Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

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The rich array of microbiota in our intestines can tell us more than you might think. The New York Times – By PETER ANDREY SMITHJUNE Eighteen vials were rocking back and forth on a squeaky mechanical device the shape of a butcher scale, and Mark Lyte was beside himself with excitement. ‘‘We actually got some fresh yesterday — freshly frozen,’’ ... Read More »

Promoting violence? Alcohol specials lead to increased aggression in bars

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Melbourne’s CBD has become increasing violent late at night. In 2009–10, 2568 assaults were reported to police. This was a 3.7% increase on the 2008 figures and a 35% increase on assaults in 2005. The Conversation - Francis Markham and Martin Young * In 2007–08, 10% of all public place assaults occurred in licensed premises. More than 25% were flagged ... Read More »

The Walking Dead

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This is the third piece in a three-part series on sleep. Read part one, on falling asleep, and part two, on sleeping and dreaming. The New Yorker – By Maria Konnikova Did you get enough sleep last night? Are you feeling fully awake, like your brightest, smartest, and most capable self? This, unfortunately, is a pipe dream for the majority ... Read More »

Steroid arrests to overtake cocaine within two years: Researcher

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Arrests for steroid trafficking will outstrip cocaine in two years and heroin within four years, a Queensland criminologist predicts. Brisbane Times – Jorge Branco, Journalist Bond University assistant professor and former detective inspector Terry Goldsworthy’s warning comes after two recent reports from the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) showed huge increases in arrest and seizure numbers in Queensland. “If you look at the actual ... Read More »

Barry Lambert gives $34m to University of Sydney for cannabis research

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Retired financial services magnate Barry Lambert has given the the University of Sydney $33.7 million – its biggest ever donation for research – to develop pharmaceutical drugs from cannabis plants. Financial Review - by Tim Dodd “The experience of our granddaughter, who suffers from debilitating epilepsy, has opened our eyes to the extraordinary possibility of cannabinoids treating not only her condition but a range of ... Read More »

Australian immunologist Ian Frazer wins international award for developing the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine

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Former Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer and his late Chinese colleague Jian Zhou have won a prestigious international award for developing the world’s first vaccine against cervical cancer, Gardasil. ABC - By Francis Tapim and Kym Agius The immunologists were awarded the European Inventor Award in the popular prize category at a gala ceremony in Paris on Thursday night, ... Read More »

The best antidote to drug use isn’t tougher laws – it’s growing old

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The Global Drug Survey 2015 shows most drug users do so regardless of the law, but it’s a passing phase – so what’s most needed is some help to stay safe The Guardian – Adam R Winstock and Michael Shiner Yesterday we published the results of the biggest survey of drug use ever conducted, the Global Drug Survey 2015, with responses from ... Read More »

Against all odds: archaic Greek in a modern world

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University of Cambridge - An endangered Greek dialect spoken in Turkey has been identified by Dr Ioanna Sitaridou as a “linguistic goldmine” because of its closeness to a language spoken 2,000 years ago. Archaic Greek in a modern world Although Romeyka can hardly be described as anything but a Modern Greek dialect, it preserves an impressive number of grammatical traits that ... Read More »

The man who couldn’t stop giving

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What a Brazilian man’s pathological generosity says about the biological roots of philanthropy. SBS – By Sam Kean / Source: The Atlantic In the early 1990s, a quiet man named João quit his job running the human-resources department of an insurance company in Rio de Janeiro and began selling french fries from a street cart. The fries quickly proved popular, in part because they ... Read More »

Sex is disgusting but we keep doing it

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Sex is inherently pretty disgusting: bodily fluids everywhere, strange smells and even stranger noises — and yet by and large we all more or less manage to enjoy it. This trade-off between wanting to reproduce and wanting to avoid bodily secretions presents an interesting challenge for evolution and has resulted in a complex relationship between being turned-on and grossed-out. To ... Read More »