The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) is an independent, not-for-profit service for the news media, giving journalists direct access to evidence-based science and expertise.

We aim to better inform public debate on the major issues of the day by improving links between the media and the scientific community.

ROUND-UP: IPCC Working Group 3 – Adaptation and mitigation – experts respond

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EMBARGO LIFTED 19.00 AEST Sunday 13 April 2014 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has tonight in Berlin released its Summary for Policymakers on the contributions of Working Group 3 at a press conference in Germany. The report focuses on “mitigating climate change, and the underlying technical, economic and institutional requirements”. Below Australian experts respond.  read more

RAPID REACTION: Cyclone Ita – experts respond

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Severe tropical cyclone Ita is expected to make landfall tonight as a category 5 Tropical Cyclone. The forecast track of the cyclone can be found here: . Below Australian experts comment. read more

ROUND-UP: Tamiflu turnaround (The Cochrane Library*) – experts respond

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EMBARGO LIFTED 09:01 AEST Thursday 10 April, 2014

Initially thought to reduce hospitalisations and serious complications from influenza, a new review highlights that the drug Tamiflu is not proven to do this, and it also seems to lead to harmful effects that were not fully reported in the original publications. read more

ROUND-UP: NHMRC releases review into complementary medicine – experts respond

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EMBARGO LIFTED 00.01 AEST Wednesday 9 April, 2014 

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released for public consultation the NHMRC Draft Information Paper on the Evidence of Homeopathy – the summary of a rigorous assessment into the available research on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating 68 health conditions. Below independent experts respond.  read more

NEWS BRIEFING: Is your unhealthy lifestyle giving you asthma?

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EMBARGO LIFTED 00.01 AEST Tuesday April 8th 2014

NEWS BRIEFING – Monday April 7th at 10:00 AEST (9:30 ACST) at the Adelaide Convention Centre (also available online)

New research to be presented in Adelaide this week suggests that eating an unhealthy diet could lead to asthma, and that ‘pro-inflammatory’ foods, such as sugar, trans fats and white bread, makes the condition worse. Another new study shows that asthmatics are just as likely to smoke as those without the condition. read more

BACKGROUND BRIEFING: From mice to men – getting your head around clinical trials

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BACKGROUND BRIEFING – Friday April 4 at 11:30 AEDT

We all rely on modern medicine, but probably know little about how drugs get from the early testing stages in the lab to the shelves of our local pharmacist. Clinical trials on people are a vital part of the process, but what exactly are they, what’s the difference between the different ‘phases’ of clinical trials, how can researchers be sure treatments are safe, why do so many promising-looking drugs fail to make the grade, and is testing new drugs on human guineapigs an ethical thing to do? read more

RAPID REACTION: Tsunami generated in Chile after 8.2 magnitude earthquake – experts respond

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A two-metre tsunami has been generated after an 8.2 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean off Chile this morning. The US Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake was centred 86km north-west of Iquique in northern Chile. A tsunami warning is still in place for Chile, Peru while warnings for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica have since been cancelled. There is currently no tsunami threat to Australia. Below Australian experts respond. read more

ROUND-UP: Still no clear evidence for health benefits of vitamin D (BMJ*) – an expert responds

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EMBARGO LIFTED 09:30 AEDT Wed 2nd April, 2014

Despite a huge number of studies into the role of vitamin D on health, there is still no clear evidence that it has a beneficial effect on many conditions, conclude international researchers. read more

ROUND-UP: IPCC Working Group 2 – Climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability: Summary for Policymakers – experts respond

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EMBARGOED LIFTED 11.00 AEDT Monday 31 March, 2014

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finalised the Summary for Policy Makers of the Working Group 2 report focusing on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Below Australian, UK and NZ experts respond. read more