Genetic tool to help feed the world 27/2/2016

UWA researchers have compiled a database they hope will eliminate much of the time and expense spent developing new crop varieties to feed the world’s people.

Photo by Ross Hooper

Photo by Ross Hooper

The research contributes to global food security which is a constant challenge as populations continue to expand and increased salinity, drought, nitrogen deficiency and soil acidity confront farmers in WA and around the world.

The easily-accessible database of food crop proteins called CropPAL is an extensive repository of knowledge about where specific proteins occur within wheat, barley, rice and maize cells.

The CropPAL (Crop Proteins with Annotated Locations) database can be used by crop scientists to explain the functions of proteins, UWA’s lead investigator Cornelia Hooper says.

New resignation changes balance 11/2/2016

Another Denmark councillor resigned this month, changing the notional balance of power.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

Cr Dawn Pedro had been a long-standing councillor with a commitment to environmental management.

A group of councillors who campaigned with sacked shire engineer Rob Whooley are now in the majority.

However a day after Ms Pedro resigned, Cr Whooley found every other councillor voting against him on a motion.

From The Great Southern Weekender.

Dining remnants point to megafauna’s end 20/2/1016

Australia once had a giant flightless bird – about two metres tall – that lasted just 7,000 years after humans arrived on the continent.


Photo Courtesy University of Colorado

In North America, stone points have been found embedded in Mastadon skeletons, and Europe has similar evidence of megafauna hunts.

However up until now, it was not clear whether the first Australians preyed on any of the megafaunal birds or animals.

Charred eggshells in the Exmouth-Carnarvon area provide the first evidence that they did.

Science Network [read this story]

State soils library catalogues samples for future science 5/2/2016

ac37d23a1bfab39ff0118c3645959b54_LA library of soil samples is being established at Muresk, the old agricultural college near Northam in WA’s wheatbelt.

It will mostly consist of specimens collected during studies for the grain industry, but others will be welcome.

This will be an exciting resource for researchers.

Science Network WA [read this story]

Councillor resigns over CEO removal 4/2/2016

A former Deputy Shire President has resigned his seat on Denmark Shire Council in Western Austrlia’s Great Southern region. 

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

He told me he did this because of the way the former CEO was encouraged to resign late last year (you can see my report if you scroll to the next page).

I can see the balance of power shifting as the newer wave of councillors, driven by the former Shire Engineer’s campaign in last year’s election, now command half of the votes.


From The Great Southern Weekender, February 4, 2016.