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Postgrad conference puts research into practice - 14/06/2017

Researcher Mahmudur Rahman Can energy be harvested from the motion of walking humans?

Can the sequence of genes for Brassica rapa seeds - an oilseed crop similar to canola - be altered to stop causing allergic reactions?

These topics, among many others, will be discussed at the fourth annual Postgrad Research and Practice Conference at Southern Cross University from Thursday June 15.

The conference, hosted and run by the Southern Cross Postgraduate Association, will have more than 45 postgraduate and Honours students present their research across two days at the University’s Lismore campus.

Postgraduate Association officer Tanya Stewart said in addition to conference presentations, this year poster presentations and the three-minute thesis slam has been added to the program.

“The conference is open to the public, who want to see the brilliance of Southern Cross University’s finest and brightest,” she said.

“The additions to the program provide greater flexibility to our presenters and is a great opportunity for them to practise for the Southern Cross University 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) competition later in the year.”

Southern Cross University doctoral candidate Iman Izadgoshasb is investigating harvesting mechanical energy from human motion to power mobile phones and other devices.

He said it was an attractive approach for obtaining clean and sustainable electric energy to power wearable sensors, which are widely used for health monitoring, activity recognition and gait analysis.

“Experimental results show that as walking acceleration and voltage are increased, the harvester is able to scavenge energy continuously during human walking,” Mr Izadgoshasb said.

“The harvester exploits walking swing and shock excitations and could be embedded to the shoe.”

Lismore-based doctoral candidate Mahmudur Rahman (pictured) will present his research on reducing the amount of napin proteins, a major allergen, in the seeds of Brassica rapa, an oilseed crop similar to canola.

“Following extraction of oil from the seed, the meal that remains is un-usable to humans due to the presence of the allergen protein napin. If we can reduce the amount of this protein in the seed the remaining meal could become a healthy and cheap source of protein for human consumption,” said Mr Rahman.

“In this study we are attempting to identify napin protein sequences in the Brassica rapa genome and look for seed mutants in these proteins that have low napin content.”

Photo caption: Southern Cross University doctoral candidate Mahmudur Rahman

Media contact: Jessica Huxley, Southern Cross University media officer, 0417 288 794.

For further information, please contact:
Communications and Publications
Southern Cross University
PO Box 157 • Lismore NSW 2480 • Australia
T +61 2 6620 3508 • e