Simple cough could save lives from TB

A community-wide screening program being trialled in Vietnam aims to create a new model for global TB control

In the 1950s and 1960s Australians were accustomed to having regular chest x-rays in a caravan, parked in their suburb, to screen for TB. During this time TB almost (but not quite) disappeared from Australia and the program was phased out.

Now Australian researchers from the Centenary Institute, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and the Centre of Research Excellence on TB Control will assess the potential for a similar program of regular community-wide screening to have the same impact on TB in Vietnam, a country in which TB is still very common and costs many lives. However, instead of x-rays the team will use a new molecular test that is performed on sputum coughed up from patient’s lungs to detect TB. They hope their work will serve as a model for countries with a high burden of TB in our region and elsewhere.

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From skin cells to eye cells; Gates Foundation policy director; World TB Day; and all your pubs belong to us…

Embargo: 10.30 am Monday 18 February

Melbourne researchers are turning skin cells into eye cells to help them understand an incurable form of blindness that affects one in seven older Australians.

Hear more on Monday at the launch of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, a new charity that is supporting stem cell research, and informing the community of the potential opportunities, and the present dangers of stem cell medicine. [continue reading…]

How galaxies grow up; turmeric could fight malaria; and the PM’s Science Prizes

A Sydney astronomer Amanda Bauer has discovered and studied a distant cluster of galaxies to find out how galaxies evolve and interact with their neighbours. Her work will help explain the fate of our own Milky Way.

This intergalactic yarn is our latest Fresh Science story. More next week.

Australia and India will work together to study the impact on cerebral malaria of the major ingredient of turmeric, curcumin.

Dr Saparna Pai from the Centenary Institute in Sydney is off to New Delhi for the study.

Centenary is also celebrating over $5 million in grants for research into cardiology, TB, aging and immunology.

And the Prime Minister’s Prizes are approaching – 31 October with a 5 pm embargo. Details if you need them will be available on embargo from tomorrow.