Science and Society

What happens to our health records when we die? - News

Jean Balchin Jul 21, 2017

Leaps and strides in digital data acquisition and storage has lead to the phenomenon of electronic mortality, where digital data — from medical records to genomic information — can exist, and be accessed, for a potentially infinite period. Consequently, there are major ramifications in a variety of different areas. In particular, health research relies of large data sets. All over the … Read More

Pristine Paradise to Rubbish Dump - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 20, 2017

Jennifer Lavers, University of Tasmania and Alexander Bond, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds A few weeks ago, the world woke to the story of Henderson Island, the “South Pacific island of rubbish”. Our research revealed it as a place littered with plastic garbage, washed there by ocean currents. This was a story we … Read More

Investigating homicide in mental health services - Infrequently Asked Questions

Guest Work Jul 20, 2017

Originally posted on Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Past and Future series where, as part of 150th anniversary celebrations, early career researchers are invited to share discoveries in their fields from days gone by or give us a glimpse into where their research may take us in the future. By Lillian Ng, Department of Psychological Medicine, The University of Auckland In … Read More

Nationwide Colorectal Screening in New Zealand - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 20, 2017

Dr Melissa McLeod and Professor Tony Blakely Nationwide Colorectal Screening in New Zealand: a tricky balance of improving overall population health and addressing inequalities In this blog we will discuss a paper recently published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention [1] by the BODE3 team, which modelled a nationwide colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programme for New Zealand. We … Read More

Inaction on climate change risks leaving future generations $530 trillion in debt - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 19, 2017

James Dyke, University of Southampton By continuing to delay significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we risk handing young people alive today a bill of up to US$535 trillion. This would be the cost of the “negative emissions” technologies required to remove CO₂ from the air in order to avoid dangerous climate change. These are the main findings … Read More

Natural Mutations and Sickle Cell Anaemia - News

Jean Balchin Jul 19, 2017

Using the gene-editing technique CRISPR, a UNSW Sydney-led team of scientists has introduced a beneficial natural mutation into blood cells, switching on production of foetal haemoglobin. This advance could eventually lead to a cure for sickle cell anaemia and other blood disorders. Sickle Cell Anaemia Cells in tissues need a constant, steady supply of oxygen to function properly. Normally, … Read More

What is pre-pregnancy carrier screening? - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 19, 2017

Gina Ravenscroft, University of Western Australia; Nigel Laing, University of Western Australia, and Royston Ong, University of Western Australia The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently recommended obstetricians, gynaecologists and other related health care providers offer pre-pregnancy carrier screening for genetic diseases to all patients. Pre-pregnancy carrier screening involves testing healthy adults … Read More

A brief history of GnuPG: vital to online security but free and underfunded - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 19, 2017

Ralph Holz, University of Sydney Most people have never heard of the software that makes up the machinery of the internet. Outside developer circles, its authors receive little reward for their efforts, in terms of either money or public recognition. One example is the encryption software GNU Privacy Guard (also known as GnuPG and GPG), and its authors … Read More

The future of artificial intelligence: two experts disagree - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 18, 2017

Peter Stratton, The University of Queensland and Michael Milford, Queensland University of Technology Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionise our lives, drive our cars, diagnose our health problems, and lead us into a new future where thinking machines do things that we’re yet to imagine. Or does it? Not everyone agrees. Even billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, … Read More