close in on an objective measure for physical distress.
A new microscope-based method for detecting a particular molecule in the spinal cord could help lead to an accurate and independent universal pain scale, research from Australia’s Macquarie University suggests.
An accurate way of
measuring pain is of critical importance because at present degrees of
discomfort are generally assessed by asking a patient to estimate pain on a
one-to-10 scale. The situation is even more acute in the treatment of babies,
the very old and animals, where speech is absent.
Cognition is influenced by siblings, researchers find.
Autistic children with autistic siblings have better
cognition than those who are the only family member with the condition, researchers
Importantly, the outcome does not depend on birth order.
Although previous studies have identified that having
autistic siblings leads to better cognition for individual children with the
condition, it was assumed that the order in which the children were born was a
Adelaide researchers find how a bacteria digests a sugar can be key to new treatments
The severity of a common and often lethal type of bacteria
depends on its ability to process a type of sugar, research from the University
of Adelaide reveals.
Streptococcus pneumoniae causes diseases of the
lungs, blood, ear and brain, killing an estimated one million people every
year. Moreover S. pneumoniae causes
otitis media (infection of the middle ear), which devastates Aboriginal
populations. It also rapidly develops resistance to antibiotics, making it
challenging to treat.
Filtering out social bots can help critical response teams see what’s
happening in real time
Researchers have created an algorithm that distinguishes
between misinformation and genuine conversations on Twitter, by detecting
messages churned out by social bots.
Dr Mehwish Nasim and colleagues at the School of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Adelaide say the algorithm will make it easier
for emergency services to detect major events such as civil unrest, natural
disasters, and influenza epidemics in real time.
“When something really big is going on, people tweet a
huge amount of useful information,” says Mehwish.
A technique adapted from telecommunications promises more effective cancer treatments.
Drugs can be delivered into individual cells by using
soundwaves, Melbourne researchers have discovered.
Adapting a technique used in the telecommunications
industry for decades, Dr Shwathy Ramesan from RMIT, and colleagues, used the
mechanical force of sound to push against cell walls and deliver drugs more
effectively than treatments currently in use.
The new technique aids in silencing genes responsible for
some diseases, including cancer, by switching them on or off.
Small changes to marine parks could make a big difference
to mako sharks and many other ocean shark species, says UWA researcher
Charlotte Birkmanis, lead author of a paper published in Global Ecology and
Sharks are the peak predators across the world’s oceans.
They’re essential to the health of the oceans, and of the fisheries that
billions of people depend on.
Astronomers from CSIRO and
Curtin University have used pulsars to probe the Milky Way’s magnetic field.
Working with colleagues in Europe, Canada, and South Africa, they have
published the most precise catalogue of measurements towards mapping our
Galaxy’s magnetic field in 3-D.
The Milky Way’s magnetic
field is thousands of times weaker than Earth’s, but is of great significance
for tracing the paths of cosmic rays, star formation, and many other
astrophysical processes. However, our knowledge of the Milky Way’s 3-D
structure is limited.