Bernardino Ramazzini is on the job

Looking for a career in healthcare? Occupational medicine, with its focus on treating work-related injuries and illnesses, is “the medical specialty ranked among the highest in satisfaction and lowest in professional burnout”, claims the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It might come as a surprise to learn that the “scientific foundation to modern … Continue reading Bernardino Ramazzini is on the job

Did we underestimate the health effects of the Black Summer bushfires?

Research led by the Australian National University (ANU) has discovered undocumented health problems among people exposed to bushfire smoke. This suggests that the physical and mental impacts of the Black Summer fires were more extensive than previously thought. The team surveyed more than 2000 residents of areas around Canberra, Australia’s capital city, who were affected … Continue reading Did we underestimate the health effects of the Black Summer bushfires?

Epigenetics and pregnancy stress: should we be scared?

Preparing for a child is hard, and it’s only exacerbated by all the information that gets thrown at mothers about what to do and what not to do. One of these common ideas is that if a mother experiences stress when pregnant, her offspring will suffer. But don’t panic – genetics is highly complex biology … Continue reading Epigenetics and pregnancy stress: should we be scared?

High blood pressure is a problem at any age

People whose blood pressure falls at the higher end of the normal recommended range might still be at risk of accelerated brain ageing, suggests a new study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) found that optimal blood pressure helps our brains stay biologically six months younger than our … Continue reading High blood pressure is a problem at any age

The energy compensation conundrum

Ever wonder why it seems so hard to exercise off those winter kilos, even as the weather warms and you become increasingly active? The problem, says Lewis Halsey, an environmental physiologist at the University of Roehampton, London, isn’t that you’re doing something wrong. Rather, you’re up against a mysterious aspect of human physiology known as … Continue reading The energy compensation conundrum

Ebola resurfaced: some viruses are never really gone

Seven years after the last Ebola epidemic in Guinea, the virus has once again raised its ugly head, with 23 cases and 12 deaths in a new outbreak. They were caused not by a spillover of the virus from animals to humans, but by latent Ebola hiding inside surviving patients. What is Ebola? Ebola virus … Continue reading Ebola resurfaced: some viruses are never really gone

Will Australia climb aboard the Merry Pranksters’ psychedelic bus?

Whether Australia’s drug regulator remains among the constipated bourgeoisie or ascends to enlightenment hinges on its response to the views of three experts tasked to look into the medical use of psilocybin and MDMA. Yesterday, the wise trio offered a cautious perspective on both. “We conclude that MDMA and psilocybin may show promise in highly … Continue reading Will Australia climb aboard the Merry Pranksters’ psychedelic bus?

Five heart stories for International Heart Day

Today is International Heart Day, and Cosmos is looking back on the stories that make our hearts flutter. The fine detail of a healthy heart Scientists have taken another step in the quest to create a “Google map of the human body” by putting together a detailed cellular and molecular map of the healthy heart. … Continue reading Five heart stories for International Heart Day

Heading off autism diagnoses early

Australian researchers have shown for the first time that early intervention with parent-led therapy can help to reduce autism diagnoses in children that exhibit early signs of the condition. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that a specific type of video-feedback-based therapy has the potential to reduce the clinical diagnosis of autism in children … Continue reading Heading off autism diagnoses early

Rethinking eating disorders from the inside out

Eating disorders – the leading psychiatric cause of death in Australia – are not being adequately treated by the current healthcare system, according to a new National Eating Disorder Strategy launched today. In fact, while at least one million Aussies are living with an eating disorder, only about 200,000 are receiving evidence-based treatment, according to … Continue reading Rethinking eating disorders from the inside out

Women disadvantaged when it comes to cardiac care

Women with some cardiac conditions receive less evidence-based treatment than their male counterparts, research published today by the Medical Journal of Australia has confirmed. Researchers from the University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital and Concord Repatriation General Hospital analysed registry data for patients diagnosed with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE-ACS) – which includes myocardial infarction and … Continue reading Women disadvantaged when it comes to cardiac care

We need to talk about women and concussion

Every year, around 3000 Australians are hospitalised from a sports-related concussion – and most won’t even know it. But while the rules surrounding concussion management are informed by science, there is a huge gap in knowledge regarding its causes – especially among women. Where do the rules come from? Despite many claims that concussion management … Continue reading We need to talk about women and concussion