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Garvan Institute

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is a world leader in biomedical research, pioneering study into some of the most widespread diseases affecting our community today. Research at Garvan is focused on understanding the role of genes in health and disease as the basis for developing future cures.


Displaying 1 - 20 of 24 articles

A mouse embryo, like this one, looks a lot like that of a fish, a frog or a human at a certain point in its development. Macroscopic Solutions/Flickr

Flipping the genetic ‘switch’ that makes many animals look alike as embryos

Scientists have discovered the genetic “switch” that causes many animals, including fish, frogs and humans, to look the same at a certain point in embryonic development.
The hormone irisin is one of the things that makes exercise good for us. will ockenden/Flickr

The verdict is in: feel-good exercise hormone irisin is real

Scientists in the US have found that a feel-good exercise hormone called irisin does indeed exist in humans, putting to bed long-disputed claims that it is a myth.
Around 25-30% of obese people have no metabolic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, or significant risk factors. WitthayaP/Shutterstock

Clue to why some people are healthy and obese

Some obese people may be able to remain metabolically healthy despite their size because their bodies produce low levels of a certain molecule, according to a study published today in the journal Cell…
No one really knows whether taking large amounts of vitamins in tablet form is even the best way delivering them to the body. Shannon Kringen/Flickr

Health Check: four myths about vitamin supplements

People take vitamin supplements for all kinds of reasons, from maintaining general health to preventing cancer. But there’s no convincing evidence that vitamin supplementation benefits people who don’t…
The theory likens cancer to organisms such as these green and yellow sea sponges. Steve Rupp, National Science Foundation/Wikimedia Commons

Evolutionary theory of cancer overlooks genetic research

The history of biology is peppered with invaluable contributions by physics and physicists. Even if we leave aside the argument that it’s all just physics anyway, theoretical and practical biology leans…
The role of rare genes in obesity suggests we need to diverge from the singular approach to fighting obesity. Daniel Oines

Genetic research shows single approach to obesity won’t work

The holy grail of obesity research is a simple, single solution that could stem the tide of this epidemic. But research we published in PLOS ONE today shows that this is an implausible, if not impossible…
Creating ways for PhD graduates and other science researchers to go into teaching could be a way to improve our science education. Phd student image from

Inspiring science: fast-track PhD graduates into teaching

MATHS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: We’ve asked our authors about the state of maths and science education in Australia and its future direction. In this instalment, Marguerite Evans-Galea, Darren Saunders, and…
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Tips Times

Explainer: what is cancer?

Few things strike fear into people more than the word cancer, and with good reason. While improvements in cancer therapy and advances in palliative care mean that the illness does not always lead to inevitable…
Epigenetic factors can change due to environmental factors, such as diet, toxins and stress. leeroy09481/Flickr

Explainer: how epigenetics is providing insight into cancer

DNA provides the instructions to make us how we look and contributes to our life expectancy. Identical twins have exactly the same DNA, so why are slightly different in many ways? The answer is epigenetics…
If policymakers understood what drives people to drink sugary drinks, they make take a different approach. Ava Rose

Call for policymakers to consider genetic link to soft drink consumption

Policymakers should understand the urge to drink soft drinks is genetically determined, rather than being solely a lifestyle choice, argue endocrinologists from the Garvin Institute of Medical Research…
Obese people undergoing gastric banding surgery typically lose up to half of their excess body weight and go on to live more healthy lives. Stocky Bodies

Lap banding a long-term obesity solution: study

Lap band surgery is an effective long-term measure for managing obesity, according to a 15-year study of thousands of patients who have undergone the procedure. The study, from Monash University’s Centre…


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