Explainer: Ridding the World of Polio

by Robert Hall
Robert Hall
Robert Hall graduated in medicine from Sydney University in 1978. He has worked in public health for over 30 years, at local, State, national and international levels. In the early 1980s he worked for 4 years in the Northern Territory in Aboriginal health, including at the Urapuntja Health Service at Utopia Station. Since then, he has worked in communicable disease control at the Commonwealth Department of Health, where he edited Communicable Diseases Intelligence, and was Director of Communicable Disease Control in South Australia. He was Director of Public Health in Victoria. He joined the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in 2007. Dr Hall has been a member of several National Health and Medical Research Council committees, including the Council. He is currently chair of the Technical Advisory Committee on Immunization and Vaccine Preventable Diseases for the Western Pacific Region of the WHO.
on Oct 16, 2014
A man with polio kneeling on the side of the road.

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a viral disease that can lead to incurable paralysis. The World Health Organisation is coordinating a programme to eradicate this disease from the face of the earth, and we are very close to achieving this goal.


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Health Check: Five Foods to Always Avoid at the Supermarket

by Clare Collins
Clare Collins
Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Newcastle
on Oct 14, 2014
A shopping cart.

Want to stack the nutrition odds in your favour? The key is good food so here are five things to never let into your shopping trolley: lollies, biscuits, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato crisps and processed meats.


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Mind Over Matter: Cynics, It Seems, Triple Their Risk of Dementia

by Anthony Hannan
Anthony Hannan
Professor Anthony Hannan received his undergraduate training and PhD from the University of Sydney. He was then awarded the Australian Nuffield Medical Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral neuroscience research at the University of Oxford, where he subsequently held other positions. He returned to Australia on an NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Fellowship to establish his laboratory at the Florey Institute in Melbourne. He currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship (FT3) and an Honorary NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. Professor Hannan is head of Neural Plasticity, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, with laboratories located in the Melbourne Brain Centre, University of Melbourne. His laboratory investigates gene-environment interactions and experience-dependent plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain, using a variety of molecular, cellular and behavioural approaches. This research at the Florey is aimed at understanding disease mechanisms to facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches for brain disorders such as Huntington's disease, depression, dementia, autism and schizophrenia.
on Oct 09, 2014
A squeezable brain.

I don’t want to sound too cynical, but recent research findings in dementia seem hard to believe. A study of over 1,000 people has found people who scored higher on a measure of cynicism during late life were three times more likely to develop dementia.


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Health Check: Five Supplements That May Help With Depression

by Jerome Sarris
Jerome Sarris
Dr Jerome Sarris is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne. Jerome moved from clinical practice to academic work, and completed a doctorate at The University of Queensland in the field of psychiatry. He undertook his postdoctoral training at The University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry; The Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology; and The Depression Clinical & Research Program at Harvard Medical School (MGH). He has a particular interest in anxiety and mood disorder research pertaining to nutraceutical psychopharmacology, and in Complementary and Integrative Medicine and Kava research. He has 86 publications (1st/2nd or Senior author on 92% of publications), and has published in many eminent psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and nutrition/natural product journals. He has been awarded over $4.3 million dollars in personal and study grants, including being CIA on two large NHMRC Project Grants. Jerome is a founding Vice Chair of The International Network of Integrative Mental Health.
on Oct 07, 2014
A sad looking woman behind a glass window which is covered in thick ice.

Over two-thirds of Australians are thought to use complementary medicines ranging from vitamin and mineral supplements to herbal to aromatherapy and homeopathic products. Mental health concerns are one of the reasons why people use supplements, but are they really useful?


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Health Check: Tips On Eating to Recover After Exercise

by Nigel Stepto,
Nigel Stepto
A/Prof Stepto completed most of his studies at the University of Cape Town South Africa before completing his PhD at RMIT University in 2002. He worked at Monash University before moving to Victoria University in 2007. A/Prof Stepto is the Research Program Leader of Clinical Exercise Physiology for the Insititute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL). He contributes to undergraduate teaching in exercise physiology and clinical exercise physiology, and supervises honours and PhD students in the exercise physiology area. He has a strong research focus with interests in exercise training for health (special interest in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), antioxidants and reactive oxygen species, and central fatigue. He also currently holds an Honorary Research Fellow position in Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) School of Preventative Medicine and Public Health Monash University.
Michael Mathai,
Michael Mathai
Michael Mathai is physiologist with a strong interest in the role of nutrition in the maintenance of health and treatment of disease. His research area is the neurophysiological control of homeostatic functions including blood pressure, body fluid and electrolyte balance, fever and thermoregulation, food and salt appetite, metabolism and energy balance. He has worked at a number of institutions including the University of Melbourne, The Florey Neuroscience Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Physiology and Clinical Research. Since taking up his appointment at the College of Health and Biomedicine at Victoria University in 2008, he has focused on translating his research on micronutrients to the amelioration of human health, especially obesity and dyslipidaemia, as well as improving exercise tolerance. He is also interested in improving the understanding of food labelling for consumers, especially regarding assessment of allergen risk and calorie content.
Lily Stojanovska and
Lily Stojanovska
For many years, Professor Lily Stojanovska has been involved in medical research, teaching and supervising undergraduate and post-graduate students in the area of women's health, well-being and nutrition. She has published widely in international journals and has presented her research findings at national and international conferences and seminars. Lily is a co-author of 4 books: The Other Fact of Life: Taking Control of Menopause; Menopause for Dummies; Food and Nutrition for Dummies and Chocolate Diet: How a Fun food can be a healthy too. She is a founder and Chair of the Women's Wellness in the West Network at Victoria University and her achievements have been listed the Who's Who of Australian Women in 2006-2010. Lily is a recipient of the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2004 as an international educator in women's health. She is also a recipient of Barbara Gross Award by the Australasian Menopause Society in 2006 for the best overall presentation and the Victoria University Vice Chancellor's Peak Award for community engagement in 2007. She is an active researcher in women's health in particular prevention of chronic disorders: cardiovascular, osteoporosis and diabetes in post-menopausal women. Her expertise also includes the use of complementary and alternative therapy as well as improving women's wellbeing through exercise and dietary intervention.
Kristina Nelson
Kristina Nelson
Kristina Nelson is a PhD candidate at Victoria University, and works as a Nutritionist, and workplace consultant with Nutrition Australia. Kristina's research interests were initiated during projects undertaken at the Burnet Institute's cancer and immunology laboratory, supported by Cancer Council Victoria and Victoria University scholarships, investigating the effects of nutritional supplements on human cancer cell lines. Her PhD study is investigating grains, their bioactive compounds, and their effects on obesity-related metabolic and immune dysfunction. Other research interests include nutritional epidemiology and performance nutrition. Kristina teaches into both Nutrition and Biomedical Science, and holds professional memberships with the Dietitians Association of Australia and Nutrition Society of Australia.
on Oct 02, 2014
A young man lifting a bar-bell.

Sports performance was once thought to be enhanced by practices such as drinking cognac before an Olympic marathon run. Thankfully, today’s nutrition strategies are more scientific and properly researched.


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