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A round-up of the latest science and news from Australasia.

High Cancer Rates in Indigenous People of High-Income Countries

Indigenous people in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have high rates of preventable cancers, including lung and cervical cancer, according to research published in The Lancet Oncology.

The most commonly occurring cancers among indigenous men, irrespective of region, were lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. Among indigenous women, breast cancer was the most frequent cancer, followed by lung and colorectal cancer.

Why Cocky Guys Get the Girl

Overconfidence may help people win romantic partners, according to research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Doctoral student Sean Murphy and Prof Bill von Hippel of The University of Queensland conducted a series of online experiments with more than 3000 male and female participants.

Sexual Activity May Influence Endometriosis

Contact with seminal fluid has been associated with endometriosis by researchers at the University of Adelaide.

“In laboratory studies, our research found that seminal fluid (a major component of semen) enhances the survival and growth of endometriosis lesions,” says Dr Jonathan McGuane, who was co-lead author of the research published in The American Journal of Pathology.

“Endometriosis, when tissue that normally grows inside a women’s uterus grows outside the uterus, affects one in ten

Epigenetic Signatures Predict Breast Cancer Aggression

Newly identified epigenetic signatures could help clinicians tell the difference between highly aggressive and more benign forms of triple-negative breast cancer.

A Nature Communications study comparing how DNA is methylated in breast cancer and healthy cells found “distinct methylation patterns” in the primary biopsy breast cancer cells that indicated better or worse prognosis.

Vinegar Exacerbates Jellyfish Stings

While vinegar is currently the recommended first aid treatment for box jellyfish stings in tropical Australia, new research published in the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal has found that it can increase discharge of the creature’s venom.

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Inherited Alzheimer’s Damage Begins Decades before Symptoms

The progression of Alzheimer’s disease may actually slow once symptoms appear, according to a study investigating an inherited form of the disease.

In research published in Science Translational Medicine, Professor Colin Masters of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health has found that rapid neuronal damage begins 10–20 years before symptoms appear. “As part of this research we have observed other changes in the brain that occur when symptoms begin to appear. There is actually a slowing of the neuro­degeneration,” Masters said.

A Universe Less Dusty

By Stephen Luntz

An exceptional galaxy has cast doubt on our conception of the early universe and the way in which galaxies form.

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