Category Archives: Science – General

General Public health and other interesting cross-topic subjects.

SIDS research: Severe lack of oxygen could be factor, say Adelaide researchers

ABC PM Caroline Winter 16 April 2014

Researchers think a severe lack of oxygen, rather than trauma or infection, is likely to be involved in cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Professor Roger Byard from Adelaide University says understanding the syndrome’s biological process is a next step.

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The science of caffeine, the world’s most popular drug (video)

(American Chemical Society 14 April 2014) It seems there are new caffeine-infused products hitting the shelves every day. From energy drinks to gum and even jerky, our love affair with that little molecule shows no signs of slowing. In the American Chemical Society’s latest Reactions video, we look at the science behind the world’s most popular drug, including why it keeps you awake and how much caffeine is too much.

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How coughs and sneezes float farther than you think

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology 8 April 2014) A novel study uncovers the way coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.

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Skin cancer warning over bogus ‘black salve’ treatment

Brisbane Times Julia Medew 10 April 2014

A bogus cancer medicine has left an Australian man with a hole burnt in the side of his head, prompting renewed warnings for cancer patients to avoid alternative therapies.  A 55-year-old man recently presented to a Brisbane hospital with a black hole in his temple after applying an unproven alternative medicine known as “black salve” to a lesion on his face, which he believed was cancerous.

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Crib mattresses emit potentially harmful chemicals, Cockrell School engineers find

(University of Texas at Austin 2 April 2014) In a first-of-its-kind study, a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep. The research team analyzed the foam padding in crib mattresses to gain knowledge about the chemical composition of the mattresses, the rate at which volatile organic compounds are released into the air and the emission levels that sleeping infants are exposed to.

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Life After Death: Bruno Frohlich

National Geographic April 2014

The ERA of uranium mining is over

On Line Opinion Dave Sweeney 9 April 2014

In the early hours of Saturday December 7th 2013 the evacuation order was given in the processing area of Energy Resources of Australia’s troubled Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu.  Minutes later came the unforgiving sound of peeling metal followed by a surge of over one million litres of highly acidic uranium slurry from the buckled and broken number one leach tank. The toxic tide swept over the concrete bunds meant to contain any spills and moved uncontrolled through the night and the site.

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A white collar mafia and the licit drug trade

On Line Opinion Tony Reid 2 April 2014

Commentary on a book by co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration – A white collar mafia and the licit drug trade – in which he draws a parallel between the drug industry and the mafia. In examining the world’s 10 largest drug companies he has exposed activities generally associated with organized crime, such as fraud, federal drug offences, bribery, obstruction of justice, obstruction of law enforcement, tampering with witnesses and political corruption. However, in addition to finding the law to be a major impediment to their pursuit of unlimited profits, the pharmaceutical industry has also faced another annoying obstacle that the mob doesn’t need to negotiate: scientific integrity.

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Chikungunya poised to invade the Americas

EurekAlert Jil Sliwa 7 April 2014

A team of French and Brazilian researchers warn that chikungunya virus is poised to invade, and become epidemic in the Americas according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

The risk of a “catastrophic” epidemic in the Americas is boosted by the FIFA World Cup, to be held in Brazil next month, what with people coming in from near and from far, says corresponding author Ricardo Lourenco-de-Oliveira of the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil annually reports the highest incidence of dengue, a virus that is transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the same mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya, he says.

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Tomnod, Google Earth and MH370 change the world

Sydney Morning Herald David Ellery 8 April 2014

Crowdsourcing and Google Earth have forever changed the way the world responds to disasters such as the loss of flight MH370 and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, say participants at Locate14, a high-tech, spatial information conference in Canberra.

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