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Two Eureka moments for Monash researchers

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29 August 2012

Music created using Nodal software
The creators of the Nodal software have been recognised with a Eureka Prize.

Two innovative Monash University research projects have been recognised in the 23rd Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, announced at a dinner in Sydney last night.

The annual prizes recognise excellence in scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science, and science journalism and communication.

The 2012 Eureka Prize for Innovation in Computer Science was taken out by Dr Alan Dorin, Associate Professor Jon McCormack and Aidan Lane from the University's Centre for Electronic Media Art (CEMA) and Peter McIlwain from Sonic Design, for their music composition software, Nodal.

The Monash Team of Bioactive Paper Diagnostics, led by Associate Professor Wei Shen of the Faculty of Engineering, won the 2012 Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology. Associate Professor Shen and his team developed a novel, fast-acting blood test using bioactive paper that spells out a patient's blood type.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Edwina Cornish congratulated the researchers.

"The success of two such different projects in the Eureka Prizes indicates the diversity of research being undertaken at Monash," Professor Cornish said.

"I am delighted that the judging panel has recognised the real-world benefits that both these innovations provide."

Nodal, which shot to number two in terms of sales following its release on the Apple App Store in 2011 provides a new experience in musical composition and improvisation through its graphical interface. It has been rolled out at a number of educational institutions both locally and overseas.

Associate Professor Shen's blood test also features a unique user-interface. The low-cost test uses traditional processes to determine blood-type, but presents the results as a letter, A, B or O, positive or negative. The fast-acting, easy to use test is anticipated to lead to fewer diagnostic errors, particularly in emergency and disaster-response scenarios.

Four teams from Monash were shortlisted for this year's awards in the field of scientific research and innovation. In addition to the winners, two teams from the School of Biomedical Sciences were shortlisted for the Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases.