University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle was established as an autonomous institution in the 1960s. Its reputation is shaped by internationally recognised strength in research and an enduring commitment to quality teaching and learning, environmental sustainability, and equity and diversity.

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Probiotics are live microorganisms that have been delivering health benefits for thousands of years by helping to establish healthy gut microbiota. Belinda (miscdebris)/Flickr

Explainer: what is the gut microbiota and how does it affect mind and body?

The human gastrointestinal tract harbours trillions of microorganisms, with up to 1,000 or so different bacterial species.
Zika has reportedly been transmitted via blood transfusions and sex, so how worried should we be about it spreading? from www.shutterstock.com.au

Zika via sex and blood: how worried should we be?

For a fairly non-descript virus Zika continues to surprise us. Zika has hit the headlines yet again with the news that there’s been transmission in Brazil of two cases by blood transfusion.
Nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Spotlight has won applause for its quiet outrage and strong cast featuring Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Entertainment One Films Australia

Review: Spotlight’s revealing story of child abuse in my home town – and maybe yours

As its final moments make clear, Spotlight is not just a movie about past wrongs in one US city. It's a story about too many people, in too many countries, including my home town of Newcastle.
Fumigating mosquitos in Venezuela: the Zika virus has wide-ranging implications for largely Catholic nations in Latin America and elsewhere. Miguel Guitirrez/AAP

Love in the time of Zika

Love, sex and babies are the foundation of human existence. Without them the human race ceases to exist. Zika has suddenly disrupted this normal course of events.
Sydney’s Kings Cross precinct has 3AM ‘last-drinks’ laws and 1:30AM lockouts for premises that serve alcohol. AAP/April Fonti

Last-drink’ laws, not lockouts, reduce alcohol-fuelled violence

As Queensland considers new laws to curb alcohol-fuelled violence in response to a one-punch death, several policy experiments that have occurred in recent years can provide valuable lessons.
The virgin birth at the heart of Christianity has many corresponding versions in other ancient traditions. Detail from a panel by Conrad von Soest, 1403. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: virgin mothers and miracle babies

Biblical scholars and theologians have long discussed, debated and disputed the virgin birth of Jesus, with some arguing that there is no imperative to link it to the doctrine of the Incarnation.
While low emissions technology might help coal, there are plenty of other energy sources competing in the post-Paris climate race. Coal image from www.shutterstock.com

After Paris, the future of Australian coal is downhill

Despite its vital role in the development of Australia's economy, the future of coal looks grim in a world aiming to limit warming to below 2℃.
Art demonstrated it still has the power to inspire, and maybe even change the world. A man carries a self-portrait painted by Australian death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran. Beawiharta

What 2015 looked like in visual art

There are as many ways to summarise a "year in art" as there are eyes to look at art with. Art had some shining – and not-so-shining – moments in 2015.
Why is this seemingly unintelligible mess of house paint revered as a masterpiece? Detail: Jackson Pollock. Blue poles. 1952. © Pollock-Krasner Foundation/ARS

Here’s looking at: Blue poles by Jackson Pollock

Gough Whitlam’s government paid $A1.3 million for Jackson Pollock's Blue poles in 1973. But why exactly is this 'seemingly unintelligible mess of house paint' revered as a masterpiece?
Malcolm Turnbull has now announced his strategy to promote innovation and science in Australia. AAP/Lukas Coch

Expert panel: what the national innovation statement means for science

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). Here's what it means for science, commercialisation and industry in Australia.

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