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Anti-coagulant drug could treat COVID-19's emerging variants - new QUT research

QUT researchers have shown that molecules from the same family as the anti-coagulant drug heparin may interfere with the ability of the COVID-19 virus's spikes to bind to human cells. This could be used to treat people with severe effects of the virus and any emerging variants.


Australian first ‘report card’ highlights the need for national surveillance of hospital infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major threat to patient safety and the quality of healthcare globally. Despite this, Australia does not have a nationally coordinated program for the surveillance and reporting of healthcare-associated infections. Now a new Australian publication has started the process of bringing together information about healthcare-associated infections nationally, in line with international best practice. A new report, Epidemiology of Healthcare-associated Infections in Australia, published in ClinicalKey aims to fill the gaps in data while confirming healthcare associated infections are common.


Making sleep safe with babies to reduce SIDS incidence in First Nations infants

Indigenous babies die from sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) three to four times more often than non-Aboriginal babies. Co-sleeping is a culturally valued practice by many Indigenous families, however is associated with an increased risk of infant death in hazardous circumstances. The Pepi-Pod sleep space program is one approach being applied in many regions of Australia and New Zealand to enable more vulnerable babies to have a safe space for sleeping every time and place they sleep.


Study of severe COVID-19 helps uncover the roots of sepsis

Sepsis is a dreaded, life-threatening condition that can occur when an infection spins out of control. Like a tsunami after an earthquake, sepsis occurs when an infection triggers a dysregulation of the immune system, which leads to widespread organ damage and even death. The condition can result from nearly any kind of infection and afflicts tens of millions each year globally. Scientists don't fully understand how it develops or how best to stop its progression in patients.


Monash University-led dengue fever study offers hope in disease battle

Dengue fever infections dropped dramatically in an Indonesian study where a bacteria was introduced into disease-carrying mosquitoes, offering hope in the battle against an illness that sickens millions annually around the world.


A vital tool to study virus evolution in the test tube

Variants of viruses, such as that causing COVID-19, can now be quickly studied in the laboratory, even before they emerge in nature and become a major public health challenge.


Discovery gives hope of detecting and preventing the spread of prostate cancer

New research by The University of Queensland and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has revealed how lowering cholesterol could potentially prevent or help stop the spread of prostate cancer.


New theory could mean the light at the end of the tunnel for people with endometriosis

Around 1 in 9 Australian women will suffer from endometriosis at some point in their life. With Endometriosis, tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows in other parts of the body, often causing severe symptoms that puts life on hold during a woman’s period. Typically treatment focuses on pain management using medication or hormone therapy, and often laparoscopic surgery to remove scarring and adhesions on the reproductive organs, bladder, bowel and other affected organs. There is no currently cure. Now a new theory has been developed by researchers at Canada’s Simon Fraser University (SFU) that suggests a previously overlooked hormone, testosterone, has a critical role in the development of endometriosis. Their research could have direct impacts on diagnosis and treatment of the disease, signalling hope for women worldwide.


Australian research comes closer to a universal flu vaccine for Indigenous people across the world

Australian researchers say they have taken an "important step forward" in developing a universal T cell-based influenza vaccine that would be more effective for Indigenous people worldwide.


Queensland researchers develop direct-acting antiviral to treat COVID-19

A team of Australian and US scientists from Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) at Griffith University and from US research institute City of Hope, has developed an experimental direct-acting antiviral therapy to treat COVID-19. Lead researcher Professor Nigel McMillan from MHIQ said: "It causes the genome to be destroyed and the virus can't grow anymore. So we inject the nanoparticles and they go and find the virus and destroy it just like a heat-seeking missile."