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Antibiotic resistance: scientists are reengineering viruses to cure bacterial infections

January 22, 2020

Bacteriophages infecting a bacterial cell.

The world is in the midst of a global “superbug” crisis. Antibiotic resistance has been found in numerous common bacterial infections, including tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and salmonellosis, making them difficult – if not impossible – to treat. We’re on the cusp of a “post-antibiotic era”, where there …

New genetic test to predict and prevent vision loss from glaucoma

It’s the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting roughly 76 million people worldwide, and up to fifty per cent of those people don’t know they have it.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, causing gradual loss of vision. There is no cure, but treatment can can slow or halt progression – if …

Heart health: Are women getting incorrect treatment?

A review of research on causal factors of heart disease in each sex has highlighted major differences in how conditions are caused and present in women.
Alarmingly, the review also indicates that these differences are often not taken into account by healthcare providers, resulting in an increased risk of women developing …

Eating disorders resource

With the new MBS item number for managing eating disorders, help is far more accessible for patients with this condition.
It is now more important than ever to identify and diagnose these patients.
The screening questionnaire associated with this resource can be useful for this purpose.
InsideOut is an Australian institute focused on …

Mental illness and the NDIS

Initial NDIS planning failed to recognise the unique needs and challenges of people with mental illnesses.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) promises a life-changing opportunity for Australians living with disabilities to get the supports they need to engage and participate fully in their communities.
The size, complexity and rapid roll-out of …

Fish-oil for future fathers

Prospective fathers might consider taking fish-oil supplements to improve their fertility, new research suggests.
Danish researchers conducted the study into the reproductive function among over 1500 young men (aged 18-19 years) from the general population. They compared parameters such as total sperm count and motility, as well as serum hormone levels …

Online PTSD support

January 15, 2020

Online psychological therapy is becoming increasingly popular, with more options appearing every week it seems. It is a particularly good option for people who have difficulty accessing appropriate psychologists.
Here is one such online service that you might well find useful to recommend for patients in the wake of the recent …

Bushfire smoke and pregnancy – the risks

Smoke haze from Australia’s catastrophic bushfires is continuing to affect many parts of the country.
Although there’s no safe level of air pollution, the health hazards tend to be greatest for vulnerable groups. Alongside people with pre-existing conditions, smoke exposure presents unique risks for pregnant women.
Research shows prolonged exposure to bushfire …

Major concerns over Australian study into transgender children

Some very well-respected psychiatrists have raised serious concerns about the ethics and methodology of a new prospective study into transgender children, taking place at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service.
The protocol of the study, known as the Trans20 longitudinal cohort study, has been recently published in the journal BMJ Open.
In …

People who don’t have asthma ‘using inhalers for the first time’ due to smoke

The health impacts of Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season are being felt well beyond the fire grounds, ABC Health and Wellbeing has reported.
One of the main issues is respiratory problems, unsurprising given that bushfire smoke has wreathed towns and major cities for weeks, sending air pollution levels skyrocketing.
Doctors throughout the areas …

Possible major driver of sleep apnoea determined

January 14, 2020

New research may have pinpointed the specific areas of the body where fat needs to be lost in order to relieve sleep apnoea.
The common disorder can significantly impact on sleep quality and therefore quality of life. The cause is often blocking of the upper airway during sleep, known as obstructive …

How might bitter melon help treat cancer?

Traditionally used in cooking and to treat many health conditions in India, bitter melon (Momordica charantia) may prove to be an effective aid in cancer treatment.
In a study now detailed in the journal Cell Communication and Signalling, researchers from St Louis University in Missouri conducted preliminary tests by using bitter …