Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute discovers ways to prevent and treat conditions affecting babies, children and adolescents, helping them lead happy, healthy lives.

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Parents of very preterm infants are at far higher risk of depression and anxiety than parents of healthy full-term babies. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Mums and dads of very preterm babies more likely to be depressed

A new baby is life-changing for all parents, but for those whose babies are born too early, the challenges can be immense.
This birth defect has such a stigma because it can be related to having a smaller-than-usual penis. Mike Ault/Flickr

Hypospadias: the cause of penis malformation is still a matter of debate

Hypospadias is a malformation of the penis, present from birth, where the opening of the urethra is misplaced somewhere along the underside of the penis instead of being at the tip.
RCH patient, Miles, working with NAO. Alvin Aquino/RCH

Robots can help young patients engage in rehab

The advent of social robots is giving rise to new possibilities in paediatric health care. But will they replace human specialists?
A new treatment for achondroplasia is helping to transform many kids’ lives.

New dwarfism drug shows how innovation can be done well

A collaboration between research and industry has produced a promising new drug that could transform many childrens' lives. It's also a case study in innovation done right.
Family resemblance isn’t only down to genes, but also to the influence of the environment on those genes. Mitchell Joyce/Flickr

Epigenetics: phenomenon or quackery?

Epigenetics is increasingly used as a buzzword to sell pseudoscientific products, but the truth of epigenetics is even more interesting – and complex – than the quacks claim.
Health is one of the nine Science and Research Priorities announced by hte government. Sapol Chairatkaewcharoen/Shutterstock

Research priority: make Australia’s health system efficient, equitable and integrated

Australia spends around 10% of GDP on health, so it's imperative that our research strategies also generate economic benefits.
Epigenetic molecules play a different melody on different people’s genomes, and this might be contributing to some developing autism. Jesse Kruger/Flickr

Music of the genome hits a discord with autism

The epigenetic 'musicians' that play our genomes in different ways might help us understand the causes of autism.
Children love interactive devices and can’t recall a time without them, so it may be best to manage rather than ban them. Lars Plougmann/Flickr

Growing up in the age of apps doesn’t have to be all bad

Despite occasional panic about the negative impact they may be having on children's social and intellectual development, interactive devices give parents a much-needed break and can benefit kids.
Another myth is that we all look like this. U.S. Army RDECOM/Flickr

Seven myths about scientists debunked

As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally…
Babies can learn to self settle through controlled crying. Yoshihide Nomura/Flickr

Controlled crying is helpful, not harmful

Every evening, parents across Australia hope their babies will sleep through the night. Many won’t. That’s where controlled comforting, or controlled crying might help. Contrary to some claims, this is…
Domesticated mammals, including dogs, share a number of characteristic features. Klearchos Kapoutsis/Flickr

Why so many domesticated mammals have floppy ears

Take a look at several domesticated mammal species and you might spot a number of similarities between them, including those cute floppy ears. The famous naturalist and evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin…
The proportion of women experiencing depressive symptoms is higher among mothers of four-year-olds, than among mothers with a newborn baby. Arjun Karkhanis/Flickr

Mothers’ mental health worse four years after giving birth

Becoming a parent is a journey into unchartered waters – the physical and emotional demands of looking after a newborn are exhausting and constant. Not surprisingly, depression and anxiety are common among…
Neurogenetic disease is an umbrella term to describe inherited diseases that affect the nervous system. Shutterstock/Dmitry Naumov

Explainer: what are neurogenetic diseases?

Each year, thousands of Australians are diagnosed with an inherited condition that affects their nervous system. Neurogenetic disease is an umbrella term to describe these conditions, which are primarily…
Paternity doubts are a source of gossip and emotional trauma – with a man, woman and child caught in between. SBS (resized)

Who’s your Daddy? seeks answers in all the wrong places

How often is a person’s biological father someone other than the man they call dad? Paternity doubts are a source of gossip, on the one hand, and emotional trauma, on the other. But our assumptions about…

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