close in on an objective measure for physical distress.
A new microscope-based method for detecting a particular molecule in the spinal cord could help lead to an accurate and independent universal pain scale, research from Australia’s Macquarie University suggests.
An accurate way of
measuring pain is of critical importance because at present degrees of
discomfort are generally assessed by asking a patient to estimate pain on a
one-to-10 scale. The situation is even more acute in the treatment of babies,
the very old and animals, where speech is absent.
Filtering out social bots can help critical response teams see what’s
happening in real time
Researchers have created an algorithm that distinguishes
between misinformation and genuine conversations on Twitter, by detecting
messages churned out by social bots.
Dr Mehwish Nasim and colleagues at the School of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Adelaide say the algorithm will make it easier
for emergency services to detect major events such as civil unrest, natural
disasters, and influenza epidemics in real time.
“When something really big is going on, people tweet a
huge amount of useful information,” says Mehwish.
Cognition is influenced by siblings, researchers find.
Autistic children with autistic siblings have better
cognition than those who are the only family member with the condition, researchers
Importantly, the outcome does not depend on birth order.
Although previous studies have identified that having
autistic siblings leads to better cognition for individual children with the
condition, it was assumed that the order in which the children were born was a
Analysis finds gender equity among star
scientists improving, but big challenges remain.
Ensuring research opportunities for indigenous, disabled and LGBTQ astronomers is essential if Australian research is to succeed in the new era of “mega-telescopes”, a major analysis has found.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, Professor Lisa Kewley, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics (ASTRO 3D), finds that encouraging astronomers from marginalised communities will increase the chances of significant research discoveries.
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.
Data gathered by NASA’s now defunct Kepler telescope provides a solution to an astronomical mystery.
Star-quakes recorded by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have
helped answer a long-standing question about the age of the “thick disc” of the
In a paper published in the
journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,
a team of 38 scientists led by researchers from Australia’s ARC Centre of
Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in Three Dimensions (ASTRO-3D) use data
from the now-defunct probe to calculate that the disc is about 10 billion years
Academic journal rules are
penalising citizen scientists and indigenous knowledge, say US and Australian
Citizen scientists should be
included as authors on journal papers, researchers say.
In a paper published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, a team led by biologist Dr Georgia Ward-Fear from Macquarie University in Australia and Dr Greg Pauly from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles argues that newfound respect for indigenous knowledge and changes in technology mean that non-professionals are taking greater roles in science work.