Adelaide researchers find how a bacteria digests a sugar can be key to new treatments
The severity of a common and often lethal type of bacteria
depends on its ability to process a type of sugar, research from the University
of Adelaide reveals.
Streptococcus pneumoniae causes diseases of the
lungs, blood, ear and brain, killing an estimated one million people every
year. Moreover S. pneumoniae causes
otitis media (infection of the middle ear), which devastates Aboriginal
populations. It also rapidly develops resistance to antibiotics, making it
challenging to treat.
A technique adapted from telecommunications promises more effective cancer treatments.
Drugs can be delivered into individual cells by using
soundwaves, Melbourne researchers have discovered.
Adapting a technique used in the telecommunications
industry for decades, Dr Shwathy Ramesan from RMIT, and colleagues, used the
mechanical force of sound to push against cell walls and deliver drugs more
effectively than treatments currently in use.
The new technique aids in silencing genes responsible for
some diseases, including cancer, by switching them on or off.
Public events in Sydney 11 Nov, Melbourne 18 Nov and online
Case studies/patients also available from the Mito Foundation.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is
inviting all Australians to provide their views on the use of a new assisted
reproductive technology that might assist in preventing certain rare mitochondrial
diseases but which requires careful ethical and social consideration.
Consultation is open until Friday 29 November 2019.
NHMRC invited all Australians to provide their views on the
use of a new assisted reproductive technology that might assist in preventing
certain rare mitochondrial diseases, but which requires careful ethical and
social consideration. Consultation is open until 29 November. An issues paper
is available at www.nhmrc.gov.au/mito.
On Saturday 19 October in Adelaide, NHMRC held its first
major event of the consultation – a citizens’ panel. Around 20 citizens randomly
selected from across Australia met over two weekends to hear from experts and
then prepared their own position statement.
Mitochondrial donation might be able to assist in the
prevention of mitochondrial DNA disease in an estimated 60 births per year in
this country. However, there are social and ethical issues to consider
using mitochondrial DNA from a donor
(using IVF technology) so that the child has DNA from three people
rights of children to know their full genetic heritage
potential risks and benefits of the technology, and
implications for future generations.
donation is in limited use in the UK and some other countries, but not
Australia. NHMRC is asking the Australian community to consider the social and
ethical issues associated with mitochondrial donation and will then provide
advice to the Australian Government.
Details on further events will be provided in future
Science In Public’s Michael Lucy wins a Eureka Prize
Michael won the award – presented at a glittering ceremony
at the Australian Museum in Sydney on Wednesday, August 28 – for a feature he
wrote on plastic pollution. The story was published in Cosmos magazine.
At the time of publication, Michael was also features
editor of the magazine, working alongside editor Andrew Masterson – who is now
editor-in-chief at Science In Public.
20-23 June 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting: 2,500+ stem cell scientists from 50 countries will hear from 150+ speakers including:
Lab-grown mini-brains make new connections
Fred ‘Rusty’ Gage (USA) is making mini-brains from human stem cells in the lab. But in order for these new tissues to function, they need to become well-connected.
Fred is pioneering research to explore how transplanted human neural organoids (mini-organs) can mature into tissues with blood vessel and nerve connections. This work could lead to methods of replacing brain tissue lost to stroke or disease, and repairing spinal cords damaged by trauma.
Tracing blood back to its beginnings to tackle leukaemia
Right now, the stem cells in your bone marrow are making one billion new red blood cells per minute. Andrew Elefanty (Australia) is studying both embryonic stem cells and more specialised blood-forming stem cells to reveal how our body makes blood and what leads to leukaemia and other blood diseases. He will reveal his team’s latest insights. [continue reading…]