The challenge of delivering RNA-interference therapeutics to their target cells

From Nature, 16 October 2019: The commercial story of RNA interference (RNAi) harbours more plot twists and unexpected demises than television fantasy drama Game of Thrones. As in all good dramas, there was someone — or something — that, just as things were looking promising, showed up to foil everyone’s plans, in this case hindering Continue reading The challenge of delivering RNA-interference therapeutics to their target cells

Elusive deer-like animal ‘rediscovered’ in Vietnam

From Nature News, 11 November 2019: Meet Vietnam’s silver-backed chevrotain. Once thought lost to science, the animal has been found again, an international research team reports. Photographs the group gathered of the species in forests near the city of Nha Trang in Vietnam are the first scientific evidence of the small hoofed mammal in nearly Continue reading Elusive deer-like animal ‘rediscovered’ in Vietnam

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

POMS: where is the Pacific Oyster industry now?

From Fish magazine, September 2019: When Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) all but wiped out southern Tasmania’s Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) farms in February 2016, there was a very real fear the industry, nationwide, was facing long years in the wilderness. The devastating impact of POMS on New South Wales growers in 2010 – Australia’s Continue reading POMS: where is the Pacific Oyster industry now?

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

Australia’s shark status update

From Fish magazine, June 2019: One of the more heated debates to stir the blood of Australian shark experts has been the question of the health of the nation’s Greynurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) populations. In 2003, experts from the east coast were calling for the species to be listed as critically endangered. But their colleagues Continue reading Australia’s shark status update

The push for blue carbon

From Fish magazine, March 2019: The term ‘carbon farming’ usually conjures images of land-based agricultural and forestry initiatives. But there’s a new kid on the carbon-farming block, and it occupies the rich ecological niches that hug Australia’s extensive coastline. As an island nation, Australia boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world: nearly 60,000 Continue reading The push for blue carbon

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