Current Innovations

28 Feb 2014
UNSW Australia

Genes encode proteins, which are the machinery of life. All life forms make proteins that contain strong bonds between pairs of cysteine amino acids called disulphide bonds. Most disulphide bonds stabilize a proteins structure. A minor population of disulphide bonds serves a functional role. Philip Hogg and his team at UNSW have shown that some disulphide bonds have evolved to control how proteins work by breaking or forming in a precise way. He has called these bonds "allosteric disulphides". Application of this basic research has led to the development of a novel class of cancer drugs and a...

28 Feb 2014
The University of Melbourne
Professor John Hamilton and Professor Gary Anderson

In early 2008 a discovery by University of Melbourne researchers exploring mechanisms to halt inflammatory diseases resulted in the striking of an exclusive licence agreement with leading European biotechnology company MorphoSys AG. The drug in development by MorphoSys has the potential to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. The research was led by Professor John Hamilton and Professor Gary Anderson of the University’s Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the...

21 Feb 2014
The University of Melbourne

In a normal hearing individual, there are some 15,000 hair cells lining the cochlear, stimulated by movement from sound waves; and up to 50,000 spiral ganglion cells (neural cells) that translate this information to the brain. A cochlear implant recipient has a specialised electrode array located within their cochlea. This array uses only 22 electrodes to bypass the failed hair cells and stimulate the remaining spiral ganglion cells in the cochlear - an incredible feat. This 'electro-neural interface' is one of the bottlenecks surrounding the provision of hearing for those with a cochlear...