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  • A century of memories

    By Jun 11, 2013

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    A century of memories

    History-changing wartime events, from the Battle of Gettysburg to the D-Day landings and the Fall of Saigon, generate memories not only in those on the frontline, but also in the communities from which they came. For Australians, World War I and the Gallipoli campaign in particular are powerful influences on the understanding of our history and our national identity. As the centenary of World War I approaches, Monash University has launched a project designed to capture and preserve memories of those years.Professor Bruce Scates, from Monash University’s National Centre for Australian Studies, is leading the project. It will gather 100 stories – one for each year since the war began in 1914 – from Australian communities large and small.

  • Meeting the future’s great expectations

    By Jun 11, 2013

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    Meeting the future’s great expectations

    Meeting the future’s great expectations Guest editorial by Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO Profound challenges confront Australian manufacturing. The high Australian dollar, the strength of the resources boom and the continuing fallout from the global financial crisis have all had an impact, but perhaps most significant is the intense global and regional competition felt as Asia, and China in particular, invests billions of dollars in research and development.In order to compete globally, Australia has no option but to take a collaborative approach. Individually, research institutions and industry are simply not able to meet such huge challenges.

  • Meeting the future’s great expectations

    By Jun 11, 2013

    Comments Off

    Meeting the future’s great expectations

    Meeting the future’s great expectations Guest editorial by Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO Profound challenges confront Australian manufacturing. The high Australian dollar, the strength of the resources boom and the continuing fallout from the global financial crisis have all had an impact, but perhaps most significant is the intense global and regional competition felt as Asia, and China in particular, invests billions of dollars in research and development.In order to compete globally, Australia has no option but to take a collaborative approach. Individually, research institutions and industry are simply not able to meet such huge challenges. We cannot do this alone. We need to foster more and deeper partnerships

  • Unnatural selection

    By Jun 11, 2013

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    Unnatural selection

    Genetic science has presented us with one of the most complex ethical dilemmas of our time: what kinds of people should be born. Discussion hinges largely on a technology known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which enables doctors to screen a couple’s embryos to ensure the child has not inherited the genetic predisposition for a serious hereditary disorder such as cystic fibrosis and Tay–Sachs disease or traits such as deafness. PGD is a routine part of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) when one or both parents lives with a genetic disorder or carries its telltale gene, explains bioethicist Associate Professor Robert Sparrow.Most people would consider the ability to screen out embryos with such genes an unqualified good.

  • Science refines the breath of life

    By Jun 11, 2013

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    Science refines the breath of life

    Helping premature babies survive is a fraught process that can cause harm even as it preserves life. But the finetuning of resuscitation techniques is making a difference.In developed countries, babies born after only 24 weeks’ gestation have a chance of surviving. Although medical advances have reduced some of the risk in their difficult start to life, these infants tend to be confronted by recurring complications – from chronic lung disease to neurocognitive problems and vision impairment.At Monash University, researchers led by developmental physiologist Professor Richard Harding are refining clinical practices to improve the longer-term health prospects of premature babies, especially for those born before 30 weeks.In particular, his research group is refining how respiratory technologies for preterm infants are applied – during resuscitation, and later during the mechanical ventilation necessary to help them to continue breathing. Professor Harding says this concentration on postnatal care follows a recognition by researchers and doctors that science, for the moment, cannot do any more to reduce the number of premature births.

  • Life-saving aid for the midwife’s kit

    By Jun 11, 2013

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    Life-saving aid for the midwife’s kit

    A new approach for controlling haemorrhaging during childbirth could save the lives of thousands of mothers in developing countries.Death during childbirth as a consequence of unchecked postpartum haemorrhage is still a frighteningly real risk for many women, even though it can be readily prevented by an injection of the hormone oxytocin. The tragedy is that this life-saving measure, which stems excessive blood loss, is largely confined to developed countries because oxytocin must be kept in cold storage and injected by trained medical staff using sterile syringes. Consequently, most of the 120,000 to 150,000 mothers reported to die each year from bleeding after delivery are in poor, remote communities that lack the necessary facilities and expertise.To improve the outlook for women in these poorer communities, Monash University researchers led by Dr Michelle McIntosh are developing an inhalable formulation of oxytocin.

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