Science, Technology and Innovation

Call for doctors to help looming asylum seeker mental health crisis

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These days, the inner-city suburb of Brunswick is not often associated with grinding poverty or desperation. Miki Perkins The Canberra Times Uni students riffle through upmarket op shops, a multitude of cafes churn out bespoke coffee and new, expensive apartment buildings thrust upwards along the spine of Sydney Road. But if you step off Sydney Road and walk into the calm waiting room of the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub, an undercurrent of distress is palpable. The hub ... Read More »

Facebook investigates data firm Crimson Hexagon

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Facebook has suspended a US-based analytics firm while it investigates concerns about the collection and sharing of user data. Dave Lee BBC Crimson Hexagon, based in Boston, describes itself as offering “consumer insights” and has contracts with government agencies around the world. Facebook said it was looking into whether some of these deals were in violation of its policies on surveillance. The network said it had not found any evidence so far that data had been improperly… According to the ... Read More »

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg clarifies Holocaust comments after outcry

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Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, recently defended the company’s decision to keep on its platform the site Infowars, a prominent right-wing outlet known for spreading conspiracy theories and… Hamza Shaban Brisbane Times / The Washington Post Zuckerberg said in an interview published by Recode on Wednesday that Facebook has a responsibility to curb the viral spread of hoaxes and blatant misinformation. But he maintained Facebook should not ban publishers for spreading false claims, a position he described as “too extreme.” “The ... Read More »

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight: the science of beautiful sunsets

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“A red sky at night is a shepherd’s delight! A red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning.” Perhaps this saying came to mind if you caught a spectacular sunrise or sunset recently. Adam Morgan The Conversation Since biblical times and probably before, proverbs and folklore such as this developed as a way for societies to understand and foretell prevailing weather conditions. The “red sky” proverb has endured across cultures for centuries, and modern science can explain why this ... Read More »

How innovation is upending family law

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As legal professionals begin to pivot around new technologies and business models, family lawyers are starting to see a rise in innovative methods of service delivery, according to a family practitioner. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Speaking at the recent Janders Dean #JDHorizons Conference in Sydney, Faigenbaum Family Lawyers principal Talya Faigenbaum said the uptake of interactive online platforms has been particularly… “The more adventurous firms are offering ‘unbundled legal services’ while others are enhancing their legal teams by bringing in ... Read More »

Why the case of Jahi McMath is important for understanding the role of race for black patients

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California teenager Jahi McMath, who suffered catastrophic brain injury as a result of a routine tonsil surgery, died on June 22, 2018. Yolonda Wilson The Conversation Her death came after four years of her family fighting in court to continue her care in California. Eventually, they moved her to a facility in New Jersey, a state that accommodates religious views that don’t recognize brain death. Much of the popular discussion in the case centered on the family’s refusal to accept ... Read More »

Game changing game changes

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‘Stochastic games’ can resolve Tragedy of the Commons Harvard University All it took for rewriting the rules of understanding evolution of cooperation was a series of chance encounters between Martin Nowak, Krishnendu Chatterjee and Christian Hilbe. Chatterjee, a computer science professor at IST Austria, mentioned the idea of stochastic games – games which can change based on players’ actions – during his first visit to Harvard in 2008, and the idea sent Nowak down a… “People who study evolution of ... Read More »

The Australian doctor playing a key role in Thai cave rescue

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An Australian doctor is at the centre of the desperate attempt to rescue 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai. Josh Dye The Age Richard Harris, an anaesthetist from Adelaide, has been revealed as one of the international dive experts seconded to assist with the difficult and dangerous rescue mission. On Saturday, Dr Harris undertook the dangerous dive through to the 12 Thai boys and their coach. He gave the final approval on the boys’ ... Read More »

What’s the real price of getting rid of plastic packaging?

SARANGKOT, KASKI DISTRICT, NEPAL - 2016/10/02: Empty Coca Cola bottles in crates are piling up. (Photo by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Economics of Change Crunching the numbers of how much switching might cost us How much would it cost to switch to plastic alternatives? Richard Gray crunches the numbers. By Richard Gray BBC Walking along a short section of stony beach, Claire Waluda stoops briefly to pick up something from between the rocks. It is a brightly coloured plastic bottle top – just one of hundreds of bits of plastic that she finds washed ashore on the remote, windswept island ... Read More »

What the Stanford prison experiment really tells us about tyrants

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Nearly half-a-century ago, 24 male students hoping to make some holiday money turned up at Stanford University, California, for what would become one of the most notorious experiments in the field of human… Alison Brown Brisbane Times The volunteers were recruited by Professor Philip Zimbardo and were randomly assigned to be either “prisoners” or “guards” in a mock prison that had been constructed in the basement of the Stanford psychology… Zimbardo’s experiment was supposed to last two weeks but was ... Read More »

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk

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China-based hackers have successfully infiltrated the IT systems at the Australian National University, potentially compromising the home of Australia’s leading national security college and key defence research… Nick McKenzie & David Wroe The Canberra Times Federal government cyber security officials have been working with the university since detecting the cyber attack, assessing the scale of any information theft and who in China could be responsible for… The ANU conducts research that has defence, strategic, scientific, technological and… Chinese hackers breach… Read More »

Europe’s copyright fight is just getting started

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EU lawmakers will have a month to re-craft complicated digital rules with a massive impact on the future of the internet. Joanna Plucinska Politico Europe’s war over internet copyright rules isn’t over. It’s just entering a new — and potentially more brutal — phase. The European Parliament voted Thursday to take the EU’s proposed overhaul of online copyright rules back to the drawing board, reopening talks on a controversial law that affects media, creative industries and internet giants. If Europe’s copyright rules ... Read More »

Memorial for scientist who took his own life

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A public memorial will be held in Perth for Australia’s oldest scientist David Goodall, who died in Switzerland from assisted suicide aged 104. WAtoday Professor Goodall took his own life on May 10 at a clinic near Basel after spending his last days patiently and openly explaining his decision to a huge media throng from around the world. He did not have a terminal illness but said his quality of life had deteriorated. “Even up to, say, the age of ... Read More »

France has no reason to bar lesbians from IVF, top court advises

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PARIS (Reuters) – There are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction, the top state advisory body on judicial matters will tell the French government, Le Figaro reported on… Reuters Staff President Emmanuel Macron’s government said last year it wanted to change the law which currently restricts to heterosexual couples treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium and… France ... Read More »

Time to honour a historical legend: 50 years since the discovery of Mungo Lady

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This month we celebrate an event 50 years ago in western New South Wales that changed the course of Australian history. Jim Bowler The Conversation On July 15, 1968, the discovery of burnt bones on a remote shoreline of an unnamed lake basin began a story, the consequences of which remain sadly unfinished today. It’s the story of a legend, the discovery of Mungo Lady, the first in the series of steps that led to the creation of the Willandra ... Read More »

When an Indian hospital ran out of oxygen, doctors tried to help – so why were they jailed?

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Gorakhpur: It was a shocking story: A government hospital in the far north of India ran out of liquid oxygen because it hadn’t paid the supplier. Over the next two days, dozens of children died in care. By Shashank Bengali & Parth M.N. The Age LA Times At the time, authorities specified that 34 of 60 children who died were babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis. The rest died of other unspecified causes. Amid ... Read More »