Hunting for cancer of unknown primary

From ABC Online, 13 January 2019: Ken Lee woke up one morning and couldn’t move his legs. The 72-year-old had been experiencing numbness for a few weeks, but his doctor hadn’t been able to find anything amiss. When he lost the use of his legs, his family took him straight to hospital where scans revealed Continue reading Hunting for cancer of unknown primary

How Indian biotech is driving innovation

From Nature, 12 December 2018: Anu Acharya was in her twenties when the human genome was first mapped in its entirety. In 2000, the young Indian entrepreneur was just breaking into the biotechnology arena with her first start-up — the genomics and bioinformatics company Ocimum Biosolutions in Hyderabad. She saw the Human Genome Project’s achievements Continue reading How Indian biotech is driving innovation

Genetically modified T cells target lymphoma

From Nature Outlook, 14 November 2018: First-in-human trials are risky. That’s why they tend to involve the sickest of the sick — people whose disease has progressed beyond the reach of any existing treatment, and who have no other options. So it is a testament to the revolutionary nature of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy Continue reading Genetically modified T cells target lymphoma

‘We need their brains’: donating to the brain bank in search of a dementia cure

From The Guardian, 14 November 2018: It’s a rainy Wednesday morning and Dr Andrew Affleck is driving more carefully than usual on his way to the Neuroscience Research Australia building in Randwick. It’s not just the slick, crowded roads putting the edge on his caution; in the boot of his car, cocooned in several layers Continue reading ‘We need their brains’: donating to the brain bank in search of a dementia cure

Stem cells can help us ‘build a human heart in a dish’ — but what are they, really?

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?

These mice have brains that are part human. So are they mice, or men?

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?

Nudge tactics spark drop in antibiotic scripts

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

Australia moves a step closer to ‘three-person IVF’

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’

Australia makes its mark in biotechnology

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