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.

EXPERT REACTION: Government strikes deal for climate change policy

Wed29Oct
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The Federal Government has reached a deal with the Palmer United Party and other key independents in support of their Direct Action climate policy. The deal sees the Climate Change Authority remain open and the possibility of an emissions trading scheme in the future. read more

EXPERT REACTION: Ebola – science vs. panic (Nature*)

Wed29Oct
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EMBARGO LIFTED 05:00 AEDT Thursday 30 October, 2014

Developed countries such as Australia cannot protect themselves from the Ebola virus by retreating behind their borders, a leading Western Australian scientist has warned. He argues that, in some developed nations, the debate over how to respond to the crisis is being undermined by media hype and political panic. Isolated cases of Ebola brought home by health workers and support staff can be effectively dealt with and are an acceptable price to pay for tackling the disease at its source, he says.

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EXPERT REACTION: High milk intake increases risk of death (The BMJ*)

Tue28Oct
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EMBARGO LIFTED 10:30 AEDT Wednesday 29 October, 2014

A high milk intake in women and men is not accompanied by a lower risk of fracture and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death, suggests Swedish research. The authors say it may be explained by the high levels of sugars in milk that, in previous animal studies, have been shown to increase oxidative stress and chronic inflammation

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EXPERT REACTION: Carola Vinuesa wins CSL Young Florey medal

Tue28Oct
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EMBARGOED LIFTED 6PM AEDT Mon 27 Oct, 2014

 Professor Carola Vinuesa from the Australian National University will be awarded the prestigious CSL Young Florey media at Parliament House in Canberra tonight. Awarded by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science together with CSL, the prize aims to highlight early career researchers who have made a significant discovery in human health. Media release and images available. Professor Vinuesa’s biography is also copied in below. read more

EXPERT REACTION: Man walks again after stem cell treatment cures spinal injury (Cell Transplantation*)

Wed22Oct
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A fireman who was paralysed from the waist down can now walk again (with aid) after he was treated using a revolutionary medical procedure that used a type of cell involved in smelling – olfactory ensheathing glial cells – to repair his severed spinal cord.

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EXPERT REACTION: Are shopping receipts a source of BPA? (PLOS ONE*)

Wed22Oct
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EMBARGO LIFTED 05:00 am AEDT Thu 23 October, 2014 

Handling thermally-printed till receipts may be exposing us to high levels of the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), say US and French scientists. The researchers say handling thermal paper before eating resulted in BPA being ingested, with women absorbing more of the chemical than men. read more

NEWS BRIEFING: The roots of sex – world’s first lovers did it sideways (Nature*)

Sun19Oct
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EMBARGO LIFTED 04:00 AEDT Monday 20 October 2014

NEWS BRIEFING – Friday October 17th at 10:00 ACDT (10:30 AEDT) at the Science Exchange in Adelaide (also available online)

Research led by South Australia’s Flinders University has identified the very first beasts to make the beast with two backs, and say they started getting busy much earlier in evolutionary history than we thought. Fossils suggest the world’s very first lovers were a type of 385m-year-old Scottish armoured fish called an antiarch, and far from adopting the missionary position, they copulated in a bizarre square-dance-like display. But the research also suggests that – presumably after the development of a really terrible headache – the entire animal kingdom may have given the whole thing up and gone back to fertilising eggs externally, with sexual intercourse as we know it coming back into fashion later. read more

EXPERT REACTION: Lockheed Martin announces nuclear fusion power breakthrough

Thu16Oct
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For immediate release

It has been reported that US defence technology firm Lockheed Martin Corp says it has made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready in a decade. Lockheed says it has shown it can complete a design, build and test it in as little as a year, which should produce an operational reactor in 10 years. read more

UK EXPERT REACTION: Australian study in rapid versus gradual weight loss (Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology*)

Thu16Oct
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EMBARGO LIFTED 10:00 AEDT Thursday 16 October 2014

A new study by Melbourne-based experts has found contrary to current dietary recommendations, slow and steady weight loss does not reduce the amount or rate of weight regain compared with losing weight quickly. Below UK experts respond. read more