‘I hope you die’: how the COVID pandemic unleashed attacks on scientists

From Nature, 14 October 2021: Infectious-diseases physician Krutika Kuppalli had been in her new job for barely a week in September 2020, when someone phoned her at home and threatened to kill her. Kuppalli, who had just moved from California to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, had been dealing with online abuse Continue reading ‘I hope you die’: how the COVID pandemic unleashed attacks on scientists

First ancient human DNA found from key Asian migration route

From Nature, 26 August 2021: The 7,000-year-old skeleton of a teenage hunter-gatherer from Sulawesi in Indonesia could be the first remains found from a mysterious, ancient culture known as the Toaleans, researchers report this week in Nature1. The largely complete fossil of a roughly 18-year-old Stone Age woman was found in 2015 buried in a Continue reading First ancient human DNA found from key Asian migration route

Female researchers in Australia less likely to win major medical grants than males

From Nature News, 23 October 2019: Female scientists in Australia were less likely to win a major type of medical-research grants this year than their male counterparts, despite an overhaul of the country’s science funding that was supposed to address gender inequity. The funding imbalance occurred in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Continue reading Female researchers in Australia less likely to win major medical grants than males

Artificial intelligence shakes up drug discovery

From The Scientist, 1 May 2019: Australia’s government drug safety watchdog sounded the alarm about the oral antifungal agent terbinafine in 1996. The drug, sold under the brand name Lamisil by pharma giant Novartis, had come onto the market in 1993 for the treatment of fungal skin infections and thrush. But three years later, the Continue reading Artificial intelligence shakes up drug discovery

Navigating the world: why we all really need to get lost

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 2019: ‘‘Get lost’’ is an insult most commonly flung around a primary-school playground. But according to science journalist M. R. O’Connor’s latest book, Wayfinding, it could be the very thing that holds the secret to our species’ intelligence, and its survival. ‘‘At a time of social change and Continue reading Navigating the world: why we all really need to get lost

Stem-cell and genetic therapies make a healthy marriage

From Nature, 15 May 2019: Aside from a 20-second exposure to the outside world at birth, David Vetter spent his entire life cocooned in plastic. Afflicted by severe combined immunodeficiency or SCID, a hereditary disease that severely compromises or destroys the immune system, the ‘boy in the bubble’ was exquisitely vulnerable to infection. Eventually, a Continue reading Stem-cell and genetic therapies make a healthy marriage

Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

From MIT Technology Review, 25 April 2019: The Blue Mountains are burning. I stand in the doorway of our home and take a long look around: the handmade rugs, the jumble of artworks, the shelves crammed with books, the scattered toys. The house is a tinderbox: wooden walls, doors, balcony, window frames, all built into Continue reading Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires