Category Archives: Science – General

General Public health and other interesting cross-topic subjects.

CSIRO boss defends shake-up, says politics of climate ‘more like religion than science’

ABC News Jake Sturmer 11 February 2016

The CSIRO’s chief has told the ABC the backlash from his decision to restructure the organisation has made him feel like an “early climate scientist in the ’70s fighting against the oil lobby” and that there is so much emotion in the debate it almost “sounds more like religion than science”.

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CSIRO cuts amount to ‘real crisis’ in environmental science, scientists say

Sydney Morning Herald 9 February 2016

CSIRO scientists say deep staffing cuts facing key divisions constitute “a real crisis for all environmental science” in the organisation, amid mounting international criticism.

Scientists in units likely to take the brunt of the 100 full-time positions to go with the Land and Water division held a video conference on Tuesday to hear which sections would be hardest hit.

They are part of 350 jobs to be axed, a move that has drawn international condemnation with some 600 scientists at home and abroad, led by Paul Durack from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US, understood to have signed a letter opposed to the cuts.

Search technique helps researchers find DNA sequences in minutes rather than days

(Carnegie Mellon University 8 February 2016) Database searches for DNA sequences that can take biologists and medical researchers days can now be completed in a matter of minutes, thanks to a new search method developed by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.

The SBT method is available as open source code and can be downloaded at

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CSIRO head Larry Marshall defends climate research cuts as angry scientists protest in Melbourne

Sydney Morning Herald 8 February 2016

CSIRO head Larry Marshall has sought to defend deep cuts to climate science programs after days of sustained criticism, saying global warming research was “one piece of a much larger puzzle” in solving Australia’s biggest challenges.

His defence came as dozens of scientists, including some whose jobs are under threat at CSIRO, rallied in Melbourne, warning the cuts would hurt Australia’s ability to address the climate change threat.

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Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos

ABC News Reuters 2 February 2016

Scientists in Britain have been given the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create “designer babies”.  CRISPR can enable scientists to find and modify or replace genetic defects, and many of them have described it as “game-changing”.

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Would it be wrong to eradicate mosquitoes?

BBC News Claire Bates 28 January 2016

The mosquito is the most dangerous animal in the world, carrying diseases that kill one million people a year. Now the Zika virus, which is carried by mosquitoes, has been linked with thousands of babies born with brain defects in South America. Should the insects be wiped out?

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Zika virus [Compilation]

Zika virus: Inside Uganda’s forest where the disease originates  (BBC News)

Zika outbreak: The mosquito menace (BBC News)

World Health Organization to decide if Zika virus is an emergency  (BBC News)

Zika virus: Brazil losing battle against Aedes aegypti mosquito, President Dilma Rousseff warns (ABC News)