News

Yawn! Social jetlag is associated with decreased academic performance

Jean Balchin Mar 30, 2018

As a perpetually exhausted university student, I wake every morning to the shrill sound of my alarm clock, and curse myself for embarking on a course of tertiary education. Only yesterday I woke up at 7am to cram for an exam the same morning. It was a nightmare. I drank two coffees, gobbled down a chocolate bar, and executed a … Read More

Epilepsy drug exposure in womb linked to significantly poorer school test results

Jean Balchin Mar 29, 2018

According to a study published recently in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, exposure to epilepsy drugs in the womb is linked to significantly poorer school test results among 7 year olds. Evidently, prospective mothers need to be fully informed of the risks of treatment. However these risks need to be weighed against the need for effective seizure control during … Read More

Proteins- not just a food group

Jack Auty Mar 27, 2018

  Research that focuses on the fundamental, nitty gritty, seemingly inapplicable, minutia of the world is not very appealing or engaging, and on the surface seems like a waste of taxpayer money. But fundamental research is essential,  underfunded and hugely important. You can only build a beautiful building on solid foundations but unfortunately very few people care about what is … Read More

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World-first study links birth interventions and long-term childhood illness

Jean Balchin Mar 26, 2018

A comprehensive study lead by a team of leading international researchers has found significant links between medical interventions used in the birthing process – such as caesarean section and induction – and a child’s long-term health. Illustration depicting Caesarean section. Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 Western Sydney University collaborated with University … Read More

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Frozen embryos better than fresh for women struggling to get IVF to work

Jean Balchin Mar 23, 2018

A recent study conducted by a research team at The University of Western Australia and Fertility Specialists of Western Australia has found that women undergoing IVF who have had embryos fail to implant have more success using frozen ones than fresh ones. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART). It involves extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, … Read More

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Large-scale genetic study provides new insight into the causes of stroke

Jean Balchin Mar 19, 2018

An large-scale international genetic study on stroke, based on DNA samples of 520,000 people has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke. Published recently in the journal Nature Genetics, the study’s participants originated from Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia, and were compiled from 29 large studies. 67,000 participants in the study had suffered a stroke. From … Read More

Cool! Antarctic krill can turn microplastics into nanoplastics

Jean Balchin Mar 09, 2018

A groundbreaking Griffith University study has found Antarctic krill which ingest microplastics are able to turn them into nanoplastics through digestion. What are Krill? Krill is a general term used to refer to around 85 species of free-swimming crustaceans called euphausiids, of which Antarctic krill is one species. Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant and successful animal species on … Read More

Brain imaging shows senior moments are selective

Jean Balchin Mar 08, 2018

When I was a child, I vividly remember a very funny episode with my Grandpa. He couldn’t find his glasses – yet there they were, perched on the top of his head. I thought he was just playing along, but I gradually realised that he was being serious. It still makes me chuckle to this day, although memory loss isn’t … Read More

How does a Virus-Blocking Bacterium operate in Mosquitoes?

Jean Balchin Mar 05, 2018

A recent study published in PLOS Pathogens has revealed more details of the mechanism by which the bacterium Wolbachia blocks viruses in mosquito cells. Professor Scott O’Neill, Director of the World Mosquito Program, led by Australia’s Monash University, and colleagues argue that the mechanism reduces viral replication inside cells and that rapid degradation of viral RNA is involved.  What is Wolbachia?  Wolbachia is a genus of gram-negative … Read More

Give it a minute or so before clamping the cord

Jean Balchin Mar 01, 2018

Babies – both premature and full-term – who do not require respiratory support may benefit from leaving their umbilical cord unclamped for at least 60 seconds after birth, according to the authors of a Perspective published recently by the Medical Journal of Australia. Umbilical Cord In placental mammals, there exists an umbilical cord, which acts as a conduit … Read More