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: Mediterranean diet linked to longer life (The BMJ*)

Wed3Dec
Print This Post

EMBARGO LIFTED 10.30 AEDT Wednesday 03 December, 2014

Eating a Mediterranean diet might help extend your lifespan, suggests a US study. The diet, which has been consistently linked with health benefits including reduced mortality and reduced risk of heart disease, appears to be associated with longer telomere (the ends of chromosomes that protect DNA from deterioration) length – an established marker of slower ageing. read more

BRIEFING: Ebola, bees and wheat disease – Protecting the health of Australia’s people, animals and plants in 2040 – Launch of CSIRO report Australia’s Biosecurity Future

Mon24Nov
Print This Post

EMBARGO LIFTED 00.01 AEDT Tuesday 25 November 2014

NEWS BRIEFING – Mon 24 November at 10.30 AEDT Online

A human pandemic such as Ebola, national loss of European honey bees and an invasion of devastating wheat disease are just three potential biosecurity threats facing Australia in the future that could cost the economy billions of dollars, according to a new report. But, how can we ensure that we see these events coming, and are we prepared to respond if they occur? read more

EXPERT REACTION: Common antimicrobial triclosan boosts liver tumour growth in mice (PNAS*)

Wed19Nov
Print This Post

EMBARGOED LIFTED 07:00 AEDT Tue 18th November, 2014

Triclosan, an ingredient of Colgate Total toothpaste in Australia, boosts the growth of liver tumours in mice, say US scientists.

read more

EXPERT REACTION: Rosetta mission reaches critical stage

Wed12Nov
Print This Post

After travelling six billion kilometres over the last ten years to catch up to the comet, the Rosetta mission is about to enter its critical stage in the next couple of days – where comet lander Philae will touchdown on Comet 67P.  read more

EXPERT REACTION: How ZMab fights Ebola (Scientific Reports*)

Thu6Nov
Print This Post

EMBARGOED LIFTED 01:00 AEDT Fri 7th November, 2014

International scientists have studied how the Ebola-treating antibody cocktail ZMAb – a major constituent of the drug ZMApp – fights the virus.  They report that the drug binds to areas on the surface of the virus and neutralises its activity. The researchers say the findings may help in the design of other treatments for related viruses.

read more

EXPERT REACTION: Unconventional gas extraction and air pollution (Environmental health*)

Thu30Oct
Print This Post

EMBARGO LIFTED 15.00 AEDT Thursday 30 Oct, 2014

New research suggests air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the US. High levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were found. The study is based on community sampling by people who live near production sites and could be used to supplement official air-quality monitoring programs, the researchers suggest.

read more

EXPERT REACTION: Government strikes deal for climate change policy

Wed29Oct
Print This Post

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
Print This Post

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.

read more

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

Tue28Oct
Print This Post

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

read more