From beefier cattle to bacteria that break down rockstop, young scientists reveal their results

A study showing that more muscular cattle more consistently deliver better meat, and the discovery of bacteria that could be used in the extraction of heavy metals from ores are among research findings to be presented at the Pathfinders 2010 Challenge and Change Conference at the Alice Springs Convention Centre this week (May 26–28).

Top early career scientists have been invited to present their research results at the conference, organised by the Cooperative Research Centres Association.

Peter McGilchrist, of the CRC for Beef Genetic Technologies, will tell the conference that muscular beef cattle can more consistently deliver better meat . The work is likely to drive selective breeding programs.

Information Peter McGilchrist Ph 0419 986 056

Carla Zammit, of the Parker CRC for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions, has found salt-tolerant bacteria that can break down rocks. The microorganisms could replace smelters and chemical plants in the extraction of heavy metals from ores in Western Australia.

Information Carla Zammit Ph: 0434 894 040 Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Kandasamy Thangavadivel, of CRC CARE, has worked out how to use ultrasound to clean up finely textured soils contaminated with DDT – once a widely-used pesticide, now banned because it causes cancer, attacks the nervous system and disrupts the hormonal system in humans.

Information Kandasamy Thangavadivel Ph: 0430 056 933

In work at the Invasive Animals CRC, Adriana Ford-Thompson found that conflict between farmers and government agencies was weakening the assault on invasive pests such as feral pigs and dogs.

Information Adriana Ford-Thompson Ph: 0447 628 925

Briony Towers, of the Bushfire CRC, has found that children are good channels for getting fire safety messages into homes.

Information Briony Towers Ph: 0400 543 336

Viveka Weiley, of the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design, is designing new creativity-supporting digital systems that remix the real environments of colleagues working apart.

Information Viveka Weiley Ph: 0433 992 602

Information:

Laurelle Halford (Alice Springs Convention Centre, May 26–28)

Ph: 0417 222 211 Email: [email protected]

CRCA Media Ph: 0419 250 815 Email: [email protected]