Vaccination Isn't Just for Kids – A Guide for Over-65s

by Raina MacIntyre
Raina MacIntyre
Professor Raina MacIntyre is Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She runs a highly strategic research program spanning epidemiology, vaccinology, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. She is best known for research in the detailed understanding of the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza, tuberculosis and other vaccine-preventable infections. She has a particular interest in adult vaccination with a focus on the elderly. Specific elderly vaccination interests include influenza, pneumococcal disease and herpes zoster. Her face mask research has focused on health care workers and hospitals. She is an international leader in emerging infections, and is involved in numerous face mask, vaccine, influenza and other infectious diseases research studies that directly inform national and international policy and practice in communicable disease control. She has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
on Jul 22, 2014
An elderly person being vaccinated.

We live in an ageing society, with the global median age rising steadily. Australia’s economic viability will increasingly rely on retaining older people in the workforce for longer. This, of course, relies on keeping older people healthy into old age – and immunisation can play an important role.


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Health Check: the Ins and Outs of Burping and Farting

by Terry Bolin
Terry Bolin
Terry Bolin has been involved at the forefront of gastrointestinal research with regard to the small intestine, its milieu and its contribution to such common conditions as irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial overgrowth, lactase deficiency, bowel gas and influences on nutrition. He has led the way in regard to community attitudes, medical research and government funding of prevention programs for colorectal cancer and has been a distinguished administrator as a Head of Gastroenterology at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Terry is the inaugural president of the Gut Foundation and has a longstanding interest in education and research. This relates particularly to lumenal gastroenterology in terms of acid reflux, helicobacter, malabsorption and colorectal cancer. His recent major interests relate to malabsorption in the elderly and how this might impact on length of stay, morbidity and mortality. It also addresses the issue of malabsorption as a component of malnutrition. He also continues to have a major interest in intestinal gas and bloating.
on Jul 17, 2014
A woman covering her mouth whilst burping.

To understand why we fart, you need to know something about the volume of gases produced in the bowels first.


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Deadly Airborne Flu Virus Created in Lab – Not As Bad As it Sounds

by Wendy Barclay
Wendy Barclay
My expertise is in the field of respiratory viruses, in particular influenza virus. My studies aim to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the pathogenesis, host range restrictions and transmissibility of influenza viruses. The approach includes the generation of recombinant viruses with defined mutations.This strategy has contributed to the production of novel influenza pandemic vaccines. In principle the work employs the most appropriate virus strains and relevant cell or animal models. Primary influenza clinical strains are obtained through a long standing collaboration with the Health Protection Agency, and viruses are studied on primary human airway cells and in ferrets.Translational aspects include analysing mode of action and resistance mechanisms of antiviral compounds, and characterization of novel cell substrates and attenuated virus backbones for influenza vaccines. The laboratory is funded by MRC, BBSRC, the Wellcome Trust and commercial bodies.
on Jul 15, 2014
Resurrecting the 1918 flu virus since 2005.

Influenza viruses that exist in nature and affect wild birds shuffle their genes about all the time, creating new viruses with different genetic combinations. In this way a virus was created that in 1918 replicated well and transmitted efficiently in humans. Known as the "Spanish flu", it was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, killing up to 50m people worldwide.


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Listen up Hypochondriacs, How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

by Peter McEvoy
Peter McEvoy
I am a clinician, applied researcher, and lecturer in the area of clinical psychology. My clinical and research interests broadly focus on factors that maintain emotional disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders and depression), and particularly the provision and evaluation of evidence-supported group and individual psychological treatments. I lecture in the Masters of Clinical Psychology course at Curtin University.
on Jul 10, 2014
A nervous person.

We all worry about our health from time to time, at least to some degree, but some people worry excessively about catastrophic consequences of seemingly benign symptoms. They’re known as hypochondriacs.


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Did Amy Johnson have Endometriosis?

by Graeme Dennerstein
Graeme Dennerstein
Dr Dennerstein is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with medical expertise in the health of the vulva and vagina. He is the former Head of the Dermo-gynaecology Clinic at The Mercy Hospital for Women and co-author of the book entitled: The Vulva and Vagina Manual. He has lectured extensively on this topic, both internationally and nationally. Graeme has extensive experience in family planning and reproductive health. In 1971 he established the Family Planning and Infertility Clinic at the Western General Hospital in Melbourne, serving as its director until 1986. From 1980 to 1989 he was the Honorary Secretary for the Medical Advisory Committee of the Family Planning Association of Victoria.  He is a member of the Sexual Health Society of Victoria Inc. and is widely published. He has, for example, produced several papers on the use of Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA).
on Jul 09, 2014
Aviator Amy Johnson waves to the crowd after landing at Brisbane, 1930.

The pioneering aviator Amy Johnson was incapacitated by period pain; did she have endometriosis?


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