Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Expert Opinion

Experts pick apart the veracity of claims made in research papers and the media.

Back Pain Can Be Treated with Antibiotics

New research finds that bacterial infection is the cause of 40% of chronic lower back pain.

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Red Herring for Red Meat Consumption

A nutrient used as a dietary supplement, not fat and cholesterol, is the link between red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease.

AusSMC

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Aspirin May Lower Melanoma Risk

New research has found that women who take aspirin have a reduced risk of developing melanoma, and that the longer they take it, the lower the risk.

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Court Upholds Patent for Breast Cancer Gene

A landmark decision by the Federal Court has upheld the validity of patents on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, with Cancer Voices Australia and cancer survivor Yvonne D’arcy losing their case against US-based Myriad Genetics Inc and Melbourne-based Genetic Technologies.

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Getting Stoned May Not Be Making Teens Stupid

A previously reported causal link between teenage marijuana use and a reduction in IQ may be erroneous. A Norwegian researcher re-examined data from the Dunedin longitudinal study of cannabis users in New Zealand and found that the decrease in IQ observed may instead be linked to lower socioeconomic status.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

High Levels of Methane Around Coal Seam Gas Fields

Southern Cross University academics have reported unusually high levels of methane around coal seam gas fields in northern NSW and the Tara gas fields in southern Queensland.

Source: AusSMC

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Too Much Added Sugar for Young Australians

By various experts

Preliminary research presented at the annual congress of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society suggests that intake of “added” sugars is above recommended levels for more than half of young Australians.

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Gillard announces 3,200 gigalitres back to the Murray

By Various experts

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a plan to return 3,200 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling Basin (an extra 450 billion litres) from 2019. The Gillard Government has pledged $1.7 billion over a decade from 2014.

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Long-Term Toxicity of GM Maize

By Compiled by AusSMC

French research published in Food and Chemical Toxicology suggests that rats fed a diet containing a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize died more frequently and earlier than control groups. The study also suggests that females developed mammary tumours more often than and before controls.

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Dark Chocolate and Cocoa May Reduce Blood Pressure

By Various experts

Australian researchers have found that dark chocolate and cocoa powder have a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure in the short term. The authors say there is a need for long-term trials to determine whether or not blood pressure is reduced on a chronic basis by eating cocoa every day.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.