Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 14/04/2017

In today’s talking points: Aussie diet shame revealed in CSIRO report; Vascular disease risk higher for some youth with type 1 diabetes, research finds; Industrial hemp legislation passes South Australian Parliament; Chinese scientists build soft robotic fish

Aussie diet shame revealed in CSIRO report

A new report from the CSIRO has found that four in five Aussies aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables, while Australia is home to an abundance of fresh produce. The study, which is the largest of its kind ever conducted in Australia, found that while women eat better than their male counterparts, only 25 per cent are eating enough fruits and veggies. Comparatively, only 15 per cent of men are meeting their daily recommendation of fresh produce. Young adults and the unemployed were named as the worst offenders, with retirees coming out on top as the best performers and more likely to meet the recommended dietary guidelines. With the rise in popularity of smoothies and juice bars over the past decade, more people are meeting the daily fruit requirement than vegetable requirement. But experts have previously warned against eating too much fruit because of the high sugar content, saying vegetables are even more important when it comes to maintaining healthy body function and keeping the metabolism and bowels moving.

Read more at Starts at 60

Vascular disease risk higher for some youth with type 1 diabetes, research finds

A study has found Some children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have an increased risk of developing vascular disease in early adulthood. The Diabetes Research WA funded study found children diagnosed with T1D had an elevated risk of end-stage kidney disease and stroke compared to the general population. It found that by early adulthood, 32 of the patients had been hospitalised and treated for a vascular complication, including eye disease. The new results are an extension of an ongoing study which found women, who had childhood onset type one diabetes, had an early adulthood mortality rate 11 times higher than the general population. This type of research had the potential to improve the lives of those living with T1D. Now more than 6,000 Australian children are estimated to have T1D.

Read more at ABC

Industrial hemp legislation passes South Australian Parliament

Industrial hemp legislation has passed the South Australian Parliament, with farmers expected to be free to plant crops within weeks. This is a new opportunity for farmers but it will also mean that those who sell and manufacture hemp products now in South Australia won’t have to source their materials from interstate or overseas. The current hemp industry in South Australia includes manufacturing of clothes, cosmetics and building materials. Industrial hemp is defined as containing less than 1 per cent of the psychoactive drug THC. Most other Australian jurisdictions already have such laws. It technically became legal after Federal Parliament passed legislation last year, but each state must individually regulate how patients can access it.

Read more at ABC

Chinese scientists build soft robotic fish

Chinese scientists from eastern China’s Zhejiang Province have created a soft robotic fish with no motor and a fast speed. The robot is expected to be used underwater to record the temperature and salinity of the sea and detect pollutants. The 9.3-centimeter-long fish weighs 90 grams and has an electric controller at the core, fins made of silicone, and a silicone body and tail. All components are transparent except for a small battery pack and two electromagnets. Instead of being powered by traditional rigid motors, the fish is built with artificial muscle, stimuli-responsive polymers that can bend or stretch under a cyclic voltage provided by the embedded lithium battery. The findings were published in the academic journal Scientific Advances earlier this month.

Read more at Xinhua