Researchers in Australia and France will work together to fight Parkinson’s disease and similar neurodegenerative maladies, using funds from a program managed by the nation’s governments.
The researchers will work on a total of 14 new cutting-edge projects, thanks to money from the 2010 French-Australian Science and Technology (FAST) program. The projects will range from screening tools for new-generation antibiotics to new water treatment techniques.
Australian Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, said the nations’ researchers “will work together to examine brain changes in mice who exhibit signs of neurodegenerative diseases… This project will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of brain cell death in Parkinson’s disease.”
Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the central nervous system, can erode a person’s motor skills and speech.
The work will be undertaken by Neuroscience Research Australia, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
Another project will examine the use of carbon nanotube membranes to purify water. Those results of this research could have powerful benefits for Australia and its dry climate.
Any qualified Australian firms, including small to medium enterprises, are eligible for funding from FAST. The program is managed jointly by Australia’s Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Department of Innovation) and its French counterparts, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Carr said the FAST “program brings together the best minds from our two research intensive communities and enables our countries to share best-practice ideas.”
Image by Dierk Schaefer