Category Archives: Science – General

General Public health and other interesting cross-topic subjects.

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

The Conversation Virginia Barbour 21 May 2015

Delegates at the The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA) conference on the Gold Coast last week heard from futurist Bryan Alexander about four possible scenarios for the future of knowledge.
Three of them sounded engaging: there was one where “open information architecture has triumphed”; another where automation is the primary driving force; and a third which is a renaissance of “digitally enabled creativity”.
However, one was chilling. This was where the drive for “open” has failed, and content is locked up in walled gardens.
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‘Home-brewed morphine’ made possible

BBC News | May 19, 2015 |

Scientists have figured out how to brew morphine using the same kit used to make beer at home.

They have genetically modified yeast to perform the complicated chemistry needed to convert sugar to morphine.

The findings, published in Nature Chemical Biology, raise promise for medicine but also concerns about “home-brewed” illegal drugs.  Continue reading…


Source article

Nature Chemical Biology doi:10.1038/nchembio.1816

An enzyme-coupled biosensor enables (S)-reticuline production in yeast from glucose

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The verdict’s in: we must better protect kids from toxic lead exposure

The Conversation | May 19, 2015 | Mark Patrick Taylor & Bruce Lanphear

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released new guidelines aimed at reducing children’s harmful exposure to lead. Soil, dust, water and air-based exposure to lead can interfere with the development of the nervous systems and cause behavioural and developmental problems.  Continue reading…

No, we’re not all being pickled in deadly radiation from smartphones and wifi

The Conversation | May 20, 2015 | Simon Chapman

Tomorrow at TedX Sydney’s Opera House event, high-profile neurosurgeon Charlie Teo will talk about brain cancer. Last Saturday Teo was on Channel 9’s Sunrise program talking about the often malignant cancer that in 2012 killed 1,241 Australians. During the program he said:

Unfortunately the jury is still out on whether mobile phones can lead to brain cancer, but studies suggest it’s so.

Continue reading…

Ebola: Australian researcher helps to identify vaccine model

ABC News | May 19, 2015 | Thomas Oriti

An Australian researcher has helped to identify what has been described as the most effective model for human trials of Ebola vaccines.

Associate Professor Manoj Gambhir from Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine is part of international team that has been examining the best way to undertake the trials in parts of West Africa to stop future outbreaks of the devastating virus.  Continue reading…

Australia could face innovator exodus as fellowship scheme slashed: academics

ABC News Jake Sturmer 15 May 2015

The Federal Government has more than halved the number of fellowships on offer to mid-career researchers, sparking fears talented innovators could be forced to leave Australia’s shores.

The Future Fellowships program, which gives four years of funding to researchers in critical fields, has been slashed from 200 spaces two years ago to just 50 this year.

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Gamma Knife: Princess Alexandra Hospital set to treat brain cancer without invasive surgery

ABC News | May 12, 2015 | Mitchell Van Homrigh

Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital is about to become the first public medical facility in Australia to use a machine that treats brain cancer without invasive surgery.

The Queensland Government has paid $4.3 million for a machine called a Gamma Knife, which is due to arrive at the hospital in July.  Continue reading…