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I can’t sleep. What drugs can I (safely) take?

There are many pharmacological options available for insomnia. But they will mostly make you reliant upon them for sleep. from www.shutterstock.com If you’re having trouble sleeping, medicines shouldn’t be your first option. Exercise regularly, cut back on coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) after midday, eat less in the evening, ease up on “screen time” before,...

Do you ‘zombie check’ your phone? How new tools can help you control technology over-us

Do you pull out your phone the instance you’re bored? You’re a zombie checker. rawpixel/Unsplash,  Technology has undoubtedly become essential for productivity and communication in our professional and personal lives. However, the most prominent reason users of all ages reach for their device is not to work, but to “zombie check”. These are...

There’s a gap between what people expect when they report cybercrime, and what police can deliver

When victims report a cybercrime they expect someone brought to justice, but that’s not always possible. Flickr/Blogtrepreneur, Two thirds of victims of cybercrime were not satisfied with the outcome of their reported offence, according an evaluation of the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) that has finally been made public. There is also a relatively low public awareness of the service and...

Genes, joules or gut bugs: which one is most to blame when it comes to weight gain?

Stop blaming your parents for your weight.  from www.shutterstock.com With obesity on the rise, so too is the diet and weight loss industry, currently valued at US$70 billion in the US alone. But most of us are still confused about the factors that lead to weight gain. Three commonly attributed factors are our genes, our microbiome (gut bugs) and our energy intake (kilojoules). So...

After a long struggle, the Uniting Church becomes the first to offer same-sex marriage

For some, this recent decision is a source of celebration and perhaps even symbolic, finally, of full equality in the church for gay and lesbian members. Wes Mountain From Friday, September 21, the Uniting Church (UCA) will be the first of the three major Australian Christian denominations to endorse same-sex marriage, and thus the first to offer gay and lesbian Christians the...

Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people

For decades, doctors have been prescribing low-dose aspirin for healthy people over the age of 70. from shutterstock.com Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US. We also found...

Outrage over schoolgirl refusing to stand for anthem shows rise of aggressive nationalism

The brouhaha over a nine-year-old girl refusing to stand for the national anthem appears to confirm that tolerance is on the wane and nationalist sentiment on the rise in Australia. Shutterstock Last week, nine-year-old Queensland school girl, Harper Nielsen, was threatened with suspension by her school for refusing to sing the Australian national anthem. The heated and at time preposterous reaction to the...

Sunday essay: who owns a family’s story? Why it’s time to lift the Berndt field notes embargo

Vincent Copley senior and Vincent Copley junior at Redbanks Conservation Park, Burra, in June, 2018. They are holding Ngadjuri book, with their grandfather and great-grandfather, Barney Waria, on the cover.  Photo: C.J. Taylor, Flinders University. Imagine your grandfather was interviewed about his life, over many hours, some 80 years ago. Everything he says is written down, enough to fill more...

Vital for life, heat and power – what you never knew about salt water

Salt water is fun to swim in – but it also carries the electrical signals vital for life. Raphael Nogueira/Unsplash Your tongue is a salt detector – it dissolves the solid salt crystals sprinkled on your chips to create an intense flavour sensation. But salt is way more important than just being a food additive. Salt water is literally the most common substance on the surface...

Needless procedures: knee arthroscopy is one of the most common but least effective surgeries

Knee arthroscopy requires admission to hospital and an anaesthetic. It carries some risk of harm such as infection or further damage in the joint. from shutterstock.com More than 70,000 knee arthroscopies were performed in 2011 in Australia and, though rates of the surgical procedure are now falling, it still remains one of the most common surgical procedures. The word arthroscopy means to look...

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