From The Guardian, 13 February 2021: La Niña has been good to the backyards and farmlands of much of eastern Australia. Cooler, wetter conditions have led to a flourishing of lush grass, trees and – unfortunately – weeds. With so many more people working from home, the joy of gazing out of the home office … Continue reading Unstoppable eating machines: why Australian farmers are renting out goats for weed control
From MIT Technology Review, 8 February 2021: While much of the world is engaged in a frantic scramble to get vaccinated against covid-19, there’s one group noticeably absent from the queues of people at vaccine clinics: children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is still approved for use only in those aged 16 years or older, and the … Continue reading Why aren’t kids getting vaccinated?
From Nature News, 10 December 2020 Young children account for only a small percentage of COVID-19 infections — a trend that has puzzled scientists. Now, a growing body of evidence suggests why: kids’ immune systems seem better equipped to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 than are adults’. “Children are very much adapted to respond — and very well … Continue reading How kids’ immune systems can evade COVID
From Nature Outlook, 2 December 2020: Peter Moore woke up in the middle of the night with his throat so tight he struggled to breathe, his torso covered with huge red welts, and no idea why. Earlier that evening in June 2001, Moore — then a 25-year-old teacher living in a coastal suburb of Sydney, … Continue reading Cracking the meat-allergy mystery with the tick-bite link
From The Medical Republic, 30 November 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has so far claimed more than 1.3 million lives, and those are just the deaths we know about. Like the proverbial iceberg, the true scale of pandemic-related mortality is still hidden below the surface. It’s the elderly woman who died of a heart attack because … Continue reading How many people have died from COVID-19?
From Nature News, 18 November 2020: How many people don’t experience any symptoms after becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2? And what is their role in spreading COVID-19? These have been key questions since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, evidence suggests that about one in five infected people will experience no symptoms, and they will transmit … Continue reading What the data say about asymptomatic COVID infections
From The Medical Republic, 28 September 2020: Richard Horton is angry. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, the editor-in-chief of international medical journal The Lancet began receiving messages from frontline healthcare workers. Increasingly terrified and desperate staff with inadequate or no PPE were being sent in to deal with what was clearly a deadly … Continue reading A terrible, terrible failure’: Richard Horton on the COVID-19 response
From The Guardian, 20 August 2020: In a secret location in an industrial area in western Sydney, a test strip of asphalt is being laid. But this is no ordinary road. The 50-metre strip stretching out into the hot afternoon sun is held together by an unusual material. The gooey cellulose that binds a road … Continue reading Closing the loop: This man turns discarded coffee cups into roads
From The Medical Republic, 16 September 2020: Since arriving back in Australia aboard a COVID-19-laden flight from the United Kingdom in late March, there have been several moments when I was convinced we had picked up COVID-19 on the way. During the two weeks we remained in strict quarantine at home, my sense of taste … Continue reading So you think you’ve had COVID-19?
From The Guardian, 6 August 2020: Laurie Brosnan is frustrated. “We pay a tax to produce clean energy,” says the pig farmer from Biloela in central Queensland. In the past five years, his company, Bettafield Piggery, has invested millions of dollars in an advanced biogas system that not only meets all its own electricity needs, … Continue reading “We pay a tax to produce clean energy”