Science, Technology and Innovation

New program to tackle domestic violence during pregnancy in Western Australia

Roia Atmar was no stranger to violence when her husband set her on fire while she was holding her baby daughter, but she believes things could have been very different if the medical professionals she… Sarah Collard ABC Ms Atmar was a child bride. She was 14 when she came to Australia from Afghanistan, and had her first child at 15, before having three other children to her abuser. She said the abuse started early in the marriage. “For a ... Read More »

To end abortion, don’t ban it. Support families instead.

(RNS) — Anti-abortion leaders have been thrilled with President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Katelyn Beaty Many hope he can be pivotal in overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Priests for Life has called Kavanaugh “exactly what we need on the Supreme Court.” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, tweeted, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Kennedy is RETIRING. We can overturn Roe and Doe. ... Read More »

No healthy level of alcohol consumption, says major study

Governments should consider advising people to abstain entirely, say authors Sarah Boseley The Guardian Even the occasional drink is harmful to health, according to the largest and most detailed research carried out on the effects of alcohol, which suggests governments should think of advising people to… The uncompromising message comes from the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, a rolling project based at the University of Washington, in Seattle, which produces the most comprehensive data on the… No healthy ... Read More »

WA Parliament prepares state for debate on euthanasia, assisted suicide

A parliamentary committee has recommended the introduction of new laws to permit euthanasia and assisted suicide in Western Australia. Nathan Hondros WAtoday Morley MP Amber-Jade Sanderson tabled a 600-page report of a committee on the controversial issue on Thursday morning containing the proposal, which would permit those dying from a condition causing “grievous and irremediable suffering” to self-administer a… The legislation would permit a doctor to euthanise a patient in circumstances where they cannot self-… WA Parliament prepares… Read More »

Explainer: what is resignation syndrome and why is it affecting refugee children?

Reports from Nauru are raising concerns about an outbreak of a severe trauma-related mental disorder known as traumatic withdrawal syndrome, or resignation syndrome. Louise Newman The Conversation Recent legal action resulted in urgent medical evacuation of a child in an unconscious state following a progressive social withdrawal and failure to speak, eat or drink. The child was unresponsive, dehydrated and at risk of death from the physical complications of this extreme state. Medical experts noted there are no adequate medical ... Read More »

It’s not all in your mind: how meditation affects the brain to help you stress less

In Australia, about one in six adults practise meditation, while one in ten practise yoga. People often turn to yoga or meditation as a way to to take time out and manage the stress of their day-to-day lives. Michaela Pascoe The Conversation Stress is common, and ongoing stress can contribute to the onset of a range of psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety. Meditation and yoga have been shown to reduce people’s self-reported levels of stress. This is likely ... Read More »

Ban ‘killer robots’ to protect fundamental moral and legal principles

When drafting a treaty on the laws of war at the end of the 19th century, diplomats could not foresee the future of weapons development. Bonnie Docherty The Conversation But they did adopt a legal and moral standard for judging new technology not covered by existing treaty language. This standard, known as the Martens Clause, has survived generations of international humanitarian law and gained renewed relevance in a world where autonomous weapons are on the brink of making their own ... Read More »

Modern myths about cancer – from ‘chemicals’ in food to wifi

The idea that lifestyle changes have made the disease more common is a gross exaggeration – but increasingly prevalent. We separate fact from fiction Naomi Elster The Guardian Cancer is not up there with the most likely explanations for what caused the mass extinction 66m years ago of the T rex and the triceratops. That said, at least one species of dinosaur suffered from blood-vessel tumours – and a 1.7m-year-old toe with bone cancerwas discovered in 2016 at a South African world heritage site. Cancer ... Read More »

Who owns the moon? A space lawyer answers

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. Frans von der Dunk The Conversation For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon ... Read More »

Could different cultures teach us something about dementia?

Picture two different families, each dealing with a diagnosis of dementia in one of its members. Authors: The Conversation In one case, the patient is a retired executive, whose family tries as long as possible to keep the diagnosis secret, relying primarily on professional caregivers and eventually a nursing home. In another case, the patient is a grandmother. As soon as the diagnosis is suspected, her family pulls together, bringing her into their home and surrounding her with affection. These ... Read More »

How sheds can help men stave off loneliness after retirement – according to our new research

When people hear the word shed, they may think about a rickety wooden building at the bottom of a garden crawling with spiders, filled with old paint tins, a lawnmower and out-of-date weedkiller. Jenny Fisher The Conversation It has also been associated with the term “man cave” – a space where a man spends time on his own, tinkering with junk or avoiding his partner. But our new research found there was more to the humble shed than meets the ... Read More »

Genoa bridge collapse: maintaining these structures is a constant battle against traffic and decay

As rescue workers look for survivors in the concrete rubble that used to be part of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italian authorities are starting their investigation into the possible causes behind this… Marios Chryssanthopoulos The Conversation It is too early to determine what may have caused the catastrophic collapse of more than 100 metres of the multi-span, cable-stayed suspension bridge, completed just over 50 years ago. But it’s important to understand that bridge engineering does not end when construction ... Read More »

Aboriginal traditions describe the complex motions of planets, the ‘wandering stars’ of the sky

The five planets we can see by naked eye were known to the ancient Greeks as “asteres planetai”, meaning “wandering stars”, due to their wandering journey across the sky relative to the fixed stars. Duane W. Hamacher The Conversation This is where we get the word “planet”. But knowledge of the planets and their movements goes back much further, being prominent in the traditions of the oldest continuing cultures in the world. Recent research reveals a wealth of information about ... Read More »

Rubbish to energy as Sweden wages war on waste with incinerators

Sweden has become the darling of the press when it comes to waste management. Articles claim Sweden “recycles nearly all of its waste” and in doing so “generates electricity and heating”. Foreign Correspondent – By Craig Reucassel ABC As I’ve made a bit of a habit of going around looking in people’s bins, I’m constantly being told we should be more like Sweden and make our waste useful. And when Australia was struck by the so-called China recycling crisis recently, it ... Read More »

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial

Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer. BBC In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. It’s the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer. Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling. “The jury got it ... Read More »

Meet the researchers designing the death of plastic

Urbana, Illinois: Adam Feinberg had no sooner made a bright yellow thin sheet of plastic than he had to shred it into little pieces. He chose an “I”-shaped mould. Then, he filled it with the plastic bits and stuck it in a hot oven. Xiaozhi Lim The Sydney Morning Herald New York Times “I opened up the mould and there was this beautiful yellow ‘I,'” he recalled. His new plastic passed the first test — it was moldable with heat like ... Read More »