Category Archives: Science – General

General Public health and other interesting cross-topic subjects.

New expert panel hoping to unlock mysteries of undiagnosed diseases

ABC News Claire Moodie 24 July 2016

A new panel of specialists in Western Australia has been brought together to tackle undiagnosed, complex diseases.  Director of the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, clinical geneticist, Gareth Baynam said diagnoses would allow treatments to be targetted.  Perth’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program is the first in the country, but the movement is spreading to other states.

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Pills are a total scam: supposed homeopathic vaccines being sold online are plain sugar

Courier Mail Rose Brennan 23 July 2016 pp. 4-5

A Brisbane woman selling homeopathic medicines as vaccine alternatives for infectious diseases for children and travellers has been found to be selling vials containing sucrose.

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The end game

The Mercury | TasWeekend Sally Glaetzer 23 July 2016

A discussion featuring the event The Science of Life and Death with speakers including forensic pathologists (including Prof Roger Byard) and palliative care specialists.  Discusses end-of-life planning, advanced care directives and a pilot project hospice@HOME being run in Tasmania.

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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.

Fruit and veg give you the feel-good factor

(University of Warwick 9 July 2016) University of Warwick research indicates that eating more fruit and vegetables can substantially increase people’s later happiness levels.Published in the prestigious American Journal of Public Health, the study is one of the first major scientific attempts to explore psychological well-being beyond the traditional finding that fruit and vegetables can reduce risk of cancer and heart attacks.

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Why Don’t Bats Get Ebola?

Scientific American Blog Anna Fagre 18 July 2016

Ebola, rabies, SARS, Nipah, and MERS-CoV all have something in common. They are all viruses, spread by bats, that often cause lethal disease in humans—the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak killed over 11,000 people1—yet they don’t sicken or kill their bat hosts.

So what is it about bats that allow them to act as reservoirs for over 60 human pathogens?   Part of my work focuses on this – digging in to the genome of these new viruses to investigate how closely related they may be to known viruses that infect humans.

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We need to talk about the bad science being funded

The Conversation Simon Gandevia 19 July 2016

A report on the issue, published in Nature this May, found that about 90% of some 1,576 researchers surveyed now believe there is a reproducibility crisis in science.  Spectacular failures to replicate key scientific findings have been documented of late, particularly in biology, psychology and medicine.

One contributing factor is easily identified. It is the high rate of so-called false discoveries in the literature. They are false-positive findings and lead to the erroneous perception that a definitive scientific discovery has been made.

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