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

From German trains to South Korean buses, hydrogen fuel is back in the picture

From Ensia magazine, 8 November 2018: Jorgo Chatzimarkakis was refueling his hydrogen fuel-cell car at one of the 50-plus refueling stations scattered around Germany when a Tesla driver, who was recharging his own car, approached. The man was excited to see a hydrogen-powered car in action, and was brimming with questions. Chatzimarkakis, who is secretary Continue reading From German trains to South Korean buses, hydrogen fuel is back in the picture

‘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

Australia plans ‘national-interest’ test for research grants

From Nature, 31 October 2018: Australia’s government is set to introduce a ‘national-interest test’ for research projects seeking grant funding from next year. The policy will require that researchers outline how their project will advance the country’s interests, said education minister Dan Tehan in a statement released on 31 October. “The value of specific projects Continue reading Australia plans ‘national-interest’ test for research grants

Australian academics fear political interference following vetoed projects

From Nature, 30 October 2018: Australian universities and researchers have condemned the actions of a government minister who vetoed projects that had been selected for funding by expert panels. Academics say that the government’s interference has undermined the integrity of the peer-review system and could damage the country’s reputation as a desirable place to do Continue reading Australian academics fear political interference following vetoed projects

As Australia’s mining boom wanes, rehabilitation of abandoned mines offers lessons for the world

From Ensia magazine, 11 October 2018: The 1986 Australian film Crocodile Dundee brought global fame to its leading man Paul Hogan, but the real star of the show was the vast, ancient landscape of the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Kakadu is the jewel in the crown of Australia’s national parks, but this unique wilderness Continue reading As Australia’s mining boom wanes, rehabilitation of abandoned mines offers lessons for the world

Japanese rover lands on ancient asteroid for 16 hour-mission

From Nature, 4 October 2018: A third rover has touched down on the surface of asteroid Ryugu, marking a hat-trick of successful landings for the Japanese Hayabusa2 space mission. Earlier today, the shoe-box-sized Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) separated from the Hayabusa2 probe, which had moved temporarily to 51 metres from the asteroid’s surface. The Continue reading Japanese rover lands on ancient asteroid for 16 hour-mission

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?

Australian fur-seal pups in decline for first time in three decades

From Nature News, 5 September 2018: Numbers of Australian fur-seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) pups have declined for the first time in more than three decades, according to a study published on 5 September. Researchers compared the latest count, collected in 2013-14, with an overall trend in the population since monitoring began in 1986. Pup numbers Continue reading Australian fur-seal pups in decline for first time in three decades

The Writer’s Voice: BIOHUNTER

Dear Writer’s Voice coaches, I’d like to submit my completed adult science fiction manuscript Biohunter for your consideration (and hopefully enjoyment), and introduce you to my unconventional heroine Niobe Grace. Niobe is guilty of many things – bar brawls, affairs with married mayors, eyebrow-raising morals, and of swaggering through life like a punch-drunk cavalier. She is Continue reading The Writer’s Voice: BIOHUNTER