News

Is your genome really your own? The public and forensic value of DNA

Guest Work May 02, 2018

Nathan Scudder, University of Canberra and Dennis McNevin, University of Technology Sydney This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Technologies for amplifying, sequencing and matching DNA have created new opportunities in genomic science. In this series When DNA Talks we look at the ethical and social implications. When Joseph … Read More

Thanks Mum and Dad! Reef fish inherit tolerance to warming oceans

Jean Balchin May 02, 2018

Recent research published in Nature Climate Change has found that reef fish can inherit from their parents the genetic tools to adjust to warming oceans. Obviously, given that our climate is rapidly changing, the decline of animal populations – particularly marine populations – is a distinct concern. For the first time, researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral … Read More

Moderate to severe mid-life anxiety may be linked to later life dementia

Jean Balchin May 02, 2018

An analysis of the available published evidence in the online journal BMJ Open suggests that moderate to severe mid-life anxiety may be linked to dementia in later life. However, it remains unclear as to whether active treatment could curb this risk. Moreover, the degree to which non-drug therapies such as meditation and mindfulness that reduce anxiety might help is unknown also. Read More

Is it ethical to grow brain tissue?

Jean Balchin Apr 27, 2018

In this week’s Nature, there is an intriguing op-ed about the ethics of growing or sustaining human brain tissue. We must consider the fact that researchers one day might be able to create a model in the laboratory that may be capable of what might appear to be conscious experiences. If this were to happen, it would raise a number of … Read More

Many healthcare attacks in Syria are being missed by the media

Jean Balchin Apr 27, 2018

A new study published this week in PLOS Medicine has found that attacks on health facilities and health workers in Syria are likely more common than previously reported. Moreover, local data collectors can help researchers more accurately measure the extent and frequency of these attacks. International humanitarian law is violated when violent acts on hospitals, ambulances, health workers, and patients in conflict areas occur. Read More

Dementia an extra challenge in natural disasters

Jean Balchin Apr 26, 2018

As anyone who has experienced a natural disaster such as a tornado or flood will attest, natural disasters are very traumatic experiences for everyone involved. Yet they are even more dangerous for people with dementia. To this end, the QUT-based Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration: Carers and Consumers (DCRC-CC) has published a new guide, which aims to prepare those who care … Read More

A quarter of all US food ends up in the bin

Jean Balchin Apr 24, 2018

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of the United States and food, I imagine a heaped plate of chips, burgers and salad. Perhaps there’s a milkshake beside the plate too. I have a tremendous appetite, but even I know that I can’t eat everything. Huge plates of food leave behind huge piles of waste. US consumers … Read More

Three coffees a day may help your heart stay regular

Jean Balchin Apr 23, 2018

Many doctors advise their patients with atrial or ventricular arrhythmias to stay away from coffee, coke, and other caffeinated beverages. However recent research published in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology has revealed that coffee and tea at least are safe, and can reduce the frequency of arrhythmias. What are Arrhythmias? Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms, and occur when the heart beats too slowly, quickly … Read More

‘Life support’ for livers may improve transplants 

Jean Balchin Apr 20, 2018

A paper published recently in Nature has found that preserving livers at body temperature may improve transplant outcomes and increase viable donor liver numbers, thereby lowering waiting list mortality rates. Liver disease may arise from a variety of causes, such as genetic, or it may be caused by factors that damage the liver, such as viruses and alcohol use. Over time, damage … Read More

You’re more likely to bet the farm if your friends do too

Jean Balchin Apr 13, 2018

A recent study in Scientific Reports suggests that being in the presence of peers (such as friends, coworkers or acquaintances) who engage in risky behaviours may have an influence on individual choices. In a laboratory task led by Livia Tomova and Luiz Pessoa, participants who knew of riskier behaviour taken by their peers, tended to make riskier choices themselves. However, observing safe … Read More