Townsville Bulletin Daniel Bateman 19 February 2014
A HANDYMAN has warned parents to be on guard for soil mixtures that may contain a hidden danger for allergy-prone children: peanuts.
Kirwan-based small business owner Steve Connolly was contracted by a Townsville child care centre more than a week ago to fix up their garden beds.
When he purchased a large quantity of garden soil mix to be placed into the beds from a local supplier, he said he clearly stipulated to the supplier it was for a child care centre.
“We went about our job of filling the centre’s garden beds and all looked good,’’ he said.
The following Monday, however, a staff member from the centre, noticed a hidden danger in the soil uncovered by last weekend’s heavy rainfall.
“The garden mix I had purchased specifically for the centre was full of peanut shell,’’ Mr Connolly said.
The Guardian Andrew Anthony 9 February 2014
Andrew Anthony sent his stool off to have its bacteria sequenced. In the future, such techniques could help assess our susceptibility to conditions from diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to autism, depression and cancer
ABC News 12 February 2014
Scientists plan to grind samples of King Richard III’s bones and use them to map his genome, a year after his skeletal remains were confirmed to be those found under a parking lot.
The project, which may alter perceptions of the last king of England to die in battle – more than 500 years ago – aims to learn about Richard’s ancestry and health, and provide a genetic archive for historians, researchers and the public.
The Conversation Clara Gaff, Ivan Macciocca 11 February 2014
Rapid technological advances mean it’s faster and cheaper than ever to read a person’s entire genetic code, known as the genome.
Genomic sequencing has two potential applications in health: the care of patients with a condition and the prevention of disease in healthy people. But how far away are we from making this a reality?
ABC News Michael Rowland, Virginia Trioli 11 February 2014
Nature magazine editor Philip Campbell discusses the integrity of scientists and scepticism in the non-scientific community.
View video (6 mins 36 sec)
The Conversation Charles Watson 4 February 2014
Australia’s federal Department of Health has advised general practitioners to be on the lookout for potential cases of the H7N9 strain of influenza A, or bird flu, following a spate of deaths in China.
Influenza A strains are classified according to the occurrence of different numbered types of haemagglutinin (H), a protein responsible for binding the virus to cells, and neuraminidase (N), enzymes that help the virus spread. The H proteins are numbered 1 to 17, and the N proteins are numbered 1 to 11. However, this doesn’t correspond with severity.
Forbes Henry I Miller, S Stanley Young 8 January 2014
Many non-scientists are confused and dismayed by the constantly changing advice that comes from medical and other researchers on various issues. Some of that confusion is due to the quality of the evidence, which is dependent on a number of factors, while some is due to the nature of science itself.
But it may also be due to current state of science. Scientists themselves are becoming increasingly concerned about the unreliability – that is, the lack of reproducibility — of many experimental or observational results.
Read more (Note: article continues on page 2)
The Guardian UK Mark Lorch 30 January 2014
The UK’s leading medical research charity, the Wellcome Trust, has donated a treasure trove to the world: more than 100,000 images covering the history of all aspects of medicine, science and technology are now freely available to any and all.
It’s a joy just to peruse the library, jumping from one fascinating image to the next. But, being a chemist, I was of course particularly drawn to the documents and apparatus depicting the history of my chosen field.
The Conversation Joan Leach, Fabien Medvecky 3 February 2014
Surveys on public attitudes to science regularly tell us that there are swathes of the public that simply seem to not care about science, despite our best effort to engage them. But perhaps the issue is not with the public — the issue is with the question.
Recent research argues that there is no such thing as a public at large to engage (or leave disengaged), rather, individuals who cluster around issues to form multiple publics, and even counterpublics who diverge from consensus opinion.
With the Australian Science Communicators national conference kicking off in Brisbane yesterday, it’s a good time to reflect on what we know and don’t know from surveys and polls about science engagement.