La Trobe University

La Trobe University was established in 1964. It takes a brave, bold approach to higher education and delivers socially responsible, inclusive, relevant and radical teaching, learning and research. La Trobe University is also a leading provider of regional higher education in Australia.

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Former Health Services Union head Craig Thomson represents a vital vote for the Gillard government. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Health Services Union: why union members deserve better

The ACTU yesterday voted to suspend the Health Servives Union from affiliation until they can prove that issues of governance have been dealt with appropriately. Although it does seem to have been a slow…

Sex cells: virgin birth in sexually active fish

I recently wrote about virgin birth in hammerhead sharks where I tried to explain parthenogenesis, a process at the level of the sex cells which allows females to produce offspring without the benefit…

Sex cells: virgin birth in the hammerhead shark

I was listening to Triple J on Tuesday afternoon when comedian David O’Doherty shared what he called a show stopping fact: female hammerhead sharks can produce baby hammerhead sharks without the benefit…

Catching tuna sustainably: a noble goal for Guam

Fifty percent of the world’s tuna is caught in the Western and Central Pacific region. Today, a meeting in Guam will determine if this fishery will become more sustainable or continue to harm endangered…
The answer is not more rigid insistence on the primacy of biomedicine, in spite of its great contribution to saving lives. CALI.org

Evidence-based medicine v alternative therapies: moving beyond virulence

More heat than light is being generated by the resurgence of the debate on orthodox evidence-based medicine versus the so-called pseudo-science of alternative therapies. Unfortunately the voices of medical…
Mick Malthouse and his wife celebrate after Collingwood won the 2010 AFL grand final. AAP/David Croslingv

In Conversation: Mick Malthouse

Michael “Mick” Malthouse is one of the most important figures in the history of Australian football. A premiership player for Richmond in 1980 he subsequently coached the then Footscray Bulldogs to a number…
As a major donor in the region, Australia should defend countries facing the possibility of unaffordable medicines. US Navy/Wikimedia Commons

Australia should defend neighbours in Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations

Australia is taking a strong stance to protect its health and medicines policies during negotiations for the new regional trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). This negotiating…
Treatments should be based on how well they make people feel rather than how scientific or traditional the medicine is. By Wikidudeman

No need for an alternative medicine crackdown

Homeopathy is a combination of tradition, art and a science that has been used for centuries. Does it really matter if its effect is placebo if it makes people feel better and regain good health? And why…
Bureaucracy is stymieing academic engagement. StripeyAnne

Untangling red tape to turn academics into public intellectuals

The idea that universities should return to their “core business” of teaching and research has become a favourite mantra of vice chancellors. It is reinforced by increasing evaluations imposed by Canberra…
Palmer and former Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg address a press conference. AAP/Laine Clark

Cash or glory? Funding the A-League and the quest for silverware

The public slanging match between two heavy-hitters of Australian business, Clive Palmer and Frank Lowy, has highlighted football’s reliance on private ownership. Private ownership is a logical model for…
If there are legitimate reasons for drug companies to gift doctors, then it should be disclosed. Steven Depolo/Flickr

Gifts that keep on giving: pharma should disclose all links to doctors

How would you feel if your local GP or specialist was pocketing money from a drug company to promote its products? If your gut tells you that this falls squarely into the category of Very Bad Ideas then…
Workers building a stadium in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Questions linger about the process that saw Qatar granted the 2018 event. AAP/Fernando Bizerra Jr

Moneyball: why sporting organisations need to start playing by the rules

Rangers Football Club, the historically Protestant half of Glasgow’s “Old Firm” (the other half being the Catholic Celtic) has entered financial administration to prevent UK tax authorities installing…
The TGA is still slow to act on products making dubious weight-loss claims. puuikibeach

New weight-loss claims show TGA reforms aren’t working

Little seems to have changed inside the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). And that’s despite two years of reviews into the shortcomings of its regulatory processes and the release, late last year…
Love and neurochemistry go hand in hand. brianwiese

I love you (and that’s not the dopamine talking)

You know the feeling: your heart’s beating faster, your pupils dilate, your palms are sweaty, and you’ve got a belly-full of butterflies. You’re in love and, yes, you’re “all shook up”. The euphoria of…
A toilet wall has more than meets the eye. Flickr/ukslim

Women’s toilets in Australia: the writing is on the wall

La Trobe University’s Dr Jan Schapper recently completed a study into signage and writing on women’s toilets in Australia. The research, just published in the international journal, “Gender, Place and…
Despite placebos’ reputation as worthless therapy, many medical practitioners still use them. FML/Wikimedia Commons

Not just smoke and mirrors: placebo’s place in modern medicine

Belief is a powerful medicine but the term “placebo” has negative connotations. In modern evidence-based medicine, treatments considered worthless are described as no better than placebos. But this description…

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