Passport officers often have to scrutinise hundreds of people each day. They have just a few seconds to stare through their glass screens at the impatient and perhaps slightly dishevelled traveller facing them and decide if their face matches the tiny photograph in their passport. And this isn’t just their job – it’s a matter of great national security.
People have long been fascinated with sleepwalkers — by those who roam during the night without awareness, climbing out of windows, walking down the street, urinating in a cupboard, or moving furniture.
Today, almost two in every three Australian adults are overweight or obese, as is one in four children. Obesity is a disease itself and a risk factor linked to ischaemic heart disease (the leading cause of premature deaths today in Australia), stroke (the third leading cause), and musculoskeletal conditions (the second major cause of disability), among others.
Understanding the human brain is arguably the greatest challenge of modern science. The leading approach for most of the past 200 years has been to link its functions to different brain regions or even individual neurons (brain cells). But recent research increasingly suggests that we may be taking completely the wrong path if we are to ever understand the human mind.
There are foods that can split families, or even just couples. Love it or hate it foods. Marmite (and the Antipodean alternative, Vegemite) is one. Then there’s Brussels sprouts, blue cheese, chilli peppers, coriander (cilantro), tomatoes (especially the cooked variety) … and liquorice.
There’s one force whose effects are so deeply entrenched in our everyday lives that we probably don’t think much about it at all: gravity. Gravity is the force that causes attraction between masses. It’s why when you drop a pen, it falls to the ground. But because gravitational force is proportional to the mass of the object, only large objects like planets create tangible attractions. This is why the study of gravity traditionally focused on massive objects like planets.
New proposals from Australia’s drug regulator should give you a better idea if your complementary medicines do what they say on the packet.
New proposals from Australia’s drug regulator should give you a better idea if your complementary medicines do what they say on the packet.One change proposed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is a “stamp of approval” on the packaging and promotional material of some vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements to tell you there is enough evidence to back health claims.
Catnap, kip, snooze, siesta; whatever you call naps, there is no doubt these once frowned-upon short sleeps are gaining acceptance. The increase in popularity is not surprising, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US finding around a third of American adults do not get the recommended seven hours sleep each night.
Over 3,770m years ago, the Earth looked very different. There were no plants, no animals, the sky was not blue. The surface would have resembled a bare rocky wasteland. Yet it was around this time that we think the first life appeared, deep in the ocean around hot fissures in the seabed known as hydrothermal vents. Here, hot fluids circulate through the rocks on the seafloor, carrying iron and other elements out of the rocks and into the surrounding water. The chemicals and energy in these environments make them look like the perfect place for life to start.
During the early part of the last century, dyes were frequently used to disinfect wounds. During the first world war, thousands of lives were saved by “flavine therapy” which used dyes such as Brilliant Green and Acriflavine. The dyes were applied to bullet or shrapnel wounds to kill the bacteria at the site of the injury – for example, bacteria which causes gas gangrene. But now these dyes are being resurrected to treat bacterial infections, but with a new twist: light.
If you have ever been nervous about something that is about to happen, then you may have felt the sensations of nausea and “fluttering” – the recognisable and odd sensation deep in your gut known as having “butterflies in the stomach”.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood physical disability, affecting more than 34,000 Australians, and more than 17 million people worldwide. Video games can help children with cerebral palsy
The life expectancy of human beings will soon exceed 90 years for the first time, scientists have predicted. An international study suggests that people will be living far longer in 2030, with the gap between men and women starting to close.
Some of us can definitely say we have a sweet tooth. Whether it’s cakes, chocolates, cookies, lollies or soft drinks, our world is filled with intensely pleasurable sweet treats. Sometimes eating these foods is just too hard to resist.
Within the inner ear, thousands of hair cells detect sound waves and translate them into nerve signals that allow us to hear speech, music, and other everyday sounds. Damage to these cells is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, which affects 48 million Americans.
Most of the research behind new medical advances is carried out using either animal tissues or cancer cells. Both tools have their problems: results from animals and humans do not always match up and cancer cells grown for years in laboratories often do not mimic the tissues they originally came from very well. Bridging the gap between whole animals and simple cells can be a challenge during the development of new treatments, but this is beginning to change since scientists have learned how to grow organoids.
We’re outnumbered by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that can make us ill. And the only thing standing between them and our devastation is our immune system. The immune system does such a good job most of the time that we only really think about it when things go wrong. But to provide such excellent protection against a whole host of pathogens, our immune system must constantly learn.