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Insect 'noses' the key to cybernose collaboration

A new $4 million collaboration announced today will help scientists in their efforts to produce a new generation of electronic nose, the 'cybernose'.

Researchers in the collaborative Cluster between The Australian National University, Monash University and CSIRO's Food Futures National Research Flagship are trying to understand how simple animals make sense of smells.

The microscopic nematode worm will be central to the cybernose research due to its highly sensitive molecular recognition system, allowing it to sense smell and flavour qualities in grapes.

The cybernose will involve putting sensor proteins from insects and nematodes in to an electronic nose to replace the current generation of electronic sensors that are not discriminating enough.

The cybernose may also be used in future across other sectors of the food and beverage industries and, in the long term, the cybernose technology could be developed to enhance Australia's biosecurity by detecting and intercepting pests and diseases

The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, has announced the first round of Flagship Collaboration Fund Cluster funding, designed to facilitate the involvement of the wider Australian research community in addressing the critical national challenges targeted by the Flagships.

As part of the $305 million over seven years provided by the Australian Government to the National Research Flagships, $97 million was specifically allocated to further enhance collaboration between CSIRO, Australian universities and other publicly funded research agencies.

The Flagship Collaboration Fund enables the skills of the wider Australian research community to be applied to the major national challenges targeted by CSIRO's Flagship Initiative.

The University Cluster partners will receive $2.2 million from the Flagship Collaboration Fund over two and a half years. This money will be matched in-kind
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Contact: Sylvia Bell
sylvia.bell@csiro.au
61-29-490-8006
CSIRO Australia
10-Aug-2006


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