Category Archives: Research

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Alcohol is a direct cause of seven ​​forms of cancer, finds study

The Guardian Denis Campbell 22 July 2016

Alcohol causes seven forms of cancer, and people consuming even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to new analysis.
Health experts endorsed the findings and said they showed that ministers should initiate more education campaigns in order to tackle widespread public ignorance about how closely alcohol and cancer are connected. The study sparked renewed calls for regular drinkers to be encouraged to take alcohol-free days, and for alcohol packaging to carry warning labels.
Fresh analysis of evidence accumulated over recent years implicates alcohol in the development of breast, colon, liver and other types of cancer.
The study, published in the scientific journal Addiction, concludes that there is more than simply a link or statistical association between alcohol and cancer that could be explained by something else. There is now enough credible evidence to say conclusively that drinking is a direct cause of the disease, according to Jennie Connor, of the preventive and social medicine department at Otago University in New Zealand.

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New cancer treatment? Scientists have programmed bacteria to kill cancer cells in mice

The Conversation Thomas Williams July 22, 2016

Scientists are successfully experimenting with a creative approach to treat cancer by genetically programming bacteria to invade tumours and destroy cells from within.
In a study published this week in the journal Nature, authors showed programmed bacteria given to mice with aggressive liver cancer were able to destroy themselves while releasing a drug into the tumour at the same time.

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Link to abstract in Nature journal:

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Immuron teams with research institutes

The Sydney Morning Herald AAP  July 21, 2016

Immuron has formed a partnership with three leading Australian research institutes to understand how the genetic basis underlying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relates to changes to the gut, and how Immurons anti-LPS IMM-124E compound affects changes in mouse models for autism.

This understanding will provide information on how alterations in the gut microbiome occur and potentially identify targets for the development of clinical therapies to restore gut balance and improve the quality of life for ASD patients. ASD is a behavioural disorder diagnosed by impaired social communication and repetitive behaviours.

This cutting-edge industry / academic collaboration is made up of a cross functional disciplinary scientific team with the capabilities to investigate the brain, the gut and the microbes, and also to translate this research into meaningful patient outcomes.

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New multi-coloured brain map is ‘most accurate yet’

ABC News 21 July 2016

Move over, grey matter. A team of neuroscientists, computer specialists and engineers have released what they say “could be the most accurate map yet” of the brain, rendering 100 new regions of the brain in living colour.
The team discovered nearly 100 previously unreported regions of the organ’s wrinkly outer layer, called the cerebral cortex or grey matter.”These new insights and tools should help to explain how our cortex evolved and the roles of its specialised areas in health and disease,” said Bruce Cuthbert of the US-based National Institutes of Health, which co-funded the research, published in the journal Nature.

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Blood test could pick up Alzheimer’s disease clues long before symptoms show

Brisbane Times Bridie Smith July 21 2016

Scientists are close to developing a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear.
La Trobe University researchers have identified abnormalities in the blood linked to the degenerative condition, which affects more than 350,000 Australians.
Molecular biologist Lesley Cheng said detecting abnormalities with a simple blood test could provide doctors with the definitive diagnostic tool they currently lack. Early diagnosis would mean patients could receive treatment earlier, which could boost the chances of stalling the symptoms.

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New cancer drug reduces advanced melanoma in almost 50 per cent of patients

ABC News Katherine Gregory and Leonie Mellor 20 July 2016

A new treatment proving more successful than chemotherapy in treating melanoma could also be used to treat other cancers.
Clinical trials have shown the drug Keytruda reduced or eliminated the disease in almost 50 per cent of patients with advanced melanoma.
The drug essentially replaces chemotherapy and has been placed on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, which means if melanoma patients meet certain criteria, they will be treated for free.

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Academies warn Brexit ‘damaging science’

BBC News 19 July 2016

The UK’s national academies representing science, medicine and engineering have told the government that Brexit is already harming science.

A joint letter from seven academies says that the UK’s world-leading position in these areas is in jeopardy.

The national academies represent the best researchers in their fields.

They call for the government to make a “bold public commitment” to prioritize research in Brexit negotiations.

Individual researchers have also spoken about the effects of Brexit on their funding and collaborations.

The joint letter was written by the presidents of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Irish Academy and the Learned Society of Wales.