Ageing answers no longer a hard cell

The holy grail of healthy old age may lie in the riddle of cells that stop Centenary Logocancer and hasten age at the same time.

Professor Judith Campisi, the head of research labs at San Francisco’s Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will present this research at the Inflammation in Disease and Ageing conference at Manly, organised by the Centenary Institute.

She has found that senescent cells, which stop cancer in its tracks, also promote the inflammation that drives many age-related problems and chronic diseases.

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Can’t see the zebra for the trees; stopping side effects of ageing; brain prize for PM; and Victoria, the heart of medical research

This afternoon at 5pm Biomedical Research Victoria launches. Melbourne is home to more than 40 per cent of Australia’s medical research. BioMedVic represents them.

Can’t see the zebra for the trees? Deforestation hurts the environment – but afforestation can be bad too, and it’s affecting Africa’s iconic animals (or ‘charismatic megafauna’ as the ecologists like to call them).

Why do we get sick as we age? Can we stop the ‘side-effects’ of ageing? Is the Holy Grail of cancer treatment on the horizon? An international meeting at Manly is tackling inflammation and ageing.

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Prize time; stories needed; charge up your communicators

It’s down to work in 2014 with the challenges of communicating science in an arguably more hostile environment.

Prizes are a powerful platform to create role models and reach our investors – the Australian public. Please consider who you can put forward for prizes new and old which open for nomination in the coming weeks.

In particular we’re looking for 60 early career researchers for FameLab Australia, a new initiative combining our Fresh Science program with the British Council’s global program.

Strong stories can drive public and political opinion. Our Stories of Australian Science collection will highlight the best of 2013. And we’re offering audits, mentoring and training services to help your scientists make the best of their moment in the media spotlight. More on those below.

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Cuts, more cuts and confusion: Australian science in 2014?

I fear that that cuts and community confusion about science and evidence will be major challenges for science in 2014.  How can we encourage policy makers to use science properly in their deliberations on everything from climate change to public health and conservation? How can we support continuing funding for science?

I think we’ll need to work harder than ever to tell voters compelling stories of the impact of science on their lives.

Here are some ways I think you can do that.

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Hope for Hep C cure no excuse for risk-taking, expert warns

Australian liver disease specialists available for World Hepatitis Day interviews

Exciting early indications of a cure for Hepatitis C do not mean we should become complacent about the risks of contracting the debilitating disease, a leading Australian researcher warns.

Professor Geoff McCaughan, head of the Liver Immunobiology Program at Sydney’s Centenary Research Institute, says preliminary results of a newly developed oral treatment regime for liver transplant patients with Hepatitis C were showing promising results.

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JABBED: information for doctors

An introduction for doctors to the documentary JABBED

JABBED – love, fear and vaccines is a documentary on vaccination, screening on SBS One at 8.30pm, Sunday 26 May 2013.

Vaccine-preventable diseases are still a problem in our community. While more than 90% of Australians support vaccination, some people are delaying or refusing vaccines. Whooping cough and measles in particular are appearing again. Meanwhile, some parents are anxious about the rare cases of serious reactions to vaccination.

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Challenging the origin of Australian marsupials, how worm genes can regulate brain health, how fast do you want sperm to travel and more at the NSW state final.

Today at ANSTO’s Discovery Centre at Lucas Heights, 14 of NSW’s future science leaders are participating in the NSW Fresh Science state final.

In total, 60 state finalists have been chosen competitively for their discovery and for the quality of their research.

Today, they will be trained in how to talk science to journalists, business and the public at a one day media and communication workshop.

And this evening, we’ll wrap up their training with a small networking reception where they’ll have one last challenge. Can they excite and inspire over a canapé?

The 2013 NSW state finalists are:

  • Ummul Baneen, University of New South Wales
  • Robin Beck, University of New South Wales
  • Madleen Busse, University of Sydney
  • Jessica Carilli, ANSTO
  • Yee Lian Chew, University of Sydney
  • Matthew Collins, University of Sydney
  • Angela Crean, University of New South Wales
  • Alex Donald, University of New South Wales
  • Greta Frankham, Australian Museum
  • Shayne McGregor, University of New South Wales
  • Andrew Ong, University of New South Wales
  • Anne Tiedemann, The George Institute for Global Health, The University of Sydney
  • Chaofan Wu, University of New South Wales
  • Jerry Zhou, The University of Sydney

The NSW state final is supported by ANSTO.

Inspiring Australia: RMIT science journalism project

Science in Public worked with journalism students at RMIT University to produce a series of radio pieces about the projects supported by the government’s Inspiring Australia strategy.

Their work are being published online at http://inspiringaustralia.net.au/category/rmit/.

The students were asked to choose a story which explores how scientists and communicators across Australia have engaged with the public and inspired their involvement with science.

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2000 young world leaders march with a message for the United Nations

Photo opportunity 1pm Friday 22 March: 2000 students from 80 countries will wear their flags in a march along the Yarra from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to Queensbridge Square.

They’ve got a message for the United Nations – they’re demanding a seat at the table for young people as world leaders debate future plans for international aid and development.

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