Five take home lessons from the immune system

There are many lessons we can learn from the many efficient and well-orchestrated systems of the human body. Cell differentiation takes place very early on in the development of the human embryo allowing for cells to perform highly specialised functions. The immune system serves as a wonderful analogy of how cell specialisation, collaboration, team work,…

VIVA! Communications external planning workshop 2019

The VIVA! Communications team set off early Thursday morning last week for its annual workshop, this year held at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, right on the edge of the stunning Echo Point in the picturesque town of Katoomba. Despite some minor traffic delays, the team arrived ready to begin what was to be…

Stop asking the wrong questions about lung cancer

“Were you a smoker?” Did you know that 40 per cent of Australians admit to asking this question to someone who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, before expressing concern? Each hour, an Australian watches a loved one die from lung cancer. According to the Cancer Council, it’s Australia’s biggest cancer killer – yet it…

Tips for beating the heat

In the heat of summer, it’s important to make sure you’re taking extra good care of your health, especially on the scorching hot days. Too much sun can not only be detrimental to your skin, but can cause heatstroke and in the worst instance, death. These are crucial steps all Australians can take to lower…

Australian-developed coeliac disease vaccine fast-tracked by the FDA

A vaccine for coeliac disease could soon be made available with the Australian-developed immunisation gaining fast-track designation from America’s Food and Drug Administration. ImmusanT’s Nexvax2, developed at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Victoria, is set for a prompt review at the completion of its trial phases. Currently phase two, involving 150 patients…

New class of hypnotics found to be “safer” than popular sleeping pills

Researchers have uncovered a new class of hypnotics which enable the sleeping brain to respond to danger signals, unlike the most widely used sleeping aid, Benzodiazepine. The newly discovered class of hypnotics, dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs), has been dubbed a potentially safer option, as it would alert the brain to smoke detectors. In the…

Unstable income linked with higher rates of death and cardiovascular disease

Research has found an unstable income can have widespread negative health implications, from impairing one’s mental health to affecting their diet. A new study has suggested personal income could even be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death. Ongoing research which has been tracking the health of young people living in four…

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: ladies, it’s time to have your screening test!

With January being Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, women across the nation are being encouraged to make this the year to get on top of their screening tests. Changes to the National Cervical Screening Program came into place on December 1 mean women aren’t recommended to have a test completed until they turn 25. Previously, women were…

Hope for people with motor neurone disease

People living with debilitating cases of motor neuron disease have been given revived hope following a “huge breakthrough” in treatment options by Australian researchers. A drug being hailed “ground breaking” was shown to slow the progression of the disease after being tested on 32 patients in Melbourne and Sydney. Professor Ashley Bush, chief scientific officer…

Employees encouraged to talk about their mental health with their boss

Advice to employees starting a new job commonly includes things like leaving details about their personal life at the door before starting each work day and keeping things professional. As mental health awareness improves across Australia however, employees are being encouraged to be more open about ways their emotions may be affecting their work. A…