PM Turnbull asked to lobby US Congress re: TPP

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (September 6, 2012) Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis (third from right) poses with trade ministers from Trans-Pacific Countries (Bruno Ferrari Garcia de Alba, Mexico; Craig Emerson, Australia; Lim Jock Seng, Brunei; Alfredo Moreno, Chile; Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia; Tim Groser, New Zealand; Jose Luis Silva Martinot, Peru; Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore; Demetrios Marantis, United States; Vu Huy Hoang, Vietnam; Edward Fast, Canada).  [State Department photo by William Ng]

The US Ambassador to Australia has asked Prime Minister Turnbull to lobby members of Congress in support of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) legislation to be considered by Congress later this year. Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network says if this surprising advice is followed, the PM will face an uphill battle to convince members of Congress to support the TPP.  

More Aussies heading online after GP visits

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Five million Australians pay for a doctor’s visit in an average four week period—but an increasing proportion of them are also going online to look up health and medical information themselves, Roy Morgan Research shows. Roy Morgan communications writer Shaun Ellis says that Queenslanders are among the most likely to access the internet after a doctor’s visit.

New program to detect Aussie wildlife diseases sooner

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In collaboration with several Australian universities, Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) is launching a program to surveil Australian wildlife, enabling faster detection of and response to emerging diseases in animal populations. Dr Sam Gilchrist is a part of the one-year pilot program, and says it will deliver faster identification of issues and a valuable national perspective on new research opportunities.

Living fossils discovered in the Osprey Reef

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An investigation of previously unexplored depths of Australia’s Coral Sea has revealed living fossils, rare corals and sponges, and ecosystems that have remained largely unchanged for millions of years. A team of Australian and German researchers have published their analysis of data, specimens, photographs and video footage collected in 2009, when they sent a remotely operated vehicle out Osprey Reef off the far north Queensland coast. Dr Rob Beaman was involved in this research, and spoke to me about what it means.

Knitting Nannas charged in Narrabri for anti-CSG activities

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Police have charged three members of the Knitting Nannas anti-coal seam gas protest group after they chained themselves by their necks to a wastewater plant gate in northern New South Wales. The three women; Dominique Jacobs, Angela Dalu, and Therese Mason, locked themselves to the gate of the Santos Leewood CSG facility near Narrabri and were arrested for obstructing traffic and not following police instructions. Dominique Jacobs says that despite the charges, in her heart she knows she hasn’t done anything wrong.

Cancer concerns for chromium supplements

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Concerns have been raised over the long-term use of nutritional supplements containing chromium, after it was found the mineral is partially converted into a carcinogenic form when it enters cells. Professor Peter Lay from the University of Sydney was one of the authors of a paper looking in to this, and he spoke to us about the concern.

New research shows family violence knowledge lacking

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A new paper has been published examining the current knowledge on the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting. Lisa Hooker, the primary author of the paper, has spoken about what she examined and what it revealed about domestic and family violence in Australia. You can read the paper online here.

A Little Liberty or A Little Security?

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Today sees the launch of the Campaign to Secure the Internet, an online campaign supported by nearly 200 international experts in the fields of IT, communications and systems. They are calling upon governments across the world to reject laws, policies, or other mandates or practices, including secret agreements with companies, that limit access to or undermine encryption and other secure communications tools and technologies. Academic expert in computer security and hacking, Dr Suelette Dreyfus from the Department of Computing and Information Systems spoke to me about this campaign. To find out more about this campaign, check it out at securetheinternet.org

New fish found in Kimberley waterways

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Researchers have discovered a record 20 new fish species while conducting fieldwork in the remote Kimberley, unveiling it as Australia’s most biodiverse region for freshwater fish. I spoke to Matthew Le Feuvre, an aquatic ecologist with the University of Melbourne who was part of the research up there, about this discovery.