From ABC Science, 22 September 2018: Stem cell transplants smell like creamed corn, apparently. Petras learned this as he was undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.He’d already received chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells coursing through his lymphatic system, but the disease had bounced back. The best option to save his life was to carpet-bomb his … Continue reading Stem cells can help us ‘build a human heart in a dish’ — but what are they, really?
From ABC Science, 29 July 2018: In Greek mythology, the chimera was a beast of fire and fury; a terrifying creation part-lion, part-goat, part-serpent, and all destruction. It took demigod Bellerophon to slay the monster, driving a lead-tipped lance into its throat. One wonders what Bellerophon might have made of the chimeras running around Steve … Continue reading These mice have brains that are part human. So are they mice, or men?
While the amazing Dr Karl tramps around the wilds of Mongolia, astrophysicist Dr Jessica Bloom and I joined Triple J presenter Linda Marigliano to answer Australia’s science questions. Listen to it here.
From The Medical Republic, 5 July 2018: The most effective way to get GPs to reduce antibiotic prescriptions is to show them how much more they prescribe compared with their peers, according to a government-led behavioural economics intervention. Inspired by similar initiatives from the UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team – colloquially known as the “Nudge … Continue reading Nudge tactics spark drop in antibiotic scripts
From Nature News, 29 June 2018: A group of Australian politicians has released a road map for the country to move towards legalizing mitochondrial donation. The group’s recommendations, published on 27 June, include that the government consult the public and scientific experts about permitting clinical use of the reproductive technology, which could help women avoid … Continue reading Australia moves a step closer to ‘three-person IVF’
From Nature, 10 May 2018: In 1999, an Australian federal government briefing paper on biotechnology in the country concluded that the sector “hardly rates as an economic force” because of its small size and the financial challenges that it faced in getting products to market. Now, barely two decades later, Australia has ranked in the … Continue reading Australia makes its mark in biotechnology
From the BMJ.com, 20 March 2018: Australia has recorded its sixth infant death from congenital syphilis, in a seven year long epidemic that has disproportionately impacted remote Aboriginal communities. The outbreak began in January 2011 in northwest Queensland, and over the following two years spread across to the Northern Territory, then to Western Australia, and … Continue reading Sixth child dies from congenital syphilis in northern Australia
From Nature Outlook, 22 November 2017: When a condition commonly associated with a lifetime of alcohol abuse — severe scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis — starts to show up in children as young as eight, something is very wrong. “I had a teenage patient, who wasn’t even being evaluated for liver disease but was … Continue reading Childhood obesity: A growing concern
From A*STAR Research Highlights, January 29, 2018 (not bylined): A hormone secreted by the placenta during pregnancy may play a key role in the development of pre-eclampsia; a major worldwide cause of maternal and fetal death. A*STAR researchers first discovered the hormone, called ELABELA, or ELA, in 2013 and showed, in zebrafish, that it was … Continue reading Hormone discovery opens path for new pre-eclampsia treatment
From A*STAR Research Highlights, December 19, 2017 (not bylined): The fetal immune system is fully developed and functional from as early as 16 weeks gestation, but has a mechanism to keep it suppressed until after birth, according to an A*STAR-led study. Their findings could shed light on the immunological mechanisms underlying fetal-maternal health problems such … Continue reading Fetal immune system developed, but tolerant