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medical-research

Carbs could be key to effective malaria vaccine

Experts from Melbourne independent medical research centre, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, have discovered carbohydrates play a vital role in the malaria parasite's infection of humans.

Justin Boddey and his team made the discovery, which debunks the long-held belief that the single-celled malaria parasite only uses proteins to infect humans.

"So what this research has shown is that the parasite tags many of the proteins on its surface with carbohydrates," he told AM.

What it's like to dissect dead bodies for a living

But when she gets face to face with her "patients" for the first time, she's usually wearing several layers of protective clothing.

If you live in the ACT and leave your body to science, Ms Lewis may well be the person who prepares your cadaver for medical students to study and dissect.

Lupin seed extract could provide potent diabetes treatment, researchers say

Research team leader Professor Philip Newsholme said lupin seed extract was being used in laboratory trials to regulate blood glucose levels.

He said research had shown broken down lupin seed could be used to stimulate insulin secretion in cells.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin, or cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced, so that glucose in the blood could not be absorbed into the body's cells.

When your heart runs a marathon without your body

But it's not working. My heart is still going a million miles an hour.

I'd experienced episodes of rapid heartbeat ever since I was a child. My mother told me they were called palpitations.

I mentioned them to a doctor once when I was a teenager and he jokingly asked if they were triggered by watching gyrating rock stars in music videos.

I took that to mean they were nothing to worry about.

Besides, I somehow discovered over the years that if they didn't go away by themselves, I could stop them by holding my breath for a short period.

Superbugs: WHO says new drugs urgently needed to fight 12 bacteria families

The United National health agency said many of the bacteria have already evolved into deadly superbugs that are resistant to many antibiotics.

The bugs "have built-in abilities to find new ways to resist treatment" the WHO said, and can also pass on genetic material that allows other bacteria to become drug-resistant.

Governments need to invest in research and development if new drugs are to be found in time, because market forces cannot be relied upon to boost the funds needed to fight the bugs, it said.

Too much exercise could do more harm than good, Queensland researchers find

New research by a team at University of Queensland (UQ), led by muscle physiologist Dr Bradely Launikonis, found it was part of a protective mechanism stopping people from damaging themselves in the days following exercise.

In the world-first study, Dr Launikonis's team have mapped muscle fibres from thigh biopsies at three points in the exercise cycle.

"This is the first time this type of imaging has been done in human muscles, everything before that been done in mice and rats," Dr Launikonis said.

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea cases up in Queensland as doctors fear rise in unsafe sex

Figures from Queensland Health showed 27,506 people were diagnosed with an STI in 2016, up 10 per cent on the previous year.

About 82 per cent of cases were for chlamydia, however experts have been surprised by a large spike in gonorrhoea.

In 2016, 4,006 Queenslanders were diagnosed with gonorrhoea, up from 3,038 the previous year.

The bacterial disease can affect both sexes, and has the potential to cause infertility in women and harm unborn babies.

Most cases were recorded Brisbane's Metro North and Metro South reporting areas.

Goosebumps may hold key for skin cancer, baldness and burns treatment

But new research shows that we may have been underestimating the role of the humble goosebump.

Professor Rod Sinclair, dermatologist at the University of Melbourne, explained he had been "following a hunch" that goosebumps were not just an evolutionary by-product.

It turns out that Professor Sinclair's hunch may have been on track, as his new research shows the "goosebump muscle" could hold the key for skin cancer, baldness and burns treatment.

"As we do more research we find that nothing is for nothing. It's almost as though there's a grand design to the body.

Platypus venom could treat type 2 diabetes, Adelaide researchers find

The team found both the platypus and echidna produce a long-lasting form of the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

GLP-1 is normally secreted in the gut of both humans and animals, stimulating the release of insulin to lower blood glucose levels.

But GLP-1 typically degrades within minutes.

Lead researcher Frank Grutzner said his team was surprised to find the hormone was produced not only in the platypus' gut, but also in its venom.