Category Archives: Science – General

General Public health and other interesting cross-topic subjects.

Invisible Ink War: How Chemists Revealed Germany’s Secret WW I Writing [Excerpt]

Scientific American [News] Kristie Macrakis 5 April 2014

Invisible ink was a key method for spy communications throughout history.  This is an excerpt from Prisoners, Lovers, & Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al Qaeda, by Kristie Macrakis. Available from Yale University Press. Copyright © 2014.

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Meth mouth warning issued by dentists to drug users

ABC News : PM Caroline Winter 1 April 2014

Australian health experts have warned a rise in drug use will cause an increase in other health issues including severe dental problems.

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Fracking the future: busting industry myths about coal seam gas

The Australia Institute

This paper argues that there is little for Australia to gain by rushing into an expansion of coal seam gas operations.

The purpose of this paper is to bust the gas industry’s myths about coal seam gas (CSG). The gas industry has been prolific in putting out exaggerated claims about CSG’s economic benefits while at the same time staying almost completely silent on the health and environmental risks. This paper will look at both the economic claims and the health and environmental risks and will show that, while the economic benefits are likely to be relatively small, a lot more work needs to be done to assess the health and environmental risks. There is little for Australia to gain by rushing into an expansion of CSG operations.

Please note this is a revised version of the original paper published on 18 March 2014 which incorrectly stated that a nurse in the United States died after treating a patient who had been splashed with fracking fluids. It is reported that the nurse suffered multiple organ failure but did not die. References have been updated to reflect this.

Click here to download report

New Tools to Track Your Family Health History: Assembling Your Own Record Can Help Create a Guide to Care

Wall Street Journal Laura Landro 30 March 2014

More comprehensive genetic testing holds great promise for predicting disease risk, but the science is still in its early days. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that whole-genome sequencing, mainly used for research, isn’t yet reliable enough for routine patient care.

Last fall, the Food and Drug Administration ordered the high-profile 23andMe Inc. to stop marketing its health-related genetic tests to consumers, expressing concern that inaccurate results could lead to unnecessary procedures.

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Request the source article from Information & Research Services (QH Staff only)

Scientific Publishing: An Industry in Flux

Synapse: the ucsf student newspaper Alexandra Greer 27 March 2014

For scientists around the world, the open access movement has radically changed how journal articles are read and distributed by offering an alternative to the dominant subscription-based access model. Today, anyone can access at least some scientific articles on the web. In this three-part series, we examine the impact of open access journals on the scientific publishing industry.

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Climate change and health: IPCC reports emerging risks, emerging consensus

The Conversation Anthony McMichael, Colin Butler, Helen Louise Berry 31 March 2014

The consequences of human-driven global climate change as this century progresses will be wide-ranging. Yet public discussion has focused narrowly on a largely spurious debate about the basic science and on the risks to property, iconic species and ecosystems, jobs, the GDP and the economics of taking action versus taking our chances.

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Climate impacts ‘overwhelming’ – UN

Click here to link to the IPCC Report

Peeing in the pool is a bad thing

ScienceAlert Australia Gabriella Munoz 31 March 2014

Researchers at the American Chemical Society have discovered that when urine combines with chlorine it forms toxic substances that can cause more than red eyes and itchiness.

Two of these potentially dangerous substances are trichlorimine (NC13) and cyanogen chloride (CNCl), which have been associated with lung and heart problems. Both substances have been linked to chronic health problems among swimmers, lifeguards and pool staff too.

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Scientists must improve cooperation to stop nuclear terrorism, experts urge

The National Caline Malek 25 March 2014

THE HAGUE // Forensics examination techniques into how to investigate nuclear disasters need to be improved, experts told the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

While methods of identifying those to blame for nuclear attacks are advanced, better cooperation between scientists of different disciplines is needed, said Ed van Zalen, the programme manager in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives at the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI).

Death statistics reveal heart disease is Australia’s biggest killer, suicides on the rise 25 March 2014

CANCER is on track to be the biggest killer of Australians and expected to overtake heart disease within the next two years.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals 147,098 people died in Australia in 2012, 166 more than the previous year.

Almost 44,000 of these died from heart disease, making it our biggest killer accounting for 29.9 per cent.

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Australia can nurture growth and prosperity through biology

The Conversation Merlin Crossley, Andrew Cockburn, Marguerite Evans-Galea 25 March 2014

AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, we’re asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia now and in the future. Written by luminaries and accompanied by two expert commentaries to ensure a broader perspective, these articles run fortnightly and focus on each of the major scientific areas. Today, we put biological science under the microscope.

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