and private sectors, and those who presently work in these sectors, and wish to increase their understanding of the international environment. It is designed for graduates to work in the government sector, implementing and providing policy advice on foreign affairs, trade, and business-related issues. In the private domain, the course is designed for individuals who are operating, or looking to work, in an international capacity in both the corporate or not-for-profit sector.

Graduate opportunities

Graduates develop deep knowledge and analytical skills that can be applied in a variety of organisational settings including the corporate, governmental and non-profit sectors. Career opportunities are available in a range of private firms and multinational enterprises across the manufacturing and service, export and trade, travel and tourism, consulting and research sectors. Employment opportunities also arise in government departments and institutions, NGOs and international organisations.

Degree: Master of International Business
Location: Caulfield campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intakes: March and July
Duration: 2 years

JCU MBBS program “domains”

The JCU MBBS specializes in rural and remote medicine. The medical program is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.

JCU MBBS program
Find out more about the JCU MBBS program

The 6-year Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery is governed by “domains.” In the example of communication skills, students begin in Year 1 with basic patient interview techniques. In Year 2 in the Cardiovascular Medicine subject, students learn the basics of cardiovascular history taking. In the Rural, Remote, Indigenous and Tropical Medicine subject students learn about a patient interview with an Indigenous Australian. There is more practice in Years 3 and 4, and by Year 5, students are taking full medical histories and reporting these to colleagues. In Year 6, JCU MBBS students put these skills into practice while on their 8-week Rural Internship.

Applied Basic and Clinical Science
Includes the application to medical practice of the knowledge and understanding of anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, psychology and sociology.

Communication, Clinical, Critical Reasoning and Information Management Skills
Includes a range of thinking and manual skills.

The Health of Rural and Remote, Indigenous and Tropical Communities
Examples of community and population health that are important to the region James Cook University serves. This domain includes understanding health needs, illness prevention, health promotion and epidemiology.

Ethics, Personal and Professional Development
Includes demonstration of the attitudes and behaviours necessary for competent medical practice.

The health of Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples
The teaching about the health of Australia’s two groups of Indigenous peoples is of increasing importance in Australia as the nation attempts to Close the Gap between the health of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples and the rest of the population.

JCU Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the application deadline was Aug. 30, 2015.

Study bioinformatics at UQ

What is bioinformatics? Generally speaking, it’s the science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes. Bioinformatics involves the application of computer technology to manage and understand biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development.

Study bioinformatics at UQ
Study bioinformatics at UQ

Postgraduate study in bioinformatics at the University of Queensland will prepare students for a highly rewarding career in an industry that’s shaping the future of modern science. As it is a new and growing area, there is a world shortage of trained bioinformaticists and computational biologists.

Graduates can find employment in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research organisations and governments in roles such as
  • bioinformatician
  • biomedical computer scientist
  • biostatistician
  • clinical data manager
  • geneticist
  • medical writer/technical writer
  • research scientist
  • software/database programmer
UQ offers the following postgraduate program in bioinformatics, which will enable students to broaden and add computational analysis to their skill-set:

Program: Master of Bioinformatics
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 1.5 years
Application deadline: November 29

The Master of Bioinformatics (#24) is designed for biological sciences, computing and mathematics graduates who wish to increase their technical and research skills in core areas of bioinformatics, to update their knowledge of recent technologies and methodologies, and to obtain practical laboratory and computational skills through immersion in a research laboratory. The program enables candidates to develop and effectively use best bioinformatics practice to solve complex scientific problems. It will also provide a preparation for entry into a Research Higher Degree program.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

JCU veterinary researcher questions cobalt usage in horse racing

The use of cobalt in horse racing should be halted until the scientific evidence of its effects is established, a James Cook University veterinary researcher says.

JCU Veterinary School
JCU Prof Dr Robert Kinobe (photo: JCU)
Cobalt is an essential dietary trace element but the ability for it to serve as a potent performance-enhancing substance has been known for decades. It can dramatically increase the production of red blood cells in mammals, making them perform harder, faster and for longer periods of time.

In the past few years, many horse racing authorities have become concerned about the worldwide anecdotal use of cobalt as a doping agent because of its potential to cause severe toxicity of the thyroid gland and heart.

Last year, Racing Victoria established a threshold for cobalt at 200 micrograms per litre in urine and this standard has been adopted nationwide in Australia.

JCU’s Dr Robert Kinobe, senior lecturer of veterinary pharmacology, has published a peer-reviewed paper on cobalt, and the effects of excessive use of the element.

It is a world-first, comprehensive review of all studies into the use of cobalt in horse racing.

Based on his research findings, Dr Kinobe recently provided testimony at the Queensland Racing Tribunal in regard to excessive levels of cobalt found in some race horses.

“I understand the need to limit the use of cobalt in race horses, but whatever limits are set, no one can tell me 200 micrograms for sure is safe. Show me the data,” he said.

Dr Kinobe’s main findings were that it is unknown whether the limits authorities have established for the animals are safe, or actually do prevent the presumed doping effects.

Cobalt has been likened to the performance-enhancing drug erythropoietin (EPO) in humans, to aid endurance; however, the supplementation of animal diets with small quantities of cobalt for clinical conditions that affect the formation of blood components is not illegal.

Cobalt is commercially available in many different over-the-counter supplements, or as oral and injectable formulations.

“Different racing authorities are coming up with different levels, but no one knows for sure what is safe, from a scientific perspective,” he said.

Dr Kinobe’s studies show that with repeated administration, cobalt accumulates in horse tissues over time and raises concerns about whether a high reading is the result of one large dose, or many smaller doses over time.

“I’m arguing that the science around it needs to be established and what people should be doing to avoid reaching toxic levels.

“In the absence of that kind of concrete scientific evidence, I would suggest a more pragmatic approach of totally banning the use of cobalt in race horses until the science is resolved,” Dr Kinobe said.

About JCU Veterinary School

The JCU has offered the Bachelor of Veterinary Science program since 2006. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat and prevent disease in a wide range of animals including companion animals, farm animals, aquatic species and native fauna. In addition, students will acquire a thorough knowledge of animal production systems, particularly tropical animal husbandry and aquaculture.

The veterinary science program offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities in a new veterinary emergency and referral clinic on the Townsville campus and a specialist large-animal treatment facility on the tablelands, which provide clinical experience and training for final-year students.

Griffith tackles the racism problem in multicultural society

Combatting racism within a multicultural society is the focus of new Griffith University research.
The large-scale project is led by Dr Fiona Kate Barlow from the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, following the award of a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council valued at just over $800,000.

Griffith University research
Study at Griffith University, Queensland

One of only 50 Future Fellowships awarded to scientists nationally, the research will see Dr Barlow drawing on established social psychological theories of prejudice, aiming to combat racism by ascertaining how it is maintained and how its damaging consequences can be diminished.

“Racism is a pervasive problem worldwide, and its harmful effects on the health of those facing it are estimated to cost Australia billions of dollars a year,” says Dr Barlow.

The project plans to investigate how small negative interracial interactions can perpetuate racial hostility and segregation; how negative interracial interactions might lead to extremist identification and sympathies; and how prejudice and discrimination develops between different minority groups.

It also plans to investigate how small positive intergroup interactions might reduce racism, as well as promoting well-being and health.

“There has no doubt been an incredible process of positive steps taken in challenging racism over the past few decades, however it still remains a huge problem in society,” says Dr Barlow.

“For example, there is still much evidence to suggest that racism affects people in terms of access to education, employment and even housing.

“This is to say nothing of the physical and emotional toll that exposure to racism takes.

“The aim is that the study’s outcomes may lead to solutions that promote social cohesion in Australia.”

Menzies Health Institute Queensland

Griffith University has partnered with the Menzies Foundation to form the fourth Australian Menzies health research institute.

The new Menzies Health Institute Queensland brings together more than 750 researchers working across a diverse range of areas such as
  • cancer
  • infectious diseases
  • chronic diseases
  • childhood illnesses
  • allied health
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • psychological health
  • ageing
Building on Griffith University’s strong local and international research networks, this significant new institute will deliver outstanding research in biomedical sciences and social health, and drive national leadership in allied health research.

Sydney Nursing School gets new clinical simulation lab

Sydney Nursing School’s new clinical simulation lab is in the final stage of completion in time for the first cohort of Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) students beginning in semester 1.

University of Sydney Nursing School
Study at the Sydney Nursing School

The lab will be the practical learning hub for over 30 students enrolled in the graduate-entry course, based at the University of Sydney Westmead campus.

Nursing students undertake more than 800 hours of clinical practice, in addition to professional learning and lectures at the Westmead precinct during the two-year course.

“In the clinical simulation lab, students will have the opportunity to learn a range of clinical skills such as hand decontamination, wound dressings, catheterisation, medication administration and intravenous therapy,” said Dr Jacqueline Bloomfield, Associate Dean (Education) Sydney Nursing School.

“Students are supervised in the lab, but are also encouraged to engage in independent learning through practice sessions.”

The clinical simulation lab is part of the university’s commitment to promoting health education and research in Western Sydney.

“The Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry have been at Westmead for over 25 years. It’s really exciting that nursing can now join our colleagues in exploring multidisciplinary approaches to improving health and health care at this precinct,” said Sydney Nursing School Dean Donna Waters.

“The cohort of nursing students studying at Westmead will be offered the same world-class teaching as that already offered at Sydney Nursing School’s Mallet Street campus.”

The new students will be welcomed to the Westmead Precinct during an official launch on Wednesday, March 2. University of Sydney Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence will address staff and students and officially open the clinical simulation space.

University of Sydney Nursing School

Studying at the Sydney Nursing School provides students access to teaching and research across all the health professions in an academically rigorous yet stimulating and supportive environment. Learning from world experts and studying alongside students from other health professions gives Sydney nursing students unique educational perspectives and inter-disciplinary practice experiences, appropriately preparing them for the complexities, challenges and rewards of health care.

Program: Master of Nursing
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the application deadline was October 2, 2015.

Entry Requirements
A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Nursing
  • will hold a bachelor degree in a discipline other than nursing; and
  • will perform satisfactorily in an interview; and
  • will perform satisfactorily on an admissions test.
Applicants who successfully meet the admission criteria will receive a conditional offer and an invitation to undertake an interview and literacy and numeracy tests. Literacy and numeracy tests for international students will be undertaken online and interviews will be held via Skype.

Griffith technology set to personalise tendon and tissue injury rehab

A revolution in the treatment and rehabilitation of muscle/tendon injuries is on its way with the development of a ground-breaking new intelligent technology developed at Griffith University and the University of Auckland.

Called iTraining, the biomedically engineered system works in real time to provide feedback on the stresses and strains that affect a specific muscle or tendon, either following injury or in the prevention of injury.

Following the award of a grant of nearly $1m from Australian Research Council and industry partners, Professor David Lloyd, from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, and other colleagues are now preparing to undertake a large three-part study that will focus on the Achilles tendon.

“Currently the mechanical environment of the Achilles tendon is poorly understood because of difficulties associated with directly measuring the stresses and strains experienced throughout the tendon in daily activities. If these issues can be overcome, it will be possible to identify the loading conditions required to facilitate favourable structural and mechanical adaption of healthy, as well as injured or diseased Achilles tendons,” says Professor Lloyd.

Potential to radically transform

“The technology to achieve this goal is now within reach and has the potential to radically transform the way athletic training and rehabilitation programs for the Achilles tendon are designed and monitored.

“The approach will allow the trainer to identify an individual’s optimal loading conditions for positive structural and mechanical adaption of their Achilles tendon, by using methods that integrate the necessary technologies to measure stress-strain of the tendon in real time,” the Griffith University professor said.

The study will be broken into three parts: Part A will aim to determine the optimal loading conditions required to alter the structural, mechanical and biochemical properties of the Achilles tendon; Part B will be to develop the iTraining system which will entail participants wearing next generation wearable sensors coupled with computer models, to provide real-time biofeedback of the tendon’s mechanical behaviour; Part C will determine the efficacy of an iTraining program to alter the structural properties of the human Achilles tendon.

Professor Lloyd says the iTraining approach will be likely to have broad application to other tendons and musculoskeletal tissues within the body.

“This new ‘intelligent’ approach to training and rehabilitation is at the forefront of modern developments in biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, sports science and sports medicine.

“iTraining has the potential to radically transform the practice of exercise prescription across the full spectrum from elite performance to rehabilitation of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions,” he says.

“A key feature of this approach is that feedback is subject specific and therefore consistent with the concept of the ‘quantitative’ self and the trend in science and practice is of course, to move towards models of personalised medicine and rehabilitation.”

Professor Lloyd says he envisages that the technology could be available in public gyms and physiotherapy practices in as little as four years.

This technology is being developed in conjunction with research partners including University of Auckland, University of Western Australia, La Trobe University, Noraxon (USA), Wearable wireless sensors and system, Orthocell (Australia), Regenerative Medicine Phillips Health Care Australia and Medical Imaging.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

OzTREKK student heading to Cape York for JCU Dentistry placement

Former OzTREKK student David Osborne is in his fifth year at JCU Dentistry and he is about to fly to Cape York on a 20-week clinical dentistry placement at Weipa Hospital! Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland and is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia and one of the last remaining wilderness areas on Earth.

JCU Dental School
Former OzTREKK student and current JCU dentistry student David Osborne

“When I was first given my placement it was quite a shock, but after talking to a few people who had previously been there I discovered that there are a heap of professional development opportunities at Cape York that I won’t get anywhere else. I’m also the only student going, so I’ll receive one-on-one supervision with a dentistry mentor.

“Being so remote, I’ll be seeing and experiencing a lot more than in a major city, and building my professional skills will make me more independent. I’m also really looking forward to being outdoors and fishing whilst I’m there.” David said.

JCU and all of us at OzTREKK wish David the best of luck on his exciting journey!

About the JCU Dental School Dentistry Program

The dentistry program at James Cook University is a five-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. It is a broad-based program which includes all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the application deadline was August 31, 2015

Entry Requirements
  • In your high school studies – minimum 92% in top Grade 12 subjects
  • In your university studies – minimum 80% cumulative average
  • Completed subjects (at a minimum of the high school level) in English, Math and Chemistry. Biology is desirable.
Entry is directly from high school. The majority of students who commence JCU’s dental program have just completed their high school diploma. Students may also transfer into the program during their undergraduate degree or at the completion of their undergraduate degree.

JCU studies sea turtle bycatch

A James Cook University study has called for a change in the way we manage bycatch—the capture of species not targeted—to better monitor the unintentional catching of sea turtles by commercial fishers.

JCU marine science
Turtle on the Great Barrier Reef. (C) Matt Curnock

JCU’s Kimberly Riskas led a project that examined more than 10 years of records on turtle bycatch.

“Turtle habitat often spans multiple management jurisdictions. But most fisheries management agencies will monitor bycatch within a single fishery or a single year, without adding records together to determine how many turtles are being caught in total,” she said.

Ms Riskas said the findings show a need for bycatch records to be pooled across fisheries and states, as well as over time, to better measure the effect on turtles.

She said the number of turtles caught in a single fishery or year may not seem to be a cause for concern, but even low levels might place pressure on a species when considered across fisheries and over multiple years.

Ms Riskas said the existing approach to managing turtle bycatch does not go far enough to protect turtles.

“Our results show how important it is for management agencies to take the next step in their reporting and analysis protocols. It is essential to analyse bycatch at the population scale and across fisheries; otherwise, we’re missing the bigger picture of how bycatch affects long-lived species.”

She said a possible solution would be a central database for reporting and collecting bycatch data, which would allow the identification of areas of concern.

“On a global scale, bycatch is one of the most serious threats to the survival of sea turtles, and the more we can combine our monitoring and mitigation efforts, the greater the chance that we can improve the situation before it’s too late.”

About Marine Biology at JCU

The JCU School of Marine and Tropical Biology is the first university in Australia to offer specialized training in marine biology. It has earned an international reputation for excellence in both teaching and research and takes a field-oriented, hands-on approach to its teaching and research endeavours.

The school’s location in the tropics allows students and research staff ready access to a wide variety of tropical marine systems including coral reefs, tropical estuaries, mangrove habitats and seagrass beds. Links between JCU’s research and teaching programs ensure that students are at the cutting edge of marine research.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor and President reappointed

The University of Newcastle’s Chancellor, Mr Paul Jeans, is pleased to announce that the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Caroline McMillen, has been reappointed until October 2019.

Sydney Dental School
Caroline McMillen (Photo: UON)
The UON Chancellor said the reappointment was an important step in continuing the momentum built in recent years under Professor McMillen’s leadership.

“Caroline’s vision and determination has seen the University’s identity grow as a world-class institution and has firmly marked UON as a leader in equity, indigenous education, regional transformation and global research,” said Mr Jeans.

“With a degree of uncertainty facing the Higher Education sector, it is important for the university to continue to build on the strong foundation of the last 50 years, while driving a bold and inspiring future for our regions and beyond.”

“We have a strong decadal strategic plan, New Futures, and under Caroline’s leadership and guidance, our focus is on delivering the outcomes to ensure the long term success and sustainability of the University of Newcastle.”

“The University of Newcastle will continue its commitment to equity, great teaching and learning, to produce work-ready graduates, innovators and entrepreneurs, together with leading edge research and innovation which will enhance the economic and social well-being of the communities we serve. We will also continue to expand our international outreach in both education and research.”

The University of Newcastle’s Vice-Chancellor and President said she was proud to have led one of the country’s top-ranked research-intensive universities and was committed to realising the university’s 2025 vision.

“We have a clearly defined vision which builds on our remarkable DNA and on our role as a global leader. UON is distinguished by our commitment to equity and excellence and the creation of a better future for our regions through world-class innovation and impact,” said Professor McMillen.

“There are challenging times ahead and UON has a vital role to play in transforming the future of our regions, Australia and the world.”

UQ School of Pharmacy student placements

The UQ School of Pharmacy Bachelor of Pharmacy program prepares graduates for the contemporary role of the pharmacist in society, ensuring that patients optimize medication usage. Initial courses on chemical, physical and biological studies lead to professional specialties in later years. Practical and clinical science studies begin in first year, providing students with a strong background in professional practice.

UQ School of Pharmacy
Learn more about the UQ School of Pharmacy
Experiential placements in the pharmacy program are viewed as valuable, integral and essential for the attainment of a pharmacy degree. During the four years of the undergraduate degree, these experiential placements may be in community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry or other related health-care sites as required by the teaching and learning requirements of the pharmacy program curriculum.

Preceptors are a vital link between the UQ School of Pharmacy and the pharmacy profession. The input of preceptors into the course is greatly valued.

The UQ School of Pharmacy has developed the following set of guidelines to clarify the role of Preceptors and Students:

1. All placements which involve professional pharmacy must be supervised by a registered pharmacist:
  • the preceptor is considered to be a professional role model who will guide and encourage the student to apply the principles of best pharmacy practice
  • a preceptor should provide appropriate and lawful supervision of the student
  • a preceptor must be regularly available to oversee the student
  • it is acceptable for the student to have more than one preceptor supervising their placement
  • customers should not be misled that the student is a registered pharmacist
2. During the 4 years of the undergraduate course, students should experience all facets of community pharmacy:
  • In year 1, the student may take a purely observational role and may include learning about and participating in the duties of all pharmacy staff
  • In later years, they should be given opportunities to practice their pharmaceutical skills and knowledge
  • The preceptor should assist the student in the integration of theory with practice noting the student’s current level of theoretical knowledge
  • This should include supervised interaction with pharmacy customers
  • The student may be encouraged to research any questions during their placement
3. For each placement the preceptor should ensure
  • the student is orientated to any specific expectations that the preceptor (e.g., expected hours, dress requirements) may have in addition to those stipulated in the Placement Guidelines for Pharmacy Students
  • they verify that the student attends their regular placement
  • they complete and return the assessment forms
    (the feedback from preceptors is important for evaluating the student’s professional development and improving the placement programs)
  • confidentiality with regard to the student’s personal details is maintained
  • they notify the placements officer or academic supervisor of any issues or problems
4. The student must NOT receive any remuneration for their placement:
  • This would undermine the flexibility of the learning experience
  • Remuneration invalidates any University of Queensland insurance cover
  • Students do not have professional liability insurance

Monday, February 22, 2016

Melbourne diabetes researchers warn Paleo diet may increase weight gain

A new study has revealed following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for just eight weeks can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications.

The surprise finding, detailed in a paper in Nature journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has prompted University of Melbourne researchers to issue a warning about putting faith in so-called fad diets with little or no scientific evidence.

University of Melbourne Medical School
Add caption
Lead author Associate Prof Sof Andrikopoulos says this type of diet, exemplified in many forms of the popular Paleo diet, is not recommended, particularly for people who are already overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles.

He says mass media hype around these diets, particularly driven by celebrity chefs, celebrity weight-loss stories in the tabloid media and reality TV shows, are leading to more people trying fad diets backed by little evidence. In people with pre-diabetes or diabetes, the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet could be particularly risky, he said.

“Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are becoming more popular, but there is no scientific evidence that these diets work. In fact, if you put an inactive individual on this type of diet, the chances are that person will gain weight,” Assoc Prof Andrikopoulos, who is a researcher at the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, based at the Austin Hospital.

“There is a very important public health message here. You need to be very careful with fad diets, always seek professional advice for weight management and aim for diets backed by evidence.”

Researchers at the University of Melbourne originally sought to test whether high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods would benefit the health of people with pre-diabetes.

They took two groups of overweight mice with pre-diabetes symptoms and put one group on the LCHF diet. The other group ate their normal diet. The mice were switched from a three per cent fat diet to a 60 per cent fat diet. Their carbs were reduced to only 20 per cent.

The researchers used mice for the study, because their genetic, biological and behavioural characteristics closely resemble those of humans.

After eight weeks, the group on the LCHF gained more weight, their glucose intolerance worsened, and their insulin levels rose. The paleo diet group gained 15 per cent of their body weight. Their fat mass doubled from 2 per cent to almost 4 per cent.

“To put that in perspective, for a 100 kilogram person, that’s the equivalent of 15 kilograms in two months. That’s extreme weight gain,” Assoc Prof Andrikopoulos said.

“This level of weight gain will increase blood pressure and increase your risk of anxiety and depression and may cause bone issues and arthritis.

“For someone who is already overweight, this diet would only further increase blood sugar and insulin levels and could actually pre-dispose them to diabetes.

“We are told to eat zero carbs and lots of fat on the Paleo diet. Our model tried to mimic that, but we didn’t see any improvements in weight or symptoms. In fact, they got worse. The bottom line is it’s not good to eat too much fat.”

Prof Andrikopoulos says the Mediterranean diet is the best for people with pre-diabetes or diabetes.

“It’s backed by evidence and is a low-refined sugar diet with healthy oils and fats from fish and extra virgin olive oil, legumes and protein.”

Radiology lab at Macquarie Chiropractic School

The Radiographic Positioning laboratory within the Macquarie University Chiropractic School contains actual X-ray equipment that allows the student to simulate radiographic positioning and image capture without exposing students to ionizing radiation.

 Macquarie Chiropractic School
Study chiropractic science at Macquarie University

Students simulate radiographic procedures both from the patient’s perspective and also from the operator’s perspective on one of four different X-ray machines.

Once they have established competencies in radiographic positioning, Macquarie chiropractic students move into the Outpatient Clinics where, under supervision, they assist in the taking of patient radiographs.

The Radiographic Learning laboratory also provides an X-ray reading library with viewing stations so that students may improve their diagnostic skills and report writing. The laboratory contains more than 1,200 pathological cases that allow students to develop further pattern recognition and problem solving.

All Outpatient’s Clinics are equipped with modern high-frequency X-ray facilities. The X-ray Unit at the Epping Clinic also contains teaching facilities for 15 students at a time to receive practical training in spinal and peripheral radiography as well as darkroom experience.

Bachelor of Chiropractic

Program: Bachelor of Chiropractic Science
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Master of Chiropractic

Program: Master of Chiropractic
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 – 3 years (dependent upon candidate’s background)
Application deadline: Rolling admissions

Materials Science and Engineering at Monash University

The ability to understand and manipulate materials and their properties is a key factor in any industrial process or technology, new or old. Increasingly nanotechnology, sustainable materials and biomaterials are becoming important areas of endeavor. Because of the enabling aspect of Materials Science and Engineering, and the multidisciplinary nature of the skills learned, Monash Engineering School graduates are much in demand in many industrial organisations. Many also go into research, be it in academia, industrial laboratories or government research organisations.

Materials engineers make a unique contribution to the design of new devices, products or components, and they make existing ones work better by improving or altering the properties of the materials involved.

Materials engineers also work as metallurgists, plastics engineers, ceramists, adhesive scientists, process and quality control engineers and corrosion or fracture engineers. They work in a range of industrial activities, including manufacturing, processing and recycling, and select and design materials for
  • aerospace vehicles;
  • ground transportation systems;
  • automotive industry;
  • solar energy and battery devices;
  • biomedical implants and opthalmic devices;
  • tissue engineering and drug delivery;
  • information and communication systems;
  • electronic and magnetic devices; and
  • optical and opto-electronic components.
The ability to actually engineer, or create, materials to meet specific needs is only just being realised. Improved processing and characterisation equipment such as the Australian synchrotron, mean the possibilities are endless, and key to almost all advances in aspects of manufacturing and engineering.

Careers in materials science and engineering

The expertise of materials engineers is required in many areas:
  • Conservation of energy and recycling
  • New biomaterials to image disease and heal the body
  • Novel electro-optic polymers that allow greater amounts of information storage
  • Lightweight metal alloys in cars to conserve energy
  • New magnetic materials
  • Materials for energy storage such as fuel cells
  • Functional materials made on the nano scale to reduce costly corrosion
The result for materials engineering graduates is overwhelmingly positive as unprecedented job opportunities continue to outstrip supply.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sydney innocence project reviews claims of wrongful conviction

A new innocence project at the University of Sydney will combine forensic psychology with legal expertise to investigate claims of wrongful conviction.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students in psychology and law can now apply to be supervised to review cases for individuals who have cleared a rigorous application process to have their conviction assessed.

Sydney Law School
Dr Celine Van Golde (Photo credit: University of Sydney)
Not Guilty: The Sydney Exoneration Project ultimately seeks social justice for those in need,” said Dr Celine Van Golde, its founder and director.

“Research shows eyewitness misidentification is by far the key cause of wrongful convictions, while other contributing factors can include false memories, false confessions, and laboratory error. The Sydney Exoneration Project applies forensic psychological research into memory and testimony to investigate these issues,” said Dr Van Golde.

In the United States researchers estimate between 0.5 to five per cent of American convictions are recorded against innocent individuals; however, there is currently no reliable national data on the prevalence of wrongful convictions across Australia. Without an independent body mandated with powers and resources to investigate wrongful convictions, they can be difficult to identify.

“Wrongful convictions happen in this country. But without any real mechanism to identify and address them, Australian legal systems are left without a clear picture and means of amending miscarriages of justice,” said Sydney Law School Associate Professor of Evidence and Proof and Sydney Exoneration Project supervisor, David Hamer.

In Britain, an independent Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has the power to send or refer a case to an appeal court, if it determines a real possibility of a quashed conviction or reduced sentence. The CCRC’s work leads to the overturning of approximately 20 miscarriages of justice a year.

Between 2007 and 2014, NSW had a DNA review panel, which failed to correct a single miscarriage of justice.

But it operated on a far more limited basis than the CCRC; it only considered the most serious cases and could only act where there still existed evidence capable of producing a DNA profile which would clear the defendant.

Sydney Law School
Sydney Law School AP David Hamer (Photo credit: University of Sydney)
“There is a clear need in Australia for bodies like the CCRC with proper powers and resources to conduct investigations into possible wrongful convictions across the board. In the absence of a proper government body, innocence projects must attempt to fill the gap,” said Associate Professor Hamer.

The Sydney Exoneration Project will consider cases where no DNA evidence is available, but where other evidence, such as eyewitness error and false confessions, can verify a person’s innocence.

The project, which begins in March, will de-identify cases to protect victims and will publish its findings in scholarly journals.

Research into the outcomes of long-term incarceration on innocent individuals has identified negative health effects such as PTSD, depression and alcohol and substance dependence.
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Study law at the University of Sydney Law School

Sydney Law School is Australia’s first. Since its inception, it has been at the forefront of developments associated with both the teaching and research of law. Its strong sense of commitment to the fundamentals of law is combined with a commitment to innovation and the exploration of issues at the cutting edge.

The Sydney JD comprises the core legal subjects required throughout the world for professional accreditation coupled with the study of a wide range of elective subjects which allows advanced learning in both specialized fields and law in general. Teaching and learning methodology includes a wide range of formats to allow individual choice, a deep understanding of the law, independent research and the development of the skills and ethics inherent in modern professional practice.

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Semester intake: March
Application deadline: It is recommended that students apply a minimum of three months prior to the program start date.

To be eligible to apply to the Sydney Law School JD, you must have the following:
  • Completed an undergraduate degree;
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average (cGPA) of at least 3.0/4.0

UQ occupational therapy and speech pathology application deadline

Are you thinking of applying to the UQ occupational therapy program or to the UQ speech pathology program? The application deadline of Thursday, February 25, 2016 is quickly approaching!

UQ occupational therapy and speech pathology
Study occupational therapy and speech pathology at UQ

UQ Occupational Therapy program

The UQ occupational therapy program program equips graduate-entry students with the theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes necessary for a career in occupational therapy.  In addition to a focus on clinical occupational therapy practice, emphasis is placed on the use of prior skills and knowledge to enhance the effectiveness of occupational therapy practice; and the development of advanced adult learning skills for ongoing professional development.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next semester intake: July 2016
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: February 25, 2016

UQ Speech Pathology program

The UQ speech pathology program is an accelerated program for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree. The program 2.5 years in length and will prepare graduates for a career in speech path across any of the diverse areas in which speech pathologists practice, such as education, health or private practice.

Program: Master of Speech Pathology Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next Semester intake: July 2016
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: February 25, 2016

Don’t forget: If you have a second program preference at the University of Queensland, particularly the Master of Occupational Therapy Studies, Master of Physiotherapy Studies, Master of Speech Pathology Studies,or the Master of Audiology Studies program, please ensure that you list this as a second preference in the “Program of study” section of your UQ International Student Application for Graduate Coursework Studies application form. If you are not eligible for your first program preference or are not competitive, this will ensure that the university will automatically assess you for your second program preference!

UQ School of Veterinary Science knows even snakes get spinal aches

Even animals that spend all day on their front can have back problems, as the University of Queensland Small Animal Hospital avian and exotics team knows all too well.

UQ Veterinary School
Proserpine carpet snake on the assessment table (Photo: University of Queensland)

The team, part of the UQ School of Veterinary Science, treated an eight-foot-long Proserpine carpet python for spinal pain earlier this month.

Associate Professor Dr Bob Doneley said the snake was longer than the X-ray table, and required special treatment for assessment.

“Snakes have between 300 and 400 vertebrae, each with a pair of ribs attached,” he said.

And though non-venomous, the Proserpine snake could still wind tightly around a human and her bite could still pack a punch.

“It was a matter of anaesthetising her and then using a plastic tube to keep her back straight while we took the X-rays,” Dr Doneley said.

“One vertebrae in her spine was starting to dissolve and we haven’t ruled out an infection.”

The team put the snake on painkillers and antibiotics, and will check her progress in six months.

“Nothing happens in reptiles in a hurry,” Dr Doneley said.

Gary Fitzgerald, the clinic’s head nurse, is the owner of the snake. A keen herpetologist, Mr Fitzgerald has kept reptiles since he was a small boy and, with his training as a veterinary technician, he is alert to any signs of problems.

“He noticed this snake was becoming a bit more aggressive than usual, and also that when it was moving, it was keeping part of its back very straight,” Dr Doneley said.

UQ Veterinary School
X-raying an eight-foot-long Proserpine carpet snake (Photo: University of Queensland)

“It would take an experienced reptile vet and keeper to notice this problem. So we examined the snake and pressed along its back and it reacted as if in pain.”

There’s an art to anaesthetising snakes, as the blood vessels cannot be seen through the skin and if you hit a muscle instead of a vein, the anaesthetic may not work.

“You’ve got to know where the veins are, then they take a minute or two to go to sleep and we put them on an anaesthetic machine using a ventilator.”

The clinic sees about 1,000 wildlife cases a year, offering a variety of cases for UQ veterinary students to learn about treating and caring for wildlife.

“I always get a buzz when someone tells me they have released something,” Dr Doneley said.

“This job is rewarding on so many levels. Teaching university students to look after these animals is the best part of this job.

“What they learn here, they won’t learn in a private practice where the focus is more on domestic animals. This is a huge opportunity to learn about disease, medicine, surgery and general care of birds, reptiles, small animals and wildlife cases.

“The skills they learn now will help students to help them and similar species in future, which is particularly important if they become endangered.”

The UQ Veterinary School does not receive government funding for wildlife care so it relies on community support through the Wildlife Emergency Care Fund.

“We are always grateful for donations to care for our native animals,” Dr Doneley said.

Did you know that the UQ School of Veterinary Science is ranked #22 in the world and #2 in Australia?*

UQ Veterinary School’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science Honours program

The vet program at the UQ Veterinary School is one of the most sought after in Australia, attracting the very best students and producing veterinarians that are in high demand, both domestically and internationally. The university’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science provides the broadest base in the biological sciences of any undergraduate course and provides a very wide range of career options as well as its professional qualifications, enabling graduates to practice veterinary medicine and surgery.

Program: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
Location: Gatton, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: UQ Veterinary School has a general application deadline of November 30; however, late applications may be accepted. Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015

Gain extensive practical experience at Griffith Dentistry

Completing a Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science and Griffith Dental School’s two-year Graduate Diploma of Dentistry program provides the education and skills you need to apply for registration as a dentist. The Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science offers a new, innovative curriculum where students will receive real clinical exposure from the first year of study, and will work alongside oral health professionals who are world experts in their field.

Griffith dentistry
Learn more about Griffith Dental School

The Clinical Skills Centre is a purpose-built learning environment where students can practice medical clinical skills in a safe and controlled setting. Griffith dentistry students will use this centre for learning basic medical clinical skills to understand the human body and examination of different systems through structured workshops.

From your first year of study, you’ll be ready to apply learned skills and develop valuable contacts by taking community placements in a range of locations including
  • state schools
  • hospitals
  • aged care facilities
  • rural and remote areas
  • Indigenous communities
  • International destinations

Griffith Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science/Graduate Diploma of Dentistry

Program: Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science & Graduate Diploma of Dentistry
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the application deadline was September 30, 2015.

Entry Requirements
To be eligible to apply to Griffith Dentistry’s Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science, applicants must have
  • academic achievement in year 12 or equivalent with one of biological science, chemistry, physics, or maths B;
  • demonstration of English proficiency.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

UQ psychology research: Flipping Fifty Shades eroticises equality

Christine Grey would have been just as sexy as Christian Grey as the lead character in Fifty Shades of Grey – and resulted in less ambivalence about rape.

In a study of almost 500 people, UQ School of Psychology researcher Emily Harris has found that equality can be just as erotic as dominance and that stories depicting male dominance can impact negatively.

UQ psychology
UQ School of Psychology researcher Emily Harris (Photo credit: UQ)

“Our research shows that reading about a sexually submissive woman may increase the acceptance of rape myths among men,” Ms Harris said.

“Reading about a fictional woman who enjoys sexual submission may lead to the false belief that women may enjoy rape.

“Furthermore, we found that men and women were equally sexually aroused by a story depicting a dominant man and an erotic story in which the man was not dominant.”

In the Fifty Shades Flipped study, UQ School of Psychology PhD student Ms Harris and co-authors Michael Thai and Dr Fiona Barlow (Griffith University) gave 481 participants one of four different stories to read before monitoring responses.

One story centred on male dominance, one on female dominance, one on a man and woman of equal sexual standing, and one story that was completely non-erotic.

Ms Harris said the research provided some encouraging results towards possible treatment of sexual disorders.

“The finding that all three erotic stories were equally arousing may have important implications for sex therapy,” Ms Harris said.

“Past research has shown that the more a woman associates sex with submission, the less sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction she feels. This emphasises the need to ‘eroticise equality.’

“Our findings provide promising evidence that a focus away from female submission does not mean a decrease in sexual arousal.

“The stories describing female dominance or no dominance were equally arousing and less likely to perpetuate the belief in women that sex and submission are necessarily linked.

“What we read does impact how we view the world, so it can be very dangerous if we only read one highly gendered type of narrative. Just like our sex lives, our erotic fantasies need more variety.”

Ms Harris said she was interested to test the effects of popular erotica in non-heterosexual contexts.

Macquarie DPT application deadline Feb. 25

Applications for the July 2016 intake of the Macquarie University Doctor of Physiotherapy program are still open! Please note applications will close Thursday, February 25, 2016.

Applicants are reminded to submit a list of completed prerequisite and desired units and their descriptors using the Doctor of Physiotherapy Supplementary Information Form.

About Macquarie’s Doctor of Physiotherapy Program Macquarie University is home to the first Doctor of Physiotherapy program in New South Wales. Students will graduate with advanced clinical skills developed in more than 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice. And with business, management and leadership training, you’ll be ready launch a fulfilling career as a physiotherapist in a variety of settings.

Learning within state-of-the-art purpose-built facilities, Macquarie DPT students collaborate with leading researchers and respected clinicians in Macquarie University Hospital and the university’s other clinical partners to promote the health and well-being across the lifespan.

Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: July 2016
Application deadline: February 25, 2016

Entry requirements
1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree with about a 65% average or above. This is the minimum academic standing needed to apply and does not guarantee admission. The starting point to a competitive average would be at least a 70% cumulative average or higher; however, competitiveness changes each year depending on the quality and quantity of each year’s applicants.

2. Prerequisite courses in the following areas:
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology (Cell and Systems)
  • Psychology
  • Research Methods
The courses in the following subject areas are desired, yet not mandatory:
  • Biomechanics
  • Pharmacology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Motor learning and performance
  • Neuroscience
Selection Process
Once entry requirements for each candidate have been met the following processes occurs:
  • Candidates will be ranked on their academic merit based on their highest GPA for any tertiary qualification.
  • Secondary level of consideration will be given to students who have completed desired tertiary units of study.
  • The highest ranked candidates will be offered a place.

Portable unit to aid desalination energy project

Griffith University’s Dr Fernanda Helfer is capitalising on a major national award to further her research into the viability of a renewable energy derived from the desalination process.

Griffith Engineering School
Dr Fernanda Helfer, from Griffith’s School of Engineering (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Dr Helfer, from the Griffith School of Engineering, is the recipient of a $47,000 AMP Foundation Tomorrow Maker Award and has joined Queensland University of Technology’s Professor Graeme Millar to lead a project studying the potential of pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) in Australia.

PRO technology comprises a semi-permeable membrane that separates water flows with different salt contents. Through osmosis, the less concentration solution flows to the high concentration side to equalise the osmotic pressure on both sides.

This creates a solution that, once depressurised via a turbine, produces a renewable electrical energy.

PRO-assisted desalination is considered a promising alternative for the desalination industry worldwide, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and allowing minimisation of environmental impacts caused by the discharge of concentrated brine into the sea.

Dr Helfer and Professor Millar plan to build a portable laboratory unit integrating PRO with reverse osmosis (RO) desalination. It will be available for ongoing experiments and analysis.

“We are currently working on a joint research paper featuring several scenarios around the application of PRO-generated power in Australia,” says Dr Helfer.

“We are meeting in March to discuss the design and suppliers of components for the portable PRO unit. Hopefully, it will be built and operational by later this year.”

An important aspect of the project will be a study into the efficacy of using wastewater effluent and brine from desalination plants as a source of energy.

While scientists agree that technical and economic improvements are required to ensure the commercial viability and credibility of PRO membrane technology, Dr Helfer believes this new research will confirm its potential, particularly regarding environmental benefits.

“There is potential for this technology to be used in the mining industry, as it produces a lot of high salinity water which makes it problematic for beneficial use,” she says.

“The PRO process can be used to dilute this water and minimise the impact on the environment when it is disposed.

“PRO is also a potential source of energy for remote and island communities where freshwater is at a premium.”

Last year Dr Helfer co-authored a paper that identified Australia as ideal for the construction of PRO plants linked to desalination plants.

Griffith Postgraduate Engineering Scholarships

For: High-performing international students applying for engineering postgraduate coursework studies at Griffith University
Available to: Commencing postgraduate coursework engineering students in Semester 2, 2016.
Level of study: Postgraduate
Citizenship: Citizen of a country other than Australia or New Zealand
Award value and benefits: Up to $6,000 in total for two-year postgraduate coursework engineering programs (four tuition payments of $1,500 over four semesters). Up to $4,500 in total for one-and-half-year postgraduate coursework engineering programs (three tuition payments of $1,500 over three semesters). GPA conditions apply.
Programs of study: All engineering postgraduate coursework programs (excluding online, non-award, offshore delivery)