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Science Stories

An Engineering approach to curing Cystic FibrosisCystic Fibrosis is an inherited life-long disorder for which there is no cure. Although there have been recent advances in treatments that have extended the lives of patients, these treatments have not removed the need for life-long medications and procedures. Learn more

Martin Donnelley

Hemoglobin and fertility - what's the connection?Hemoglobin is known to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide through the body. When it was discovered inside the oocyte it initiated a wave of questions and a new research direction. What role is hemoglobin playing inside the oocyte and what affect does this have on fertility? Learn more

Hannah Brown

Hope for parents - preterm children can catch upBabies born preterm often face life-long setbacks in development and education and may be prone to life-long health challenges. However their cognitive ability as teenagers can be as good as term-born peers...depending on the quality of their early-life home environment. 
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Luke Schneider

Is shift work harming your baby?Shift workers are at greater risk of a range of health problems including weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Can working shifts during pregnancy also negatively affect the developing baby? 
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Tamara Varcoe

A new approach to improve IVF successAt least 1 in 6 Australian couples experience infertility and now 4% of children are conceived by IVF - and this number is on the rise. However, only 17% of IVF cycles are successful and result in a live birth. 
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Melanie McDowall

Fit for a gene - how sex-biased gene expression contributes to fetal growthMales are, on average, larger than females at birth - demonstrating that males grow faster in utero. However, this difference in fetal growth has other consequences. 
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Sam Buckberry

Is chronic pain a symptom of the brain?Two people experience the same injury and receive identical treatment. Six months later one patient has fully recovered, while the other develops a chronic pain condition. Dr Ann-Maree Vallence is uncovering what causes the transition to chronic pain in some patients. Learn more

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Quality control in protein production ensures normal brain developmentJozef Gecz and colleagues have found that NMD exists in cells to make sure that only top quality proteins are produced. Alterations in NMD genes are strongly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Learn more

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Exciting new target for schizophrenia diagnosis and treatmentSchizophrenia is a common and debilitating brain disorder that remains difficult to diagnose and treat due to fundamental knowledge gaps. Dr Quenten Schwarz has identified a new focus for schizophrenia research which may lead to new options for diagnosing and treating the disease. Learn more

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Longer not always better in twin pregnanciesConventional wisdom suggests that for a normal pregnancy, the longer a baby remains inside the uterus the better off it will be. New evidence from Professor Jodie Dodd suggests that twin babies may avoid major birth-related health problems by moving the ideal time of delivery to 37 weeks. Learn more

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Vaccination against chicken pox reduces severe illness and death in Australian ChildrenDr Helen Marshall led a research project looking at the impact of an Australian vaccination program against the varicella virus on severe chicken pox infection in children. The results show that vaccination against chicken pox is highly successful at preventing severe illness and death in susceptible children. Learn more

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Caring for very sick babies: how can we know when to let them go?Newborn intensive care specialist and ethicist Dominic Wilkinson sees many families and doctors struggle with life and death decisions regarding very sick babies. His new book tackles the very difficult topic of how to decide whether babies with severe and multiple disabilities should be medically supported, or allowed to die. Learn more

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New cell discovery reveals secrets of ovarian developmentAfter discovering a new type of cell that is present in ovaries, Ray Rodgers has proposed a new model describing how ovaries develop. This discovery will have implications for understanding how ovaries function in normal women and those with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Learn more

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Semen and Pregnancy: it's not just about the spermSeminal fluid is important not just as a vehicle for sperm, but also as a trigger for immune reactivity. Sarah Robertson has explored this idea comprehensively in animals over her career spanning more than 20 years in reproductive immunology. Learn more

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Lessons from large cohort study extend beyond the scienceMichael Davies and colleagues finally reached the end of more than 7 years of painstaking work in achieving New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) publication of a cohort study examining assisted reproductive technologies(ART) and the risk of birth defects. Learn more

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