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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When it’s hot, the sun is shining. That’s good for solar power. Flickr/jimwhimpey

When the sun don’t shine, the power don’t flow … or does it?

Renewable energy seems to be on a roll. One million Australian homes have rooftop solar cells. There’s so much renewable energy it’s reducing wholesale electricity prices. But then, that old chestnut pops…
New South Wales relies heavily on gas, but gets nearly all its supply from elsewhere. Warren Rohner

Coal seam gas and New South Wales’ looming energy crisis

New South Wales is the only major state in Australia that does not have energy security. Its reliance on Victorian and Queensland gas, paired with the vital role gas plays in its homes and industries…
You have 100 trillion microorganisms living in your gut so it’s no surprise they affect your overall health. PNNL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Calorie restriction increases longevity – or does it?

Here’s an interesting stat to bring up at the dinner table: for each human cell in your body, you have roughly ten non-human cells living in your gut. In other words, there are around 100 trillion microorganisms…
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prevents many deaths across the world, but it doesn’t bring dead people back to life. NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

Waking the dead? Some things you should know about dying

Not content with saving lives, doctors are now credited with (accused of?) bringing the dead back to life. But how true are the stories we hear about people “coming back” from being dead and how does it…
How to best employ combinatorial optimisation for health and wellbeing … ay, there’s the rub! Central Sussex College

Shakespeare and cancer diagnoses: how bard can it be?

Shakespeare’s plays and cancer: two seemingly unrelated topics with an underlying common thread. The techniques that computational linguistics and computer scientists use to analyse the Bard’s works are…
News of a potential adverse link with prostate cancer comes at a time when the public is heeding the message that the omega-3s derived from marine sources are beneficial. Sam Catch/Flickr

Are fish oil supplements putting you at risk of prostate cancer?

A report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute late last week shows a potential link between omega-3 fatty acids and the risk of developing prostate cancer. But it may be premature…
The government is considering changing a fundamental part of its higher education policy – but does it need to? University image from www.shutterstock.com

Searching for equity or excellence in universities – or is it just about the money?

The recent news that higher education minister Kim Carr may reconsider A$900 million worth of cuts imposed on universities at the expense of the demand-driven system for funding undergraduate places has…
Despite the amount of media coverage, rates of violence are falling worldwide. Wikimedia Commons / Joseph Kelley

Is the world really becoming less violent?

There is a growing consensus among scholars that rates of violence in Western countries are steadily declining, and have been doing so for centuries. The statistic used by most people who support this…
The Brad Pitt zombie action thriller World War Z has a strong enough premise to give us pause to think. Image from shutterstock.com

Tipping the balance towards humanity in World War Z

Could a dire new infection sweep the world in a matter of weeks? Might the disease be so strange that it alters the behaviour of people beyond recognition, making them predatory and fearless? Could a great…
The term superfood is often evoked for exotic and ancient fruits, such as these acai berries. Seema Krishnakumar

Superfoods: not so super after all?

Superfoods is a buzzword now part of mainstream food and health language, often touted as miracle foods that cure all ills, stave off ageing and disease, or aid weight loss. In practice, superfoods are…
People on the diet need to restrict intake of calories on fasting days. Martin Lee

Here’s the skinny on fasting for weight loss – the 5:2 diet

The “new” weight-loss strategy known as the 5:2 diet has been receiving much attention in the media since the book The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer…
Older Aboriginal Australians are more than 15 times more likely to die of kidney disease than non-Aboriginal Australians. Helen Taylor

Kidney disease in Aboriginal Australians perpetuates poverty

The recent death of the lead singer of Yothu Yindi, is a high-profile example of an event all too common in Aboriginal Australia. Older Aboriginal Australians (40 to 60 years old) are more than 15 times…
Vegetarians have a lower risk of some chronic diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease and diabetes. Image from shutterstock.com

Meat vs veg: how does a vegetarian diet stack up?

Ethical and environmental considerations are often the prompt for adopting a meat-free diet. But better health may also push some towards vegetarianism, with a new study showing vegetarians have a lower…
Wine is increasingly becoming the drink of choice for Australians. isante_magazine

The rise of Australia as a wine nation

Think of alcohol in Australian life and you probably think of beer: a “hard-earned thirst” and all that. Yet our national drinking taste is undergoing a dramatic change. Not only are we drinking less overall…
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…

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