Platypus venom paves way to possible diabetes treatment - BBC News
Australian researchers say platypus venom could pave the way for new type 2 diabetes treatments.

“The males of the extraordinary semi-aquatic mammal - one of the only kind to lay eggs - have venomous spurs on the heels of their hind feet. The poison is used to ward off adversaries. But scientists at the University of Adelaide have discovered it contains a hormone that could help treat diabetes. Known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), it is also found in humans and other animals, where it promotes insulin release, lowering blood glucose levels. But it normally degrades very quickly. Not for the duck-billed bottom feeders though. Or for echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters - another iconic Australian species found to carry the unusual hormone. Both produce a long-lasting form of it, offering the tantalising prospect of creating something similar for human diabetes sufferers.”

anonymous asked:

Hi Dr Ferox, I'm also Australian and considering vet med or human med and am currently studying first year biomed while trying to decide. My question is which unis would you recommend for vet med? I have the marks (from my atar) to attend Charles Sturt Uni and am wondering if you have any recommendations or unis to stay away from. Thanks for your time. QT - Came for the horse anatomy post stayed for the tell it like it is facts

Sorry it’s the Australian biomed student again, just wanted to add I’m interested in exotics if you have heard from any other vets of good universities that offer some exotics experience. Thanks again

The current Australian universities that graduate vets are:

  • Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga NSW)
  • James Cook University (Townsville Queensland)
  • Murdoch University (Perth WA)
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney

I only have personal experience with one (Melbourne), so I can’t speak with personal experience for all of them, but each uni has a slightly different reputation.

  • CSU has a livestock focus
  • James Cook’s teaching hospital is managed by Greencross, a national corporate network. They have something of  tropical medicine focus.
  • Murdoch is very academic and provides a lot of post graduate education.
  • Adelaide is fairly new. Not sure what to think about this uni yet.
  • Melbourne is home, very academic with a smallies focus.
  • Queensland seems to have slightly better exotics exposure, but don’t quote me on it,
  • Sydney, similar to Murdoch.

So depends what your interests are, and where you can access.

With exotics though, book your work placements as soon as you physically can, because those spots are limited and fill up fast. Leap on them as soon as you can if that’s what you’re interested in.

Seven new species of Australian spider discovered including unique tarantula

Seven new species of spider, including a type of tarantula completely new to science, have been discovered in a Northern Territory national park.

The discoveries were made by a team participating in the Bush Blitz nature program which saw 16 scientists, Indigenous rangers and field assistants, searching the 1.3m hectare Judbarra park for new species.

“The spider team, led by Dr Robert Raven from the Queensland Museum, had had their heads down all day in search of spider holes when luck finally struck and they spotted a promising burrow,” Professor David McInnes, chief executive of Earthwatch, said in a statement.

“Sophie Harrison, a PhD student from the University of Adelaide, started digging and found a tarantula so new and different that it doesn’t fit into any of the existing genus of spider species. It looks just as you’d expect, brown and hairy. But the scientists say it’s beautiful!”

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Successful Weekend

Started the weekend off on the right foot. Sent off our proposal to Bond University on Friday. After that we walked to the Universities in Adelaide and got pointed in the right direction.
Making progress slowly. Always encouraging so see that people value your product and are willing to meet you.

Cerebral palsy - it can be in your genes

An international research group led by a team at the University of Adelaide has made what they believe could be the biggest discovery into cerebral palsy in 20 years.

It has long been the belief that cerebral palsy occurs when a child experiences a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or at birth; however, the Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group, based at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, has found at least 14% of cerebral palsy cases are likely caused by a genetic mutation.

The findings of this research are published in the prestigious Nature journal, Molecular Psychiatry.

The Head of the Cerebral Palsy Research Group, Emeritus Professor Alastair MacLennan, says prior to this research it was believed that as little as 1% of cerebral palsy cases had a genetic cause.

“Cerebral palsy is a major neurodevelopmental disorder, which disrupts movement control, and it occurs in 1 in 400 children,” Emeritus Professor MacLennan says.

“While we have long suspected that genes may play a role in the development of cerebral palsy, it wasn’t until our research group mapped the DNA from cerebral palsy families that we could show genetic mutations are the likely cause of the condition in at least 14% of cases,” he says.

Professor Jozef Gecz, University of Adelaide genetic scientist, says because cerebral palsy is at least partly genetic in origin there will be significant changes in the approach to diagnosis, management and treatment of the condition.

“Our findings of genetic diversity in cerebral palsy are similar to the genetic architecture of other neurological disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, epilepsies, autisms and schizophrenias,” Professor Gecz says.

“Our research will lead to early diagnosis of some cerebral palsies and aid preventative genetic techniques in the future. It should also reduce inappropriate litigation against obstetric medics – who at times are blamed for causing the condition – which has led to defensive obstetrics and unnecessarily high caesarean delivery rates,” he says.

University of Adelaide PhD student and lead author, Gai McMichael, who was supervised by Professors MacLennan and Gecz, says this dramatic research finding will change how people think about cerebral palsy. “These results will make many rethink assumptions about the causes of cerebral palsy, which can be devastating for all concerned and costs Australia billions of dollars each year,” says Ms McMichael.

With the help of collaborators around Australia and in Houston, Texas, and with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Cerebral Palsy and Tenix Foundations, the University of Adelaide-based research group has gathered a unique DNA and clinical data cerebral palsy biobank, which is attracting international attention and further research collaboration.

This work has been the result of 20 years of research by the group. The team is continuing to seek further mutations in cerebral palsy cases, which will add to the percentage of cases with a genetic basis.


heeey guys! so supanova was a blast and there were so many cool cosplays and wonderful people!(i was just too shy to ask for many photos). Anyway, heres a few of the photos I DO have :D

I was amethyst (the older one) and tallawkwardgingergiraffe was pearl (the older one too)

Not sure who anyone else is, but you’re all lovely and if you dont want these pictures up just let me know.

Also, if anyone has any pictures of me, i’d love to see them!!

Tamám Shud Case

One of the most interesting/mysterious/creepy cases I’ve read about so far!
December 1, 1948 was the date an unidentified man was found dead on Somerton Beach located in South Australia. Nearly 70 years later and this case still remains unsolved and one of the weirdest cases to ever exist.

The spookiness of the case begins when the investigators noticed his clothing’s identification marks had been removed. (no tags, labels, etc.) Without these, the investigators had no lead as to figuring out who this man was or who knew anything about his death. 

When the man was sent to the coroner, the medical examiner discovered two more suspicious things that only further complicates the case. His official cause of death could not be determined, he was in perfect health. The only theory the medical examiner could string together was a possible poisoning since the congestion in his brain and stomach was consistent with that of a poisoning. His spleen was also three times too big which is too consistent with poisoning or infection.

The second thing the medical examiner found was a secret pocket in the man’s trousers. Inside of the pocket had a note which read, “tamám shud” which roughly translates to “ending” or “finished.” The note looked like something that was ripped out of a book, this gave the investigators a lead. They had figured out the torn note belonged to a collection of poems called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. This wasn’t any Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam book, it was a rare version that was specifically translated. The investigators publicized the version of the book and the note, at first it seemed unpropitious due to the lack of responses, but eventually a man came forward and handed over the book. To no surprise, it was missing a single page. Investigators once again had a hopeful lead.

Things hit a dead end when the back of the book contained 5 sets of seemingly random letters with the second set crossed off. The ciphers still haven’t been solved.

The case went cold until January 14, 1949. Staff at the Adelaide railway station discovered an ominous brown suitcase that was believed to belong to the man. The label on the suitcase was removed and was checked into the station cloakroom on November 30th, 1948. A day before the man was found dead. Inside the suitcase were various articles of clothing, all which identification marks were removed, hygiene products, tools, pencils, and unused letter forms. The name “T. Keane” was found on some of the clothing items, unfortunately it led to nothing when investigators realized the name couldn’t be removed without ruining the clothes. The case went cold once more.

In March 2009, a team of students at University of Adelaide was assembled by Derek Abbott to attempt to solve the case. Abbott requested the body be exhumed to be reexamined now that forensic science has advanced. The examiner found small details that could once again open the case.
“Professor of Anatomy at the University of Adelaide, examined images of the Somerton man’s ears and found that the cymba (upper ear hollow) is larger than his cavum (lower ear hollow), a feature possessed by only 1–2% of the Caucasian population. In May 2009, Derek Abbott consulted with dental experts who concluded that the Somerton Man had hypodontia (a rare genetic disorder) of both lateral incisors, a feature present in only 2% of the general population.”

Because of such profound oddities, they had thought identifying him would be much easier. Much to their dismay, no finger prints or dental records had matched his, it was like he never existed. The case once again went cold, and has yet to be opened again.

I am a self taught photographer from Adelaide, Australia and studying architecture at Adelaide University. My view on photography is that photographs aren’t measured by the price of the gear you take it with, but the moments that you are able to capture.

This image was shot in the hills overlooking the city of Adelaide at sunset.

Camera: Canon 600D, 18 -55mm Lens

I got into university!!!

Today I received the news that I got into the Adelaide University (my dream university) early entry program. I have a guaranteed place in any science degree. I’m really happy about this because it means that whatever happens this year I’ve at least got into my second choice degree.