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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Would an “open science” approach lead to less academic fraud? It’s possible. jintae kim's photography

Scientific fraud, sloppy science – yes, they happen

Fraud. It’s an ugly word, an arresting word. As with “cheating” it comes loaded with negative connotations, but can potentially lead to far greater penalties and consequences. And yet fraud in science…
Inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Does the prison do the US more harm than good? EPA/Scott Applewhite

Can Obama finally shut the door on the Guantanamo embarrassment?

US president Barack Obama has renewed his promise to close the controversial US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The prison camp is currently the scene of a hunger strike by numerous inmates, some…
The epigenome is changed by what we eat and drink, smoking, stress, pollution, sun exposure and other environmental factors. Ateh42/Flickr

Meet the epigenome: the next genomic frontier

Thanks to the Human Genome Project we now have a complete genomic map. But, simply having a map doesn’t give you all the information. For a map to be useful, you still need know where to go, the best way…
We require the largest amount of health-care dollars in the last 30 days of our life. Lee Haywood

A conversation that promises savings worth dying for

On the eve of a federal budget looking for savings, I would like to report a medical intervention that reduces suffering, can prolong life and dramatically reduces health-care costs. The intervention itself…
‘Light’ wines are potentially big business if they can be successfully marketed to the diet-conscious consumer. Steve Petric

‘Light’ wine: good for your waistline or just producers’ bottom line?

Dieters can now have their wine and drink it, guilt-free and minus the hangover. That’s the promise of so-called “light” or low-alcohol, low-calorie wines. But these wines are not considerably lighter…
Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children put the whole community at risk. Dave Haygarth

Measles: new efforts needed to stop an old disease

New diseases grab headlines. The latest influenza scare – H7N9 – has prompted much speculation about the direction the virus might take. And rightly so, as vaccines to fight new viruses can take some time…
Personalised nutrition helps us understand the unique nutritional requirements of each individual. Cayusa/Flickr

Personalised nutrition unravels why you are what you eat

The father of western medicine Hippocrates famously said: “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, arguing disease was not a punishment from the gods, but the consequence of a poor diet. Today…
The Slow Food movement has arisen to counteract fast food and fast life. French Tart

Forget fast food, slow down for better well-being

There’s an old saying, you are what you eat. If you look at the average Australian diet, we’re in trouble. The rise of the 24/7 society, unsocial work hours and an accelerating pace of life have led the…
The predictions of current particle physics have been spectacularly validated. Michael J. Linden

A Higgs, the Higgs … is maths at the root of reality?

So, the Higgs boson … Last week, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) finally announced the new particle discovered last summer is indeed a Higgs boson, a particle predicted…
Your genetic make up interacts with what you eat to either promote or harm good health. Mark Lucock

Nutrigenomics: how nutrition and genetics impact health

A month ago, I returned to Australia from a trip to Burma. After four weeks in the country, I’d acclimatised to the culture, cuisine and people. My conditioning was so complete that on my return, I was…
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, choose mostly unprocessed grains and cereals, cut back on salt, fat and sugar, and get more active. jamesjyu.

New Australian dietary guidelines: experts respond

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released its updated Australian Dietary Guidelines to advise Australians about the types and amounts of foods needed to maintain a healthy…
Artistic license should be avoided in scientific illustration. Crossett Library Bennington College

What makes a good scientific illustration?

When you open a science textbook or magazine, it’s often the images that capture your attention. Some of these images help you visualise the topics, while others - such as diagrams - can be instrumental…
New measures aimed at father-child bonding will hopefully teach dads why playing peekaboo matters. mouton.rebelle/Flickr

New paternity leave scheme offers more than meets the eye

The new paternity leave scheme that started on January 1 may be cheap and still have a significant impact. It offers new fathers two weeks leave at minimum wage, which is only a fraction of what new dads…
Excess kilojoules, rather than dietary fat, leads to weight gain. Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: low-fat diets are better for weight loss

If food is labelled low fat, it’s got to be better for weight loss, right? Wrong – it’s the total kilojoules that matter most for weight loss. Looking solely at fat content only gives you part of the picture…
Up to one in three Australians take vitamin supplements, but few healthy people need them. Brian Gaid

Monday’s medical myth: take a vitamin a day for better health

Forget an apple a day, vitamin manufacturers would have you believe it’s important to take daily vitamins to boost your health. And a surprising proportion of Australians do. Data from the last National…

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