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Monday, October 26, 2020

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Over 1 million Americans die from a terminal illness every year. These Americans aren't just statistics, they're our friends, loved ones and family members. Many spend years searching for a potential cure, or struggle in vain to get accepted into a clinical trial. Unfortunately, FDA red tape and government regulations restrict access to promising new treatments, and for those who do get access, it's often too late.

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The FDA drug approval process can take up to 15 years. This is far too long for dying patients to wait. Terminal timelines are measured in months, weeks and days. Not decades. Many potentially life-saving treatments awaiting approval in the U.S. are already available overseas, and have been for years. Sadly, most Americans cannot afford to seek treatment abroad. Many are left without hope.

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For just the third time on record, scientists say they are now watching the unfolding of a massive worldwide coral bleaching event, spanning the globe from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. And they fear that thanks to warm sea temperatures, the ultimate result could be the loss of more than 12,000 square kilometers, or over 4,500 square miles, of coral this year — with particularly strong impacts in Hawaii and other U.S. tropical regions, and potentially continuing into 2016.

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The event is being brought on by a combination of global warming, a very strong El Nino event, and the so-called warm "blob" in the Pacific Ocean, say the researchers, part of a consortium including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland in Australia, and Reef Check.

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A Spanish cancer patient has received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage designed and manufacture in Australia. Suffering from a chest wall sarcoma (a type of cancerous tumour that grows, in this instance, around the rib cage), the 54 year old man needed his sternum and a portion of his rib cage replaced. This part of the chest is notoriously tricky to recreate with prosthetics, due to the complex geometry and design required for each patient. So the patient's surgical team determined that a fully customisable 3D printed sternum and rib cage was the best option.

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That's when they turned to Melbourne-based medical device company Anatomics, who designed and manufactured the implant utilising our 3D printing facility.

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Scientists say they've discovered a new member of the human family tree, revealed by a huge trove of bones in a barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa. The creature shows a surprising mix of human-like and more primitive characteristics — some experts called it "bizarre" and "weird."

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Professor Lee Berger of Wits University 

And the discovery presents some key mysteries: How old are the bones? And how did they get into that chamber, reachable only by a complicated pathway that includes squeezing through passages as narrow as about 7½ inches (17.8 centimeters)?Prof Berger believes that the discovery of a creature that has such a mix of modern and primitive features should make scientists rethink the definition of what it is to be human - so much so that he himself is reluctant to describe naledi as human. 

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Antibiotic misuse refers to the misuse or overuse of antibiotics, with potentially serious effects on health. It is a contributing factor to the development of antibiotic resistance, including the creation of multidrug-resistant bacteria, informally called "super bugs," relatively harmless bacteria that can develop resistance to multiple antibiotics and cause life-threatening infections.

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You need only go back 70 years to a time when a scratch and a common infection could prove deadly. Routine surgery and childbirth could be a hazardous business. Penicillin had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming, but human trials did not begin for over a decade. The first patient was an Oxford policeman, Albert Alexander, who had scratched his face on a rose bush and the wound became seriously infected (another historical version has him injured in a bombing raid). He was treated with penicillin and his condition rapidly improved, but supplies ran out before he could be cured and he died. By the end of the war penicillin was being widely produced, and other drugs quickly followed - marking the start of the antibiotic era. So most of us have grown up with these miracle drugs readily available.