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Category: The Conversation

The Conversation: Pregnant women shouldn’t start taking vitamin B3 just yet: reports it prevents miscarriage and birth defects are overblown

Author: Claire Roberts Reports on a new study claim supplementation with vitamin B3 during pregnancy could prevent miscarriages and birth defects. So should all pregnant women start taking B3 supplements? Not so fast. While this is an interesting and well-done study, the researchers didn’t actually give vitamin B3 to any humans, so we need a lot […]

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The Conversation: What happens in the womb affects our health as adults, but girls and boys respond differently

A baby’s sex determines how they will respond to exposures during pregnancy. from shutterstock.com Authors: Tina Bianco-Miotto and Claire Roberts Men and women respond differently to diseases and treatments for biological, social and psychological reasons. In this series on Gender Medicine, experts explore these differences and the importance of approaching treatment and diagnosis through a gender lens. […]

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The Conversation: Human embryo CRISPR advances science but let’s focus on ethics, not world first

Just because we can edit genes in human embryos, should we? Author: Hannah Brown Following early reports last week that scientists had edited the DNA of human embryos, American researchers have now published their much anticipated paper in the journal Nature. The human embryos used in the research were created using eggs collected from healthy women […]

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The Conversation: What will my child’s life be like? Newly identified genes may help diagnose autism and disability

Author: Jozef Gecz We have identified 38 new genes that are strongly associated with autism and intellectual disability. Some of the genes appear to be primarily associated with autism, and others primarily associated with intellectual disability. We also found evidence reinforcing the importance of 53 previously identified genes in autism and intellectual disability. Improved knowledge of […]

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The Conversation: Why the media need to tread carefully when reporting research findings

Author: Dr Hannah Brown Last week, the Australian of the Year was awarded to biomedical scientist and stem cell researcher, Professor Alan Mackay-Sim. To have a scientist recognised for such a prestigious award was extraordinary, especially during such a challenging time for research in Australia and globally. But alas, there was barely time for the […]

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The Conversation: Suppressing the immune system won’t improve your chances of conceiving with IVF

Author: Sarah Robertson   It’s common for three or more rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) treatment to be unsuccessful, that is, to not to result in a pregnancy. The frustration leads many women to seek explanations and investigate alternative options. These may include complementary medicine and other unproven and unsafe medications. One contentious option – sometimes […]

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The Conversation: Introduce eggs and peanuts early in infants’ diets to reduce the risk of allergies

Author: Merryn Netting, and Katie Allen In the 1970s, when we were in school, food allergies were rare. But Australian children now have the highest rate of food allergy in the world. Up to one in ten infants and two in ten school-aged children have a proven food allergy. In the 14 years to 2012, there […]

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The Conversation: Emerging infertility treatment could be a less invasive and cheaper alternative to IVF

  Authors: Jeremy Thompson, Robert Gilchrist and William Ledger In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) has helped infertile couples start families for more than 35 years. But while the technology has evolved, it remains an expensive, invasive process that can have significant side-effects. Our team of Australian and Belgian medical scientists have developed an infertility treatment that could result in […]

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The Conversation: How old is too old for a safe pregnancy?

Author: Hannah Brown   This week, an Australian woman delivered a baby at the age of 62 after having in vitro fertilisation (IVF) abroad. Few women can naturally conceive a baby later in life without the help of IVF – and these are rarely first pregnancies. These women go through menopause later, and have lower risks […]

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The Conversation: Vaccines to expect when you’re expecting, and why

Authors: Helen Marshall, Kristine Macartney, and Annette Regan   Pregnancy can be a confusing time, raising a number of questions for women. Which prenatal vitamins do I take? Which foods do I need to avoid? Can I take something for a headache or have my morning coffee? Add to this vaccinations. While some should be avoided, that shouldn’t […]

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