Wed, 23 September 2015
Neurologist and acclaimed author Dr. Oliver Sacks died after complications with cancer at age 82. He was an extraordinary man who humanised the sufferers of mental disorders and introduced the general public to the world of neuroscience. Read his books. We highly recommend them!
Nobody is surprised, but we finally have good experimental data that shows a lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to illness. Less than 5 hours of sleep makes you four times more likely to get sick, and volunteers where locked in a hotel and given colds to prove it.
Climate change will cause many problems, but a new study potentially adds one more to the list: changes to nitrogen fixating bacteria that could dramatically effect nearly all sea life.
After its successful fly-by of Pluto, New Horizons has a new target: 2014 MU69. This 'cold classical' Kuiper belt object will be 43.4 AU from the sun when New Horizons arrives on January 1, 2019.
Sun, 20 September 2015
A new theory about our solar system's history proposes that there was a fifth giant planet early on that influenced Neptune's orbit and was flung out into interstellar space.
Two independent teams have manipulated a piece of viral protein so it can teach immune systems to fight whole groups of viruses, rather than a single strain. This could be the first step towards a universal flu vaccine and could eventually eradicate influenza altogether.
Over the last three years Professor Brian Nosek from the University of Virginia has managed to get a lot of psychologists from around the world to repeat 100 published psychology experiments. In a lot of cases, the new results were considerably different from the original experiment's results.
A psychologist in Italy got study participants to stare into each other's eyes for ten minutes and describe what they felt. Weird things happened!
Mon, 14 September 2015
Dr. Miranda Ween is investigating the potential health effects of e-cigarettes.
Nasa has awarded a $200,000 per year grant to researchers to investigate ways to turn poop into food.
Scientists at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting have called for changes to how decisions are made in fisheries. Unprecedented conditions like the North Pacific blob demonstrate a need for ecosystem-based modelling instead of the more common species-based modelling.
Can smelling vomit make you sick? The answer is yes, but to prove it virologists had to build a machine that vomits.
Wed, 2 September 2015
Dr. Krystal is now working at the BioMelbourne Network, the peak industry body for life sciences in Melbourne, Australia.
In an important step forward for human space exploration, astronauts on the ISS have eaten lettuce grown on the station. They liked it.
Despite having only a 36% success rate, the new malaria vaccine called 'Mosquirix' has been endorsed for young African children. The hope is that the vaccine, when combined with other existing defenses, can still greatly reduce the incidence of severe malaria.
New research studying almost 20,000 galaxies in one small section of the sky shows the universe has long passed its peak and is slowly dying. Which is a gloomy way of saying that the rate of new stars being born is decreasing.
We all know that no vaccine is ever truly 100% effective, yet that's exactly what early stages of a new Ebola vaccine seems to suggest.
The humble octopus has an exceptionally complicated genome, which goes part way to explaining the complexity of these incredible sea creatures.