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Why do parmesan and cheddar cheese crumble differently? And how much more cheese could manufacturers produce if they could predict and control the texture of cheese during its manufacture?

Dr Sally Gras, from the University of Melbourne’s school of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, is one step closer to answering these questions after being named a recipient of this year’s Victorian Fellowship Award. Dr Gras will travel to Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe with her $18,000 Fellowship and visit dairy-based industrial and research centres to learn about their product microstructure and functional food research.

“There is a lot we don’t know about the intermediate stages of cheese making, and I hope my team’s research will help build Victoria’s capability in cheese production to ensure it remains internationally competitive by boosting quality and decreasing waste,” she says.

Dr Gras’ research will focus on how raw ingredients such as milk proteins, fat globules and starter bacteria are transformed to make cheese and how these ingredients, together with the cheese making process, determines cheese texture.

“Cheese texture is quite important for consumers as it determines the taste and feel of the cheese within our mouth. Cheese texture is also important for manufacturers who would like to consistently produce a cheese product with the same texture and increase yield,” she says.

“Our research, which will help manufacturers predict and control cheese texture, is likely to have a big impact on cheese manufacturing and the dairy industry. Up to $5 million dollars may be realised from increased sales with just an increase of 0.5 per cent yield (resulting in 2,000 tones more cheese per year).  This will strengthen the dairy industry, improve exports and help the Australian economy."

Australia’s only certified specialist veterinary  neurologist and neurosurgeon practicing in Australia Dr Sam Long will remove a brain tumour from family pet, Ruby tomorrow, Tuesday 4 August, at 11am.

Two leading scientific organizations today urged international carbon traders to help save some of the world’s most endangered forests and wildlife.

By studying gold nanoparticles with highly uniform sizes and shapes, scientists now understand how they lose energy, a key step towards producing nanoscale detectors for weighing any single atom.

The nation’s first cross-disciplinary research institute dedicated to maximizing the community benefits of broadband technologies has been announced by Premier John Brumby.

The Victorian Government will provide $2 million for the new Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES). The Institute will be based at the University of Melbourne to foster innovation across a wide range of disciplines including Medicine, Engineering, Education, Social Sciences, Economics, Business and the Environmental Sciences.

Professor Rod Tucker, Director of the IBES, says the Institute will source skills and resources of leading University researchers and 10 major industry leaders. Together they will develop and test new products and services which will benefit society, in areas such as e-health, e-education, e-commerce, and environmental monitoring.
 
The IBES has attracted the support of leading global and local companies to join its research program. They include Cisco, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent, Telstra, Ericsson, NEC Australia, Optus, Allied Telesis, Pacific Broadband Networks, and Haliplex. The research will also be enhanced by the support of Bell Labs and NICTA, Australia’s national research centre of excellence in Information and Communication Technology.

Professor Tucker says the IBES will serve as a national and international focus for research and innovation across the full spectrum of social, business and technological activities associated with and influenced by the new Australian National Broadband Network.

 “The strong support of industry coupled with the support and commitment of the State Government of Victoria, positions IBES to play a key role in the development of an Australian industry that is ready for the true broadband revolution," he says.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis says the IBES will be a unique facility that will allow new ideas and applications to be tested in a real broadband environment that will maximize the contribution the Australian Broadband Network will make to Australia’s economic and social progress.

 

A new study has revealed the origins of tiger stripes and a subsurface ocean on Enceladus- one of Saturn’s many moons. These geological features are believed to be the result of the moon’s unusual chemical composition and not a hot core, shedding light on the evolution of planets and guiding future space exploration.

More than 50 of the brightest young minds in science will spend six days in Melbourne this week at the Youth ANZAAS 2009 conference. Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 from Australia and New Zealand will experience the workings of leading scientific establishments.

Consumers will soon be able to compare, buy and reject products based on their greenhouse emissions after the launch of a carbon footprint labelling scheme. Australia will be the third country, after Britain and the US, to get the foot-shaped Carbon Reduction Label, which is being billed as the greenhouse equivalent of a nutritional panel.

Professor Snow Barlow from the School of Land and Environment comments on the importance of the scheme for food security and best practice in standardising greenhouse gas emission reporting for food production.

Galileo knew he had discovered a new planet in 1613, 234 years before its official discovery date, according to a new theory by a University of Melbourne physicist.

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