Science, Technology and Innovation

Government medicinal cannabis bill to be tested in Parliament

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The Turnbull government will on Wednesday introduce a national scheme into Parliament to licence medicinal cannabis growers. The Canberra Times – Jane Lee, Legal affairs, health and science reporter Although medicinal cannabis is available for particular patient groups and clinical trials, it is currently illegal to grow and import most medicinal cannabis products, leading some patients to buy them from the black market and run the risk of prosecution for drug use and possession. Health minister Sussan Ley hoped for bipartisan support for ... Read More »

Mathematics should be compulsory during all of high school, ADMA says

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Mathematics should be compulsory during all of high school to help address a skills gap in analytics in the marketing industry, according to Association of Data-driven Marketing and Advertising chief executive Jodie Sangster. Brisbane Times – Max Mason, Media Reporter Ms Sangster, who also represents the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), said there has been constant feedback from members who are having problems filling jobs with people who have the right skill sets in data and marketing. “The outcome ... Read More »

Scientists closer to cause of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic finding

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Washington: For the first time, scientists have pinned down a molecular process in the brain that helps to trigger schizophrenia. WAtoday – Amy Ellis Nutt * The researchers involved in the landmark study, which was published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, say the discovery of this new genetic pathway likely reveals what goes wrong neurologically in a young person diagnosed with the devastating disorder. The study marks a watershed moment, with the potential for early detection and new treatments that ... Read More »

Schizophrenia’s strongest known genetic risk deconstructed

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Suspect gene may trigger runaway synaptic pruning during adolescence – NIH-funded study. NIH  Versions of a gene linked to schizophrenia may trigger runaway pruning of the teenage brain’s still-maturing communications infrastructure, NIH-funded researchers have discovered. People with the illness show fewer such connections between neurons, or synapses.  The gene switched on more in people with the suspect versions, who faced a higher risk of developing the disorder, characterized by hallucinations, delusions and impaired thinking and emotions. “Normally, pruning gets rid of ... Read More »

Being A Doctor Should Not Have To Come With A Health Warning

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Several years ago, getting out of bed seemed like a monumental task. In a new job in a new city with no friends or family, I was both flailing and failing. I would come home from work and sit on the steps outside my front door and cry until I could not breathe anymore. I was alone and adrift. I don’t know what made me ask for help, but I did. The Huffington Post – Dr Nikki Stamp, Heart surgeon who supports ... Read More »

Ebola is Over. But West Africa’s Public Health Challenge Remains

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Today the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has formally ended. At its height in mid-2014, there were concerns social order in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could collapse. ICG – By EJ Hogendoorn | @ejhogendoorn International mobilisation, notably after the UN Security Council declared the epidemic “a threat to peace and security” on 18 September, brought an extensive intervention and steady progress in reducing the virus’ spread. Now the focus has turned to preventing the re-emergence of Ebola or a similarly ... Read More »

Vladimir Putin claims Russia has cure for ebola

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RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin claims his country has developed a vaccine for the Ebola virus which has killed thousands of people in west Africa. NT News – Network writer and AFPNews Corp Australia Network But Putin, who is famed for his talent for headline-grabbing announcements, did not give any name for the vaccine, nor did he say how it worked, who was developing it or give details of any trials. “We have good news,” Putin was quoted as saying by RIA ... Read More »

Scientists struggle to stay grounded after possible gravitational wave signal

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Cosmologist’s tweet appears to confirm rumours of discovery that could ‘open a new window on the universe’ The Guardian – Ian Sample Science editor @iansample Not for the first time, the world of physics is abuzz with rumours that gravitational waves have been detected by scientists in the US. Video – Professor Lawrence Krauss, cosmologist at Arizona State university, speaks to the Guardian about the possible discovery of gravitational waves Lawrence Krauss, a cosmologist at Arizona State university, tweeted that he had received ... Read More »

An Irishman’s Diary on the debt we owe to George Petrie, the ‘father of Irish archaeology’

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A painter, musician and antiquarian The Irish Times – Brian Maye The great Irish scholar George Petrie, often called “the father of Irish archaeology”, died 150 years ago on January 17th. As well as being an archaeologist, he was a painter, musician and antiquarian, and his work for the topographical section of the Irish Ordnance Survey in the 1830s and 1840s had an enormous influence and contributed greatly to what became known in Irish culture as the “Celtic Revival”. He was ... Read More »

NASA Unveils ‘Planetary Defense’ Programme To Save Earth From Armageddon-Type Asteroids

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Keep calm everyone, NASA has a plan to save us from any Armageddon-esque asteroids that might be heading towards Earth. The Huffington Post UK  |  By Nitya Rajan The space agency has unveiled a programme dubbed, Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). Its main aim will be to detect and monitor near-earth objects and coordinate an “intergovernmental” effort to “any potential impact threats.” According to NASA, more than 13,500 near-Earth objects (NEOs) have been detected and 95 percent of them have ... Read More »

Human impact has pushed Earth into the anthropocene, scientists say

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New study provides one of the strongest cases yet that the planet has entered a new geological epoch The Guardian – Adam Vaughan @adamvaughan_uk There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, according to a group of scientists. The question of whether humans’ combined environmental impact has tipped the planet into an “anthropocene” – ending the current holocene which began around 12,000 years ago ... Read More »

Professor condemns HPV vaccine after receiving $270,000 grant to study it

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Dr Genevieve Rail, Professor of Critical Studies of Health at Concordia University won a grant of $270,000 CAD to study the effects of HPV vaccines. Australian National Review – By Gabriela Motroc Professor Genevieve Rail is facing criticism after she condemned the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, which was previously declared the root cause of cervical cancer. Dr Rail concluded that there is no proof that the HPV directly causes cervical cancer. Five years ago, a German scientist received the Nobel Prize for ... Read More »

Detailed analysis of NBN Co’s finances shows FTTP better value than FTTN

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news A researcher from Monash University has published a detailed analysis of the NBN company’s costs which appears to show that Labor’s technically superior Fibre to the Premises model represents better financial value than the Coalition’s preferred Fibre to the Node technology only a scant few years after FTTP was deployed. Delimiter – By Renai LeMay Under Labor’s previous near-universal Fibre to the Premises model for the NBN, the HFC cable and copper networks owned by Telstra and Optus would have ... Read More »

The drug that costs over $1,000 that sells for $5 in India

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Outsiders don’t want their daughters to marry any local boys, according to the village elders swapping stories in a tailor’s shop behind the Sikh temple, because most residents are infected with black jaundice. Brisbane Times – Ketaki Gokhale That’s what they call hepatitis C, which is so common in parts of India’s Punjab state that the tailor-shop gossips might not be off base in their estimate. But prevalence could be something of an advantage these days. Drugmakers have made the village ... Read More »

Christmas Island medical cannabis plan: community expresses concern

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Plans to grow Australia’s first commercial crop of medical cannabis at Christmas Island have met resistance from some locals, who fear that islanders won’t see the financial benefits and drugs may end up in the hands of local youths. The Sydney Morning Herald – Nicole Hasham, Environment and immigration correspondent The cannabis proposal is the latest of a series of developments that have raised the ire of Christmas Island residents, who say the controversial detention centre damages efforts to grow the island’s ... Read More »

Ancient DNA sheds light on Irish origins

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Scientists have sequenced the first ancient human genomes from Ireland, shedding light on the genesis of Celtic populations. By Paul Rincon, Science editor, BBC News website The genome is the instruction booklet for building a human, comprising three billion paired DNA “letters”. The work shows that early Irish farmers were similar to southern Europeans. Genetic patterns then changed dramatically in the Bronze Age – as newcomers from the eastern periphery of Europe settled in the Atlantic region. Details of the work, ... Read More »