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World Cup of Research: France vs Australia

They are over 15,000km from each other but that doesn’t make the rivalry any less intense when it comes to the World Cup. Australia haven’t had the best run up to the tournament but they did fly past the Czech Republic with a 4-0 win in a friendly match a few weeks ago. France will be hoping they continue their form of the last few international tournaments and perhaps reclaim their position as giants of world football.

Meanwhile, our own World Cup of Research continues, with both France and Australia able to field impressive teams. Who do you think will come out on top?

FRANCE

DR ANDREAS SCHEDL

Dr Schedl, based at INSERM, France, is interested in adrenocortical cancers – a rare but highly aggressive disease. In mice and humans there is a clear sex bias with females approximately three times more likely to develop this cancer than males. The biological basis for this sex difference is unclear, but Dr Schedl and his team hopes that by finding out more about it, they might help develop sex-specific treatments or preventive strategies.

AUSTRALIA

DR LEE WONG

Dr Wong at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is getting an up-close view of our chromosomes to see what is different about those found in brain tumour cells versus normal healthy cells. Dr Wong and her team have worked out that a tiny alteration to chromosome structure can be used to identify tumour cells from normal cells. Now they are investigating exactly how these changes drive tumour growth. This work will ultimately identify weaknesses in these cancers that might be able to be hit with targeted treatments.

Science Communications Manager

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