Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    Kangaroo poo opens doors for local student

    16/10/2007 2:41 PM

    A Murdoch University student, who has used kangaroo poo to develop a framework for disease surveillance, has won a trip to Australia’s major biotechnology conference.

    Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan today announced that veterinary science post-graduate student Abbey Bestall was Western Australia’s winner of the AusBiotech GlaxoSmithKline Student Excellence Award.

    Ms Bestall, of Landsdale, will now be flown to the AusBiotech 2007 conference in Brisbane later this month.

    Mr Logan said Ms Bestall’s work was a fine example of the quality and diversity of biotechnology research currently being undertaken in WA.

    “I congratulate Abbey for her groundbreaking work and hope her success will inspire other young Western Australians to take an interest in biotechnology,” he said.

    “There are an enormous variety of careers in biotechnology and studying science at high school and university will open the path to these future options.

    “There is more to science than the stereotypical lab coat.

    “With a nationwide shortage of graduates in science and engineering, it is important for the nation that we encourage the study of science at secondary and tertiary levels.”

    Ms Bestall’s winning submission details a framework to test kangaroo samples for a number of infectious diseases that can then be analysed in conjunction with human cases, meteorological information and mosquito data in an attempt to improve the prediction of human outbreaks.

    The submission will also trial a new testing process that uses kangaroo faecal matter and allows unqualified people in remote areas to help with sample collection.

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