Media releases

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September 2002

Research Centre to Study the Possible Health Effects of Mobile Phones and Towers

A $2.5 million research centre will be established in Australia to study the possible health effects of electromagnetic energy emissions from mobile phones and mobile phone towers. The National Health and Medical Research Council will support an actual (a single physical entity or institute) or 'virtual' (linking a collaborative research effort from several different organisations) Centre of Research Excellence in Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy, with $500,000 a year for a...

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August 2002

Understanding Hearing Loss: NHMRC Funds $3 Million in Related Research

Being unable to hear well can affect a young child's speech development and their ability to learn. Other Australians face issues related to hearing loss, hearing rehabilitation and the harmful effects of noise. In 2002, the National Health and Medical Research Council has allocated more than $3 million to 34 hearing related research grants across Australia that hope to make a difference to the lives of people with actual and potential hearing loss. CEO of the NHMRC, Professor Alan...

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Oral Health: A Million Dollar Priority for the NHMRC

A study into how carers can help maintain the oral health of older Australians living in aged care homes, and research into the use of an antibacterial gel instead of toothpaste, are two of 18 oral health research projects being funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. CEO of the NHMRC, Professor Alan Pettigrew, said 18 projects totalling more than $1.8 million had been funded, with the HCF's Health and Medical Research Foundation contributing $300,000 to the pool of...

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The Year of the Outback Workshop to Focus on Water Needs of Remote Communities

Workshop to Focus on Water Needs of Remote Communities We all need access to safe water to drink and wash. In a city or town, it's as simple as turning on a tap. But how good is the water supply available to Australians living in remote areas - especially Indigenous Australians? Quality is important, but what about quantity? Is it as important to have sufficient water for washing and basic hygiene, or just high quality water for drinking? What needs to be done to improve water for...

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Public Meeting in Sydney to hear Views on Draft Guidelines for Research into Animal Organ

Archive – For reference purposes only A public meeting will be held in Sydney on Wednesday 21 August, to seek community views on draft guidelines and a discussion paper on the ethical, scientific and technical aspects of xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation is the term used to cover the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another - such as from pigs to humans. It has become a focus for transplantation research in recent years because there are not enough...

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Public Meeting in Melbourne Next Week to Hear Views on Draft Guidelines for Research for Research into Animal Organ Transplants.

Archive – For reference purposes only A public meeting will be held in Melbourne on Monday 19 August, to seek community views on draft guidelines and a discussion paper on the ethical, scientific and technical aspects of xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation is the term used to cover the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another - such as from pigs to humans. It has become a focus for transplantation research in recent years because there are not enough...

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Over $31 Million Offered for Health Research in the Asia Pacific

Advertisements will appear in national newspapers today,inviting applications for funding for research focusing on thehealth problems of developing countries in South and SouthEast Asia and the Pacific. The UK-based Wellcome Trust, in partnership withAustralia's National Health and Medical Research Council andthe Health Research Council of New Zealand, is offering aA$31.8 million (£12m) International Collaborative ResearchGrants scheme, which will concentrate on major health...

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Public Meeting in Perth to Hear Views on Draft Guidelines for Research Into Animal Organ Transplants

Archive – For reference purposes only A public meeting will be held in Perth next week (Monday, 12 August), to seek community views on draft guidelines and a discussion paper on the ethical, scientific and technical aspects of xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation is the term used to cover the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another - such as from pigs to humans. It has become a focus for transplantation research in recent years because there are not...

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Research for Healthier Bones

National Healthy Bones Week: 04-10 August In Australia, one in two women and one in three men over the age of 60 will sustain a bone fracture. It is also estimated that the death rate in women from hip fractures is greater than the incidence of all female cancers combined. Osteoporosis, or 'porous bones', is a disease where bone density and structural quality deteriorate, leading to an increased risk of fracture. Common sites are the wrist, hip, spine, pelvis and upper arm. In...

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NHMRC Welcomes NIH Deferment of IP Policy Change

Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Professor Alan Pettigrew today welcomed advice from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), that it will defer the planned change to its IP policy. The NIH's changes would limit patent rights and ownership of intellectual property (IP) generated from NIH supported research by foreign grantees, with the aim of maximising the benefit of NIH funded research to the health and wealth of the US and its...

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July 2002

NHMRC Supports Call for Review of University Research Funding

The National Health and Medical Research Council welcomed this week's call by the Australian Research Council (ARC) to fundamentally reform the way in which Australian universities are funded for research. The Chair of the Council, Professor Nick Saunders, said that he strongly supported the restructuring of the current dual funding system of university research and replacing it with an integrated approach that further encouraged competition and promoted innovation. Commonwealth...

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National Glaucoma Week 21-28 July NHMRC Researchers Target Glaucoma and Eye Disease

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of adult blindness in the world affecting approximately 70 million people. In Australia alone, Glaucoma and diseases of the retina are the cause of more than 80 per cent of blindness. In National Glaucoma Week, the NHMRC recognises the importance of continuing research into the causes of Glaucoma and in an effort to develop new treatments for this debilitating disease, this year, the NHMRC has provided more than seven Grants totalling nearly $1.7...

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NHMRC Spending $22.4 Million on Diabetes Research

Diabetes is a serious health problem that imposes a considerable burden on the Australian community. The National Health and Medical Research Council funds a wide range of research initiatives designed to improve the control and treatment of diabetes. Overall in 2002, the NHMRC allocated $22.4 million for research into diabetes and its complications. Research projects funded through the NHMRC include the following: Maternal undernutrition, infant feeding, adiposity and diabetes Professor...

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Diabetes Vaccine Development Centre Due to Open Next Year

National Diabetes Week 14-21 July The world's first public sector diabetes vaccine development centre, a joint venture between the NHMRC and the New York based Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (International), is on track to begin operations in Australia next year. Working in partnership, the Federal Government through the NHMRC, together with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, will jointly commit $13.3 million over the next five years on research to find a cure for...

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Frequently asked questions about Xenotransplantation

Archive – For reference purposes only What is xenotransplantation? Xenotransplantation is transplantation from one species to another; for example, from a pig to a human. The term covers transplantation of solid organs (such as kidney or heart), tissues (such as skin) or clusters of specialised cells (such as brain cells or the pancreatic cells that produce insulin). Xenotransplantation can also involve the infusion or transplantation of body fluids, tissues or cells that have been in...

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Xenotransplantation Fact Sheet

Archive – For reference purposes only Xenotransplantation is the term used for the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another (such as from pigs to humans). Organ xenotransplantation (eg heart, kidney) is the most well known potential procedure but the term also covers transfer of tissues and cells (eg cells from the pancreas that produce insulin). It also covers procedures that occur outside the body in which cells or fluids from the patient are cultured...

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NHMRC releases draft guidelines for research into animal organ transplants and calls for public debate

Archive – For reference purposes only NHMRC releases draft guidelines for research into animal organ transplants and calls for public debate The transplanting of animal organs to humans (xenotransplantation) raises ethical, safety and efficacy issues which deserve to be debated by the community. Xenotransplantation, a term which covers the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another (such as from pigs to humans),has become a focus for transplantation research...

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The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Agenda Working Group (RAWG)

The National Health and Medical Research Council has recognised the need to develop a cohesive and coordinated approach to address the health research needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As a consequence, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Agenda Working Group (RAWG) was established as a joint undertaking between the NHMRC and OATSIH in 1997. RAWG, a sub-committee of the Strategic Research Development Committee (SRDC), a principle committee...

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NHMRC Joins New Zealand and Canada to Collaborate on Indigenous Health Research

In this NAIDOC Week, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council has announced that it has signed a five-year collaboration agreement on Indigenous Health Research with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Health Research Council of New Zealand. It is well recognised that there is a disparity between the health of Indigenous people and the health of the general Australian population. This is also true of Indigenous peoples in Canada and New Zealand. CEO of...

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June 2002

NHMRC Welcomes Independent Inquiry

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has welcomed the University of New South Wales's establishment of an external independent inquiry to investigate allegations of scientific misconduct, scientific fraud and grant mismanagement against one of its researchers, Professor Bruce Hall. The Executive Head of the NHMRC's Centre for Research Management, Ms Suzanne Northcott, said "The Council supports the broad Terms of Reference (the investigation will commence...

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May 2002

NHMRC Joins $31.8 Million International Partnership to Focus on Health Problems of the Asia Pacific Region

The UK-based Wellcome Trust, in partnership with Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and Health Research Council of New Zealand, has today launched a major new program, focusing on the health problems of developing countries in South and South East Asia and the Pacific. The A$31.8 million (£12m) scheme will concentrate on major health issues of countries in the Asia Pacific region and will promote...

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Plan of Action to Respond to vCJD

Australia's peak advisory committee on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), including BSE, has endorsed a plain English version of the plan of action to respond to any future suspected case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in Australia. vCJD is the human form of mad cow disease in animals. About 115 people have been diagnosed with vCJD in Britain, with a small number also occurring in Ireland, France, Hong Kong and Italy. It is believed that these people have...

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The Mouth: A Window to Health and Wellbeing

The state of your mouth reflects the state of your general health and there's evidence that oral health may have a link to major chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. Following public consultation and consideration of existing evidence, the NHMRC's Strategic Research Development Committee (SRDC) believes that improving a person's oral health could have a flow-on effect to their general health, but that further research is needed in this area. As...

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April 2002

NHMRC Concern Over Allegations Of Scientific Misconduct

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has written to the University of New South Wales, expressing its concern over recent allegations of scientific misconduct and mismanagement of grant funds by one of its researchers. The Executive Head of the Centre for Research Management, Ms Suzanne Northcott, said the allegations were serious and the Council was requesting, as a matter of urgency, all relevant reports undertaken by the University. "We are also seeking advice...

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NHMRC New Development Grants to Foster Research Commercialisation

The NHMRC has announced that the NHMRC Development Grants will now be an independent funding scheme, open for application twice a year and without the restrictions that normally apply to other NHMRC Grants. Professor Alan Pettigrew, CEO of the NHMRC, pointed out that the move highlighted the NHMRC's commitment to implementing the Health and Medical Research Strategic Review (Wills Review) recommendations and to supporting research commercialisation. "To maximise the return of public...

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NHMRC Welcomes Responsibility of Administering Arragemements on the Use of Embryos for Stem Cell Research

Australia's premier agency for the support of medical research and the provision of advice and consideration of ethical issues in health and medicine, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), has welcomed COAG's decision that the NHMRC administer future legislative requirements regarding the use of embryos for stem cell research. The CEO of the NHMRC, Professor Alan Pettigrew, said the NHMRC is prepared to undertake this very important, sensitive and challenging...

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February 2002

Blood Donor Travel Survey to Begin in February

Australia's watchdog expert committee on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), including bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has endorsed a plan by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) to survey 16,000 blood donors to ascertain their travel histories. The National Health and Medical Research Council's Special Expert Committee on TSEs (SECTSE) met last week and its Chair, Professor Graeme Ryan, said the survey followed a decision made by Australian health...

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January 2002

More time for national genetic inquiry

Australian Law Reform Commission & Australian Health Ethics Committee As part of a commitment to ensure widespread public consultation, the deadline for a national inquiry into the protection of human genetic information has been extended by nine months until March 2003. The Australian Law Reform Commission and the Australian Health Ethics Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council are investigating, in relation to the use of human genetic samples and information,...

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