Issue 19 - 14 June 2000

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Second cloned calf for Monash research team

Spot the difference between cloned calf Suzi and her younger, genetically identical sister Mayzi, as they stand with members of the cloning project team Dr Ian Lewis and laboratory technician Ms Vanessa Hall.

While the exact location of Australia's second cloned calf, Mayzi, is being kept quiet, it's no secret that the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development is responsible for her existence.

Mayzi's arrival on 23 May was officially announced last week as part of the results of a joint research project between MIRD, Genetics Australia Co-operative Ltd, the Victorian Institute of Animal Science, the Dairy Research and Development Corporation, and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Mayzi is a healthy and kicking Holstein calf derived from elite dairy genetics, born seven weeks after her genetically identical sister Suzi.

Although the two calves have identical DNA, black markings on their coats differ in shape and position because the skin cells move around at slightly varying rates as a foetus develops in the uterus.

The project's industry coordinator, Dr Ian Lewis, who works at MIRD and Genetics Australia, said the cloning process used allowed enormous flexibility with procedures and increased the chances of commercial success.

"It allows the embryos to be made and transferred into surrogate cows under conditions which allow maximum chance of pregnancies developing," he said.

Mayzi and Suzi's cells come from a specially developed cell line which were grown in the laboratory for several months and then frozen.

The cells were kept frozen until they were used to make embryos, which were formed six weeks apart, hence the age difference between the two calves.

The embryos were then grown for seven days in the laboratory, after which they were transferred into surrogate cows.

Dr Lewis said Mayzi and Suzi would be quarantined and observed as they grew up and their milk analysed to make sure they developed normally.

"Consumers are somewhat nervous about these technologies even though they're not the same as genetic modification," he said. "So it's fairly important that it's understood by everyone that no produce will be released from these animals until all the public debate has happened, and that's probably years away."

MIRD deputy director Professor Alan Trounson said the births of Suzi and Mayzi showed Australian researchers were well on the way to establishing cloning as a valuable tool for producing top-quality animals for agriculture.

"The Australian dairy and beef cattle industries will benefit from the research as part of their ongoing objective to improve productivity and provide the consumer with even better quality products," he said.


Monash dean to chair the NHMRC

Monash dean of Medicine Professor Nick Saunders has been appointed as chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The NHMRC is Australia's foremost health authority, providing Australian governments with expert advice across a range of health issues. It ensures that research funds are provided to appropriate fields to meet the needs of the community.

Announcing appointments to the NHMRC, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Dr Michael Wooldridge said they were prestigious recognition of achievement and dedication in public health, and health and medical research.

Professor Saunders is continuing a long association with the NHMRC, having been a member of Council, a member of Council's Strategic Planning and Evaluation Committee and also a member of the Medical Research Committee.

On re-appointment to the Council is Physiology head of department Professor Warwick Anderson. He returns as chair of the Research Committee.

- Corey Nassau

NHMRC appointments: Professor Nick Saunders (right) and Professor Warwick Anderson.


International law for Indonesian officials

The Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department sought the tenders for the course and, together with the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Legislation, selected Monash as the successful tenderer.

Winning the tender reflects the Law faculty's commitment to the internationalisation of legal education and will help foster links between the faculty and the Indonesian Minister of Legislative Law.

Participants will spend four weeks at the Clayton campus where they will be taught by faculty and visiting lecturers with different areas of expertise.

The course will cover International Law, Legal English, Law of the Sea, International Economic Law, Treaty Making and Drafting, International Aerospace Law and Policy, International Environmental Law and International Humanitarian Law.

The delegates will also meet government officials, judges and members of non-government organisations such as the Red Cross.

They will also visit several tourist attractions, such as the MCG, the Melbourne Aquarium, Crown Casino and Southbank.

The visitors will also spend a week in Canberra to meet with the Attorney-General's Department as well as parliamentary representatives and the Indonesian ambassador.

An official opening ceremony to launch the program and welcome the delegates was held on 31 May.

- Fleur Haberfield

Course coordinators Professor David Kinley (second from right), Mr Mark Davison, Mr Richard Garnett and Ministry of Law and Legislation representative Pak Wicipto Setiadi (third, fourth and fifth from left) with other Monash staff and Indonesian delegates.The Law faculty's international reputation has received a significant boost after winning a $60,000 tender to deliver a short course on international law for senior officials from Indonesia's Ministry of Law and Legislation.


Football lecturer remembered in art

Former history lecturer Professor Ian Turner is again gracing the halls of Monash - immortalised in an oil painting by his friend, artist Frank Werther.

Mr Werther (pictured below) has generously donated the portrait of Professor Turner (1922-1978) to the university, where it is temporarily on display at the University Gallery.

Professor Turner sat for the portrait at Dunmoochin, an artists' colony founded in 1954 by Mr Werther, together with artist Clifton Pugh.

Professor Turner joined Monash's History department in 1963. His interests included the labour movement, urban development, children's folklore and the social history of Australian football.

The colourful lecturer is remembered best for the Ron Barassi lecture he delivered at the end of each year with a beanie pulled over his head and can in hand to hundreds of approving Monash students.

His wide range of published books included Industrial Labour and Politics, Sydney's Burning, The Australian Dream, The Depression of the 30s, and Cinderella Dressed in Yella.

Mr Werther still lives at Dunmoochin where he paints and holds art classes.

His other portrait subjects include Sir Ninian Stephen and John Olsen, and he has exhibited widely around Australia.

His work is also included in public art collections around the country and overseas in England, the US, Europe and Japan.


Academic Board

Election of one member of the Academic Board by the professorial staff of the Faculty of Business and Economics

Term of office: 1 July 2000 until 30 June 2002

At the close of nominations at 12 noon on Thursday, 27 April 2000, for the election of one member of the Academic Board by the Professorial Staff of the Faculty of Business and Economics, two nominations were received from two qualified nominees.

As there was more than one valid nomination, a ballot was held at 5 pm on Thursday 1 June 2000.

Pursuant to Statute 9.1 - Election Procedure, at an election where only one member is to be elected and there are two candidates - the candidate who has received the greatest number of first preference votes shall be declared, by the Returning Officer, duly elected.

Notice of poll

Following the counting of primary votes, one candidate received an absolute majority. Accordingly, Professor Allen Russell is elected as a professorial member of the Academic Board to hold office from 1 July 2000 until 30 June 2002.

Election of one member of the Academic Board by the academic staff (other than professors) of the Faculty of Business and Economics

Term of office: 1 July 2000 until 30 June 2002

At the close of nominations at 12 noon on Thursday, 27 April 2000, for the election of one member of the Academic Board by the Academic Staff (other than professors) of the Faculty of Business and Economics, two nominations were received from two qualified nominees.

As there was more than one valid nomination, a ballot was held at 5 pm on Thursday, 1 June 2000.

Pursuant to Statute 9.1 - Election Procedure, at an election where only one member is to be elected and there are two candidates - the candidate who has received the greatest number of first preference votes shall be declared, by the Returning Officer, duly elected.

Notice of poll

Following the counting of primary votes, one candidate received an absolute majority. Accordingly, Dr Margaret Lindorff is elected as an academic staff (other than professors) member of the Academic Board to hold office from 1 July 2000 until 30 June 2002.

Phillip Siggins
Returning Officer
7 June 2000


Visiting Monash recently was Professor Arthur Li (right), vice-chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, who was in Melbourne to present the Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Lecture. He is pictured here with his wife, Mrs Di Li, and Monash vice-chancellor Professor David Robinson. Professor and Mrs Li met with senior staff of the university and then toured the new Faculty of Art and Design building on the Caulfield campus.

Farewell after
50 years

After almost 50 years of combined service to Monash, Mr Max Robinson and Mrs Pauline Robinson will be leaving the university at the beginning of July.

Mr Robinson's work has always been in the Information Technology Services area, where he is currently director of Information Systems. Mrs Robinson began and ended her time at Monash in ITS, but has also worked in the Library, Halls of Residence and Student Services.

There will be a farewell function for Mr and Mrs Robinson in the University Club on Clayton campus on Wednesday 21 June, commencing at 4.30 pm.

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Mr Dennis Wheeler on extn 59306, or by email to dennis.wheeler@its.monash.edu.au by 19 June.

 

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