Category Archives: Research

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Common gut bacteria could treat food allergies

ScienceAlert Fiona MacDonald 27 August 2014

New research from the University of Chicago in the US shows that a class of bacteria known as Clostridia can block peanut allergies in mice, and suggests it could be used to treat similar conditions in humans.
Clostridia is one of the types of bacteria killed off by antibiotic use in early childhood, and this research supports the emerging theory that increased antibiotic use is one of the factors that has caused food allergies in kids to rise by 50% since 1997.

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Link to PNAS abstract

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New drug cures Ebola-related virus in monkeys

ScienceAlert 21 August 2014

An experimental drug has been shown to halt the replication of the Marburg virus – a relative of Ebola – and can cure a patient after several days of infection.

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Link to full-text article

Donations to medical research by philanthropists at risk due to Future Fund, survey suggests

ABC News Lindy Kerin 19 August 2014

The $400 million donated to the health and medical research sector every year could be at risk if the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund goes ahead, a survey suggests.

Research Australia says a survey found four out of the 10 people who donate regularly are less likely to do so once the new fund is established with money from the GP co-payment.

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Prostate cancer nurses trial and treatment breakthrough by Professor Jim Denham

News.com.au Sue Dunlevy August 15, 2014

UP to 4000 prostate cancer victims will get special care and support from a nurse as they battle the deadly disease under a $6 million program unveiled by the Abbott Government.
It comes as a research breakthrough has identified a new treatment method that slashes the spread of prostate cancer by 40 per cent in the third of patients with aggressive disease.
An Australian clinical trial run by the Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) has found the most effective treatment for men with the most aggressive cancers is 18 months of testosterone suppression therapy combined with a medicine called zoledronic acid plus radiotherapy.

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Link to The Lancet Oncology abstract

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Scientists discover killer cells’ ”on switch”

The Sydney Morning Herald Bridie Smith August 14, 2014

The body’s natural killer cells, as their Hollywood-style name suggests, are key to the immune system. They are programmed to hunt out and destroy foreign and diseased cells. But they don’t always identify their targets. When this happens, diseases such as cancer can set in.
But a team of researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research have worked out what the group of highly specialised killer cells need to function at their best. It’s a protein called MCL-1.

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Link to Nature Communications abstract

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CSIRO Staff Association says animal health job cuts pose risk to future research

ABC Rural News Lucy Barbour 14 August 2014

Veterinary scientists say they’re disappointed that the CSIRO will cut eight jobs from its Australian Animal Health Laboratory at Geelong in Victoria, as part of more than $110 million of Budget cuts to the science organisation.
The lab, which employs 250 people, is equipped to handle deadly pathogens that enter the country.

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The Guardian report link

Stem cell research gets huge boost from Australian zebrafish discovery

The Guardian Melissa Davey 14 August 2014

Medical breakthrough as researchers uncover the mystery of how hematopoietic stem cells form.

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Link to Nature abstract

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