Posted: April 15th, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Medicated | Tags: Australian Medical Association, Dr Google, Healthy Communities, Immunisation, Inoculation, National Health Performance Authority, Vaccinatiom | No Comments »
Research from the National Health Performance Authority has found 77,000 Australian children are not fully immunised. The study – Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011-12 – measures the percentage of children who were considered fully immunised at one, two, three and five years of age. It found 32 areas where the percentage of children fully immunised was 85 per cent or lower for at least one age group. The Australian Medical Association says anything below 93 per cent is unsafe.
The success of immunisation programs depends on public support. A lack of public support for these programs can contribute to a significant increase in preventable diseases, and can be directly linked to the resurgence of once common illnesses like measles and pertussis – whooping cough – of which we’ve recently seen outbreaks of in Australia.
Scientific evidence for the effectiveness of large-scale immunisation is well published, in the US full-vaccination from birth save an estimated 35,000 lives annually and prevents an estimated 14 million infections. Some opponents of vaccination argue that the reduction in infectious disease are a result of improved sanitation and hygiene – rather than vaccination – or that the diseases were already in decline before the introduction of vaccination, unlike medicine however, they don’t process any evidence for these anecdotes.
Repating sometimes is the only way of getting a point across; for vaccination programs to work, 93 per cent of people need to be immunised, any number below this presents a danger for communities. In Australia there are pockets with rates of immunisation as low as 85 per cent. More concerning however is that there are communities relying on Dr Google for medical information, forming what the perceive as informed decisions and lowering immunisation rates in the process. Affluent Eastern Sydney for example has an immunisation rate of 89 per cent, this well educated region is choosing to place it’s children in danger of serious infection due to misguided information? :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 11th, 2013 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Outside the Box | Tags: Sir Robert Edwards | No Comments »
British scientist Sir Robert Edwards, who was awarded a Nobel prize for his pioneering work in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), died on Wednesday aged 87. The British professor spent his career making the dream of having a baby come true for millions of people worldwide, running into conflict with the Catholic Church and fellow scientists on his way.
He was awarded the Nobel prize for medicine in 2010, five decades after he began experimenting and long after the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978. Sir Robert was too frail to pick up his Nobel prize in Stockholm in 2010, leaving that to his wife Ruth, with whom he had five daughters. However, he remained a fellow of Churchill College at Cambridge until his death.
Born in Yorkshire in northern England on September 27, 1925, into a working-class family, Sir Robert served in the British army during World War II before returning home to study first agricultural sciences and then animal genetics :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 10th, 2013 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ANU, ASRP, Australian Landmark, Australian Plasma Thruster, Australian Satellite, Australian Space Research Program, Great Barrier Reef, HDLT, Helicon Double Layer Thruster, honeysucklecreek, rmit, Space-based National Wireless Sensor Network, WRESAT | No Comments »
The Australian Federal Government has launched Australia’s first national space policy at Canberra’s Mount Stromlo Observatory. The launch showcased 14 Australian space research projects, funded by a $40 million Federal Government investment to support space-related research and education. Melbourne’s RMIT is one six universities in Australia to receive the funding boost, our favourite University scored almost $3M in funding :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: NASA | Tags: Asteroid Capture, Barack Obama, DA14, Mars, NASA, Orion, Senator Bill Nelson, Space Exploration, US Space Program | No Comments »
That last bastion of US ingenuity, NASA will apparently launch a new space mission that intends to grab a small asteroid and tow it into orbit around the moon, as part of a long-range plan towards establishing permanent manned outposts in space.
US Senator Bill Nelson says to get the project off the ground, president Barack Obama will propose around $US100 million for the space agency in his 2014 budget, which he submits to Congress this week.
The proposed plan calls for a robotic-spacecraft to capture an asteroid and tow it back towards Earth, ultimately leaving it in a stable orbit around the moon.
Once there there could be mining activities, research into ways of deflecting an asteroid from striking Earth, and testing to develop technology for a trip to deep space and Mars, Senator Nelson said in his statement :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 8th, 2013 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Psychiatry | Tags: Dreams, Interpreting Dreams, Machine Learning Models, MRI, Visual Imagery | No Comments »
Grrr… Waking from a dream, instantly forgetting it is one of the slight handicaps we suffer as intelligent beings, surprisingly it doesn’t seem to appear on any of the interwebs Most Annoying lists – unlike No 12 our ability to eat with our mouths close - which also eeks me no end! Japanese scientists have solved the first problem, they’ve invented a machine that predicts images dreamt during sleep.
In science Visual Imagery during sleep – dreams, or at least the pictorial part of dreams – has to-date been elusive to any objective analysis.
Japanese researchers however have taken a novel new approach to decoding our subconscious thoughts during our none waking hours, utilising machine learning models they’re now able to predict the visual content of our dreams. The new study – Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep – published in the journal Science and the findings could pave the way to prevent nightmares :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 7th, 2013 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Cankler Science News | Tags: black hole, brown dwarf, European Space Agency INTEGRAL, NGC 4845 Galaxy, University of Geneva | No Comments »
Swiss astrophysicists have witnessed the most rare of event, a black hole awakening from its slumber to devour a planet-sized object in a galaxy 47 million light years away. Observers from the University of Geneva using the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite project, revealed a black hole that had been slumbering for years chomping on a giant, low-mass object that had ventured too close.
Scientists at the Swiss university analyse the data collected by INTEGRAL, launched in 2002 to study gamma rays and shed light on events far from Earth’s galaxy. They spotted a light flare coming from a black hole in the centre of the NGC 4845 galaxy, which has a mass more than 300,000 times greater than the Sun and had been dormant for more than 30 years, the university said in a statement.
Matter-sucking black holes normally lurk dormant and undetected at the centre of galaxies, but can occasionally be tracked by the scraps left over from their stellar feasts. This black hole had woken up and absorbed an object with a mass 15 times that of Jupiter after taking three months to drag the snack from its trajectory. It managed to swallow 10 per cent of the object’s total mass, while the remainder stayed in orbit :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 3rd, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Medicated | Tags: Bird Flu, china, H5N1, H7N9 | No Comments »
Health authorities in China are investigating the deaths of two people attributed to a strain of bird flu not thought to have previously infected humans. An 87-year-old man and a 27-year-old man in Shanghai both fell sick in February and died earlier this month, a 35-year-old woman in nearby Anhui province is in a critical condition. Avian bird flu strain H7N9 has been identified as the cause of their deaths.
All three initially suffered fever and coughs, but later developed severe pneumonia and problems with breathing. China’s National Health Commission says it has been unable to identify the route of infection to the three victims, but 88 people close to them currently show no signs of the infection.
There is currently no vaccine against the H7N9 strain. The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence of human to human transmission of the disease, and transmission of the strain to humans appears to be inefficient, meaning the public health risk is low. The WHO says more than 360 confirmed human deaths from the H5N1 strain of avian influenza have been reported to it globally from 2003 until March 12 this year. UPDATE! 4 April 2013 :: Read the full article »»»»