Live fast, stay young…NAD+ do it well

Forget Botox, THIS is the all-natural, scientifically tested product that you need to get that youthful glow this season.

We get wrinkles when our bodies are no longer able to produce collagen and elastin in our cells, which gives the appearance of thinning and sagging skin.

The culprit is sunlight, more specifically the UV radiation from sunlight.

Radiation causes DNA mutations, which affect the way our body produces proteins like collagen and elastin.

When we’re young our bodies are able to locate mutations and fix them, but as we get older our bodies cannot restore the ‘broken’ DNA and we begin to show signs of ageing.

Our bodies deteriorate as we age and it has been thought to be irreversible and unavoidable since the beginning of our existence. But what if I told you that human trials for an age reversing pill would begin in months? Continue reading

Posted in health and medical, SCOM1001 | Comments Off on Live fast, stay young…NAD+ do it well

How CRISPR-Cas9 Could Cure Cancer

Cancer, a plague on humanity. Chances are you’ve seen someone close to you taken by this horrific disease. Now, there may just be a way to cure it.

The Costs of Cancer

In 2014, Cancer killed more than 44,000 people in Australia, and that number is estimated to increase to more than 47,000 this year. That’s at least 182,000 people who have had a loved one taken away from them over only 2 years.

Ovarian Cancer Cells Source: Nephron (2010)

What is cancer, you may ask. Well, it is a disease caused by certain mutations in the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), the structure of which happens to dictate our very state of physical being. These mutations always seem to cause a huge amount of suffering for the unfortunate people with cancer. Continue reading

Posted in health and medical, SCOM1001 | Comments Off on How CRISPR-Cas9 Could Cure Cancer

It’s getting hot in here… So what does this mean for the ocean?

One day, in the not-so-distant future, the movie Finding Nemo may be seen as an incredibly inaccurate portrayal of life under the sea. And it’s not because of the talking fish.

With climate change heating up our oceans and creating acidification, more and more reports are emerging on the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, or the melting of arctic sea ice.

Aside from destroying reef habitats, new research has found that climate change may also have devastating consequences for the state of marine food webs, with possible collapse on the horizon.

With fish providing people worldwide up to 20% of their animal protein, the breakdown of fish food webs would have momentous consequences for food security.

The beautiful, colourful, and full of life oceans where we imagine Nemo and his friends to live, may soon be a thing of the past.

If you have kids or were a kid in 2003, you probably imagine the ocean to look something like this (Source: Imgur)

Continue reading

Posted in environment and conservation, SCOM8014 | Tagged , , | Comments Off on It’s getting hot in here… So what does this mean for the ocean?

Cancer conspiracies: Research to make you jelly

We’ve all heard the conspiracy – pharmaceutical companies are keeping a cure for cancer under wraps because treating cancer is more profitable.

Now, I don’t tend to make a habit of sticking up for big business, but there are a couple of quick points that suggest this isn’t the case.

  1. There’s more than 200 types of cancer and there’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all cure for all of them.
  2. Some people are already being successfully treated for cancer every day.
  3. It’s not just pharmaceutical companies researching cancer treatment – governments are, too.
  4. AND, scientists are regularly publishing promising findings for the future of cancer treatment, including some promising research that has come out of Korea.

Scientists and diving into their research and coming up with jelly-fied cancer-treating gold

Image of Nomura’s jellyfish from National Geographic

Research in Korea earlier this year showed promising results for treating cancer cells with extract from a Nomura’s jellyfish, which is about the same size as a human.

Continue reading

Posted in health and medical, SCOM8014 | Comments Off on Cancer conspiracies: Research to make you jelly

Bottoms up! Melting the dark side of Antarctic ice shelves

A map of Antarctica showing major glaciers and all ice shelves coloured to indicate the rate of change of thickness. Sea temperature is also indicated by a colour scale.

Antarctica’s glaciers (grey) extend beyond the shoreline into anchored but floating ice shelves (areas outlined in black using the left scale indicating change of thickness per year where red means thinning rapidly and yellow is steady).
(Source: adapted from Pritchard et al. (2012), Nature, via Antarctic Glaciers.)

Antarctic ice shelves are nature’s buttresses against sea level rise that would devastate our coastal civilisations. New research provides a clearer picture of how climate change will speed up melting of ice shelves from underneath.

Antarctica’s land area is almost completely covered by massive glaciers hundreds of kilometres long and up to 4km high. In many places around the continent, these glaciers extend well beyond the shoreline into thick floating platforms of ice called shelves.

Continue reading

Posted in environment and conservation, SCOM8014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bottoms up! Melting the dark side of Antarctic ice shelves

Hey Fish! Urine Trouble!

Some people might yell, a dog might growl, maybe a deer will clash antlers, but how does the fish (cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher) show aggression?

It pees.

That’s right, twinkle, urinate, take a leak, wizz, whatever you would like to call it that’s how it shows it’s the toughest fish in the tank.

Source: https://68.media.tumblr.com/b89eb712e3dbff7dc065164d2c6519cf/tumblr_nwt08l6dRd1tiaz2oo1_500.jpg

WHY IT MATTERS?

Communication between animals is still relatively hard concept to grasp, with such varying methods and mixed signals between species and populations.

It is however one of the most beneficial ways in learning about our own human qualities. Continue reading

Posted in sci com not elsewhere classified..., SCOM1001 | Comments Off on Hey Fish! Urine Trouble!

A recipe for old leaves

Just how valuable are your garden scraps?

Every year, nearly half of our organic waste gets thrown to landfill, when all of it could be used for other things.  Local councils are slowly introducing collection schemes for people’s leaves, grass clippings, branches and plants.  They use it to make mulch, compost and soil conditioners.

But it could have a lot more potential than that.  In fact, according to this research, it could be a source of some crucial chemicals.

Continue reading

Posted in environment and conservation, SCOM8014 | Tagged , , | Comments Off on A recipe for old leaves

The Miracle of the Mind: Treating Major Depression with Computers is a Reality

Two blue bars lie horizontal on the computer screen. There is also a dot. It flickers erratically. If you concentrate hard enough, it slows down and lies in between the two lines. That’s the goal. Keep thinking of a happy memory for several minutes and the dot stays in the lines. It sounds like you’re casting a ‘patronus charm’ straight out of a Harry Potter novel. Easy, right? It sure is.

And it turns out it may be the most effective, non-intrusive and possibly most powerful answer to treating Major Depressive Disorder we’ve encountered.

Welcome to the miracle of the mind. Welcome to the new and wonderful science of Neurofeedback Therapy.

Continue reading

Posted in health and medical, SCOM1001 | Comments Off on The Miracle of the Mind: Treating Major Depression with Computers is a Reality

Look out Harry – invisibility cloaks don’t work on Tassie devils anymore

Or at least, not on six very important Tasmanian devils.

A study published in Biology Letters last October studied 52 wild devils, and found six who possessed never-before-seen antibodies against the deadly devil facial tumour disease, or DFTD for short.

Tasmanian devils still need our help (Source: Flickr)

So what does that have to do with invisibility cloaks?

Well, part of what gave DFTD its infamous 100% death rate was that the disease is completely invisible to the devils’ immune system.

This is because of a molecule called major histocompatibility complex class I, or MHC-I. In normal cancers, MHC-I is expressed on the surface, allowing the immune system to identify it as a foreign cell. But in facial tumour disease, MHC-I is turned down, making it invisible. Continue reading

Posted in environment and conservation, SCOM8014 | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Look out Harry – invisibility cloaks don’t work on Tassie devils anymore

The Universe, Ripping us a New One

As scary as it seems, we might be learning more about how our universe will end…

In a combined study, Astrophysicists from across America and Australia have recently reduced the uncertainty of the Hubble Constant from 3.3% to 2.4%. This means in 9.8 billions years the distance between cosmic objects will double!

Wait… What?

Well to put it in other words, we know the expansion of our universe is accelerating (cheers Schmidtty), and the rate of which is called the Hubble Constant. Contributing scientists to the recent research paper have used Wide Field Camera 3 technology on the Hubble Space telescope, and combined it with Infrared observations of Cepheid variable stars from 11 galaxies! Continue reading

Posted in sci com not elsewhere classified..., SCOM1001 | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Universe, Ripping us a New One