News

iWitnessed: What is it, and how can it help us?

Guest Author Apr 09, 2018

New app iWitnessed will allow eye witnesses and victims to record details of their testimony to help with police investigations. The app guides users through a list of key interview questions allowing specifics to be captured as quickly as possible after a crime. Developed by experts in forensic psychology at the University of Sydney and … Read More

Solution to 50-year-old mystery could lead to gene therapy for common blood disorders

Jean Balchin Apr 06, 2018

In a recent study published in the journal Nature Genetics, UNSW Sydney-led researchers have used CRISPR-gene editing to introduce beneficial natural mutations into blood cells to boost their production of foetal haemoglobin. This study solves a 50-year-old mystery about how these mutations operate and alter the expression of human genes. Naturally carried by a small percentage of people, these mutations contribute to … Read More

Free online tool could help women decide on breast reconstruction

Jean Balchin Apr 05, 2018

A new study published in Psycho-Oncology has revealed that a free web-based decision aid that helps women with breast cancer make decisions regarding reconstruction surgery after mastectomy is likely cost-effective. BRECONDA (Breast Reconstruction Decision Aid) is a tool that helps people make decisions about breast reconstruction surgery. It was developed in collaboration with an international team of breast surgeons, oncologists, … Read More

Five things to consider before ordering an online DNA test

Guest Author Apr 05, 2018

Jane Tiller, Monash University and Paul Lacaze, Monash University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. You might be intrigued by what your genes could tell you about your ancestry or the health risks hidden in your DNA. If so, you’re not alone. Fascination with personal genetics … Read More

The SMC Video Competition: John Mortimer, Chaucer, and a mysterious manuscript

Jean Balchin Apr 05, 2018

Last week, the results of the Science Media Centre Video Competition was judged. It was an incredible competition, open to previous participants of the SMC’s science video workshops. There were eight entries, and the judges were incredibly impressed with the creativity and quality of the entries. I was fortunate enough to watch all eight entries and chat to a … Read More

Careful of that flying bottle top!

Jean Balchin Apr 03, 2018

I don’t know about you, but the soundtrack to my summer was characterised by the crash of waves upon the beach, the sizzle of sausages on the barbeque and the sweet “pop” of a Corona bottle. Unlike many people across New Zealand – my friends included – I did not receive a bottle top to the eyeball. Read More

Potential genetic link in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) identified

Jean Balchin Apr 02, 2018

A case-control study in the UK and USA has found that rare genetic mutations associated with impairment of the breathing muscles are more common in children who have died from sudden infant death syndrome (cot death) than in healthy control children. Published recently in The Lancet, this study seems to indicate that there exists a possible genetic element of the disorder. Sudden … Read More

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