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ECU Media Newsletter - 2 June 2016

Thursday, 02 June 2016

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Sport – Jarryd Roughead treatment explainer 
Melanoma Expert Dr Elin Gray is available to explain how immunotherapy, the treatment Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead is set to receive, has revolutionised the treatment of the deadly skin cancer differs from traditional treatments such as chemotherapy. She says that former US President Jimmy Carter was recently successfully treated with immunotherapy for his aggressive melanoma. Her team at ECU is working to devise better monitoring strategies for these patients undergoing immunotherapy. 

Tech – Social media posts there to stay 
A series of widely-publicised social media faux pas are a timely reminder that what happens online stays online, according to social media expert Dr Helen Cripps. She says we are forever chastising young people for their mistakes online, but recent examples show how anyone can type before they think. At least at a dinner party when you say something stupid it is only the guest and maybe some of their friends hear about your mistake, she says. Social media however just keeps on "giving" as others react and retell your words. 

Health – Vaccination debate 
The disruption of the public seminar on vaccination earlier this week is a symptom of the increased professionalisation and scrutiny of parenting, according to psychologist Dr Bronwyn Harman. Dr Harman, who has researched attitudes towards vaccination, says the rise of social media may be reinforcing the idea that there is a "right" way to parent, meaning ideas about parenting styles become more emotive and polarised. 

Workplace – Guys and girls
After David Morrison’s call for the use of the term “guys” to be phased out of the workplace, gender studies Lecturer  Dr Kwadwo Adusei-Asante says the simplest thing to do is ask people what they prefer to be called. He is available to talk about how meaning and connotations of gendered words change over time. 

Media  - West Australian/Sunday Times merger 
A merger would be detrimental for news coverage in WA because diversity in the media is important.  Senior Lecturer in Journalism Dr Kayt says losing one outlet would result in reduced competition between journalists, as there will be less pressure to get the story first, and more chance of editorial interference blocking the coverage of some stories. 

Environment - Bushfire moderation key to biodiversity in inland WA 
In a paper to be published in Austral Ecology today, ECU researchers have demonstrated the need for fire managers to use strategic prescribed burning in maintaining biodiversity in the semi-arid shrublands of Western Australia. Lead researcher Dr Eddie Van Etten said the research found large bushfires in the area were wiping out several species of plants, including orchids, native lilies, ferns and native pines. Rather than trying to exclude fires from these landscapes, he argues authorities must purposely protect old and other bushfire sensitive vegetation. 

Music – Re-introducing the trautonium to a new audience
PhD candidate Meg Travers has created her own version of the early electronic instrument, the trautonium, and will give a West Australian-first performance at the WA Museum on Friday, 3 June. “The trautonium was invented in Germany in 1929 and it was the first electronic instrument that could produce a wide variety of sounds. It was the forefather of today’s synthesizers,” Ms Travers said. 

Environment – Pilbara mine sites used as food stop
Thousands of migratory shorebirds are using salt lakes in WA’s north as valuable food stops in their migration between Australia and the Arctic according to research by Dr Sora Estrella. The birds are using the industrial salt lakes near Dampier, Port Hedland and Carnarvon to refuel on their long migration. 

Books – A history of Australia’s first piano
On Sunday, 13 May 1787, a square piano departed from Portsmouth on board the Sirius, the flagship of the First Fleet, bound for Botany Bay. Who made the First Fleet piano, and when was it made? Who owned it? Who played it, and who listened? The First Fleet Piano: A Musician’s View answers these questions, and provides tantalising glimpses of social and cultural life both in Georgian England and in the early colony at Sydney Cove. more.

Environment – What is killing Australia’s smallest owls?
Boobook owls are in decline around Australia and PhD student Michael Lohr is trying to find out why. He’s looking for the public’s help to report owls roosting during the day around Perth, the Perth Hills and Wheatbelt as well as any dead owls to assist his research. Video and images are available. 

Health – Community-based programs effective at addressing type 2 diabetes
A new report from ECU’s Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have diabetes and that it is the second leading underlying cause of death. However, short-term healthy lifestyle programs can have positive health effects for up to two years. more.

Film – Screen Awards
The WA Screen Academy at ECU has received nominations for four films in four separate categories in the upcoming WA Screen Awards. WA Screen Academy Director Dr Cathy Henkel said graduates had been nominated for films produced in 2015 in the categories of Short Drama, Short Documentary, People’s Choice and Interactive Drama. An additional nine WA Screen Academy alumni were also nominated. Winners announced on Monday, 4 July. 

WA Day – WA on show in a new TV program
A unique friendship between four WA girls adopted from Chinese orphanages is just one of the stories featuring in a new program by ECU Broadcasting students on Channel 7. Made in WA celebrates all things Western Australian, with themes including laughter yoga, the threat to the quokka, our love of hot chilli, and WA’s newest high-octane sport – burn outs. 

Environment – Possums face climate change threat
Brushtail possums in WA’s South West have two choices to survive the effects of climate change and habitat loss: migrate or adapt. Ecologist Dr Shaun Molloy said new research published in journal PLoS ONE showed that the impacts of climate change on the fragmented landscapes of WA meant possum numbers would continue to decline. 

Health – Wanneroo community embraces health centre
The ECU Health Centre, incorporating the Wanneroo GP SuperClinic, has released its first annual report. Since 2014, the Centre has provided more than 122,000 consults, an average of 5,200 consults each month. Services at the centre have now expanded to include BreastScreen WA, Exercise Medicine Research Institute, Pregnancy to Parenthood Clinic and mood and sleep workshops.

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