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Latest News from the Biopolymers Group...

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DECEMBER 2010: TURTLE POWER!

In December Bill (and family!) made their way to Hawaii (bummer, I know). First,a hugely enjoyable Pectin Symposium at Pacifichem-great to catch up with pectin-friends...a kind of AA meeting for pectin and PME addicts....

Then, after a few days flitting between some excellent talks on topics ranging from single DNA molecule sequencing, labs-on-chips, fundmental electrophoresis, and NMR of polymers, Honolulu was left behind and we moved to the big island for Christmas. Awesome. Swimming with turtles, standing 20 m from flowing lava, travelling up Mauna Kea. Awesome. ..and the ever inspiring Gekko - second only to the Giraffe for shear awesomeness!

 

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NOVEMBER 2010: KALEIDOSCOPE!

Both Erich and Chris have had their work published in Phys Rev E this month, great stuff! - See Our List of Publications.

Our simulations of polysaccharide network deformation were also selected to be publicised on the journals Kaleidoscope feature. Pretty eh????

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OCTOBER 2010: HERE'S CHRIS (AGAIN!)

I'm pleased to say that Chris Lepper is staying on with us to work on a PhD project in collaboration with Prof Geoff Jameson and Dr Pat Edwards. Geoff and Pat were impresed with the work Chris carried out for his Masters project on rheo-NMR, and in particular the combination of experimental work and sample-cell engineering. Chris will be working on carrying out NMR experiments under high pressure with a broader goal of trying to understand the chemistry around hydrothermal vents and their possible role in the origin of life. Cool.

This month we have also been trying to arranage trials of some state-of-the-art EMCCD and CMOS cameras with particular interests in increasing the dynamic range of our multiple tracking experiments and adding a visualisation aspect to our tweezer stretching experiments. Watch this space!

 

 

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SEPTEMBER 2010: IN THE LAB !

Bill managed to find a few weeks to run some exciting pectin samples in the CE instrument, looking to build on our work regarding modelling the pectin intermolecular distributions. Nice. Meanwhile in the laser-lab we have added a temperature controlled cell facility to our DWS measurements and our checking out a new correlator, purchased courtesy of the IFS Small Equipment Round..

 

 

 

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AUGUST 2010: HERE'S BRAD!

A very warm welcome to Brad, who after having done a project in our group has decided to stay on and do a Masters with us. He will be working with the DWS and MPT microrheology....so some cool video posts (perhaps featuring his old friend Jack Black) will undoubtedly follow!!!

A wise choice young man - although it could mean some delay with the next album......

The group have also been helping Bill out with the introduction of a new undergraduate second year Biophysics Course Check it out!

 

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JULY 2010: DOCTOR DOCTOR !

Well done Dr Padmesh! Padmesh travelled back from Germany where he has taken up a postdoctoral position in the Theretical Chemistry Group at Bochum this month to complete his viva and gain his PhD. Congratulations dude. He is enjoying the weather in Europe (and is secretly still gagging to continue working on polysaccharides...oh yes), although I think the work has taken it out of him a little as you can see from these before and after shots.......

Erich, meanwhile, was making the trip in the opposite direction attending an exciting Soft Matter Conference in Spain, and visiting colleagues at Sweden's SIK, talking about bioploymer networks and exchanging nun-jokes with Niklas.

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JUNE 2010: PEEGO ON TOUR!

In June Bill travelled to China for the first time to speak at the 10th International Hydrocolloids Conference. It was great to catch up with friends and chew the cud (and chickens feet?) over biopolymer structure-function, not to mention the memorable experience of watching NZ draw with Italy in a bar in Shanghai (sorry Davide!!)...

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MAY 2010: PECTIN-IT'LL MAKE YOU FAMOUS!

Good to see the work we have been doing with Randall Cameron at USDA is getting noticed.....

Full Article

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APRIL 2010: WECOME (BACK) TO NZ !

More warm welcomes this month. First welcome back to Davide!!! By all accounts he had a great time in Cambridge despite the coldest winter in a number of years!! (Maybe now he will only need a T-shit in NZ!) He managed to warm up a bit by stopping in Melbourne to work with Ren Dobson again on the analysis of his AUC experiments.

Also from Australian shores Tim Wooster, a physical chemist based at CSIRO, has arrived at Massey for a sixth month stay with a Fellowship funded by the Australian government (well done dude!). He will be working with Matt Golding in IFNHH and collaborating with us on some possible microrheological and interaction measurements using the OT.

Jonny also made a brief appearance back in NZ this month and for the first time didnt manage to disprove my latest pet theory (quite the oposite! He He!) .You must be slipping dude ....!! Secretly (very) he can't wait to stop working on the brain so he can get back to thinking about pectin.....

 

 

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MARCH 2010: UP THE MOHAKA !

In march we took some time out to travel up the Mohaka river near Napier to celebrate(?!) Aurelies transition to the "real" world, as she takes up a position at Fonterra, and still dreams of getting her very own milk-float. Fish were caught, guitars played, and hot-pools sat-in. Luvly.

 

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FEBRUARY 2010: HERE'S IAN!

It's been great to welcome Ian Lim to collaborate with the group on his PhD project. Ian is working with Prof Ian Lentle and Dr Patrick Janssen in IFNHH on a project that aims to throw light on transport processes occuring in the intensine. We are hoping to measure the viscoelastic properties of the inter-villi spaces of live intestine samples using a specially constructed cell and our optical tweers and microrheology set-up. This is an exciting project that could have far reaching implications for the understanding of digestion.

 

 

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JANUARY 2010 : TWEEZERS EFFORT GATHERS MOMENTUM!

It's been great to welcome Lisa back into the group this year, having worked with us for a short time last year on PCR and growing (R18) pollen tubes. Lisa has accepted a more permanent position as a Biophysics Technician. Currently she is working on generating some glowing DNA to facilitate our stretching experiments.....so watch this space!

Check out the latest publicity for our Optical Tweezers set-up.

 

 

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