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5 ways nutrition could help your immune system fight off the coronavirus

5 ways nutrition could help your immune system fight off the coronavirus
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Picture: Shuttlestock The coronavirus presents many uncertainties, and none of us can completely eliminate our risk of getting COVID-19. But one thing we can do is eat as healthily as possible. If we do catch COVID-19, our immune system is responsible for fighting it. Research shows...

View from The Hill: Scott Morrison announces mandatory self-isolation for all overseas arrivals and gives up shaking hands

view from the hill: scott morrison announces mandatory self-isolation for all overseas arrivals and gives up shaking hands
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Picture: James Ross/AAP Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy was still shaking hands on Sunday morning. But when that afternoon Scott Morrison announced the latest coronavirus measures, including compulsory self-isolation for overseas arrivals, the Prime Minister said he and other cabinet members wouldn’t be shaking hands...

Should I test my gut microbes to improve my health?

should i test my gut microbes to improve my health?
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Image: Shuttlestock People are paying hundreds of dollars to have their gut microbes analysed, hoping the insights will allow them to adjust their diet and improve their health. But these testing services are based on science that’s still in its infancy, as we explain in our recent paper. So while...

‘Cabin fever’: Australia must prepare for the social and psychological impacts of a coronavirus lockdown

‘cabin fever’: australia must prepare for the social and psychological impacts of a coronavirus lockdown
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As the COVID-19 outbreak intensifies, we’re seeing mass isolation in virus epicentres, with about 500 million people in China “under varying degrees of quarantine”, and all of Italy in lockdown. In Australia, self-isolation is being advised for those who have been in close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case,...

What is a virus? How do they spread? How do they make us sick?

what is a virus? how do they spread? how do they make us sick?
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NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), U.S. NIH, CC BY-SA Viruses are the most common biological entities on Earth. Experts estimate there are around 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them, and if they were all lined up they would stretch from one side of the galaxy to the other. You can think of them...

Sunday essay: projecting light onto a dark history – how mid-century cinema resurrected Port Arthur’s convict past

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Picture: State Library Victoria Tourism was an early money-spinner in Tasmania, with Port Arthur featuring on travel circuits by the late 1800s. In the years following the penal station’s closure in 1877, an influx of local and interstate tourists encouraged guides (including some ex-convicts) to set up shop...

For decades, scientists puzzled over the plastic ‘missing’ from our oceans – but now it’s been found

for decades, scientists puzzled over the plastic ‘missing’ from our oceans – but now it’s been found
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Jennifer Lavers/AAP You’ve probably heard that our oceans have become a plastic soup. But in fact, of all the plastic that enters Earth’s oceans each year, just 1% has been observed floating on the surface. So where is the rest of it? This “missing” plastic has been...

Why tiny ants have invaded your house, and what to do about it

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Picture: Shuttlecock It’s nigh on impossible to calculate with accuracy how many ants are on Earth, but estimates put the number at about ten billion billion. And sometimes, it can feel like a good proportion of those ants are marching through our homes. Ants usually come indoors in...

Coronavirus is a huge story, so journalists must apply the highest ethical standards in how they tell it

coronavirus is a huge story, so journalists must apply the highest ethical standards in how they tell it
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Picture: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND From an ethical perspective, covering the coronavirus story is really hard to do well. The reason for this lies in an inherent conflict between two ethical obligations: the obligation to truth-telling and the obligation not to add unjustifiably to public anxiety. From...

Graphic novels help teens learn about racism, climate change and social justice – here’s a reading list

graphic novels help teens learn about racism, climate change and social justice – here’s a reading list
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The success of ‘Maus’ made the genre more visible.  Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for New York Comic Con Teen activists worldwide are making headlines for their social justice advocacy on everything from climate change and immigration to substance abuse and LGBTQ issues. As young people get more vocal about these issues, this...