Monday, June 29, 2009

Qld scientists claim swine flu vaccine breakthrough

Scientists at the University of Queensland have developed a vaccine for swine flu. The breakthrough against the influenza A(H1N1) virus will be announced at the university's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology tomorrow.

Five Australians with swine flu have died while more than 3000 have been diagnosed. "It's one of the first swine flu vaccines made but, unfortunately, it can't be used in Australia yet," a university spokesman said. "It's not registered for use in Australia yet."

Meanwhile, scientists from CSL say its Melbourne laboratory has created an effective sample of a vaccine against the influenza, but human trials are needed to determine the right dosage and may not be available until next winter. Fairfax Media says the federal government has ruled out releasing the vaccine early to vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those with chronic illnesses.

Rachel David from CSL said results of the trial - involving 240 healthy adults from South Australia - would determine when the 10 million doses ordered by the government would be distributed. Dr David said the earliest the vaccine would be ready for use is mid- to late-August, but if the virus continued to produce mild symptoms the government might delay distribution until next year. The Therapeutic Goods Administration, the government and public health experts, not CSL, would control when the vaccine is available.

All five people who have died in Australia with swine flu - two Western Australians and three Victorians - had underlying health conditions.


Oh dear! Such a funny man. Wise of Rudd to be apprehensive

KEVIN Rudd may have been spared from sharing the Rove Live spotlight with Austrian fashionista Bruno last night, but he nonetheless claimed to be nervous just knowing the flamboyant icon was in the building. "Basically, I'm in a state of induced panic," the Prime Minister told Rove McManus during his appearance on the comedian's show last night, The Australian reports. Pointing to the audience, he added: "Each one of you would be, too."

Asked what had happened to the political adviser who booked him on the Ten Network prime-time show on the same night as Bruno, the alter-ego of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, Mr Rudd was candid. "Well, they're in therapy," the Prime Minister joked.

Mr Rudd said he had only found out who else would be on the show after he had already agreed to appear. "I said, 'Are we on together? Like, you know, in the studio at the same time?"' he said.

Mr Rudd, who first appeared on the Ten talk show in the lead-up to the 2007 election, certainly had reason to be concerned - Bruno was not only a hard act to follow, but had also expressed a personal interest in meeting the Prime Minister. "That guy - I saw him backstage - so hot," Bruno told McManus. "You guys have got the hottest Prime Minister."

Bruno then proceeded to fantasise - aloud - about "Ruddy". "It's our 15th anniversary together," he wondered aloud. "Me and Ruddy have adopted two children together. He's massaging my feet in the bath. It could never happen. Could it?"

While waiting in the green room, Mr Rudd would have learnt much about the style thoughts of Bruno, whose eponymous film opens in Australia on July 9. Hitler's personal style, for example, was well-dressed, but "apparently, behind closed doors, he was like a real tyrant - worse than Elton".

He then went into great depths discussing McManus's nether regions. "I haven't seen that much hair since the 80s," Bruno said.

SOURCE. More antics here.

No jail time for killing a woman??

This is preposterous. It is plea-bargaining gone mad. But even after the plea bargain, a jail term could have been imposed

A SECOND man charged over the cruise ship death of Dianne Brimble has pleaded guilty in a Sydney court to involvement in the incident. Letterio "Leo" Silvestri, from South Australia, pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre District Court today to concealing a serious indictable offence.

Ms Brimble, a 42-year-old Brisbane mother of three, died 100 nautical miles out to sea on board the P&O liner Pacific Sky in September 2002. She had ingested a toxic mix of alcohol and the date-rape drug known as fantasy. Her body was found in a cabin belonging to Silvestri, Ryan Kuchel and one other man, who were also charged after a 16-month inquest into Ms Brimble's death.

Last week, Kuchel also pleaded guilty to hindering a police investigation. Kuchel was sentenced to an 18-month good behaviour bond. Kuchel and Silvestri had both been due to face trial in the NSW District Court today charged with perverting the course of justice. Lawyers for Silvestri said the trial could have lasted up to four weeks.

Judge Greg Hoskins has adjourned the matter until 2pm (AEST) while he sees if a pre-sentence report investigating sentencing options can be obtained for Silvestri.


Food fanatic father

I suppose this is one endpoint of the "obesity" war. He sounds like a bit of a nut but you can't entirely blame him for believing all the tripe about "obesity" that is constantly poured out in the media these days

A COURT has banned a Victorian father from weighing his son. The Family Court orders also prevent the dad discussing the nine-year-old's weight with, or within earshot of, the boy, the Herald Sun reports. The man could face sanctions including fines or jail if he breaches the order and a series of others set by the judge.

Justice Nahum Mushin imposed the restrictions at the end of a bitter 16-day custody hearing where the child's health was a major flashpoint. The court heard the dad is fixated on the fact his disabled son's weight exceeds 40kg, and he blames his ex-wife for the blowout. The father - who can't be identified for legal reasons - accused the mother of allowing the boy to watch too much television, eat fatty foods and exercise little.

He was concerned the child's weight was having an impact on the effectiveness of various medications. The boy suffers from a range of medical problems. The mother accused the man of denigrating the boy about his weight, and of using his size as a reason to criticise her.

Doctors and teachers trying to care for the boy were alienated by the man's aggressive behaviour, the court heard. The man's conduct to the child's main doctor was "harassing, aggressive and confrontational", the court found in a judgment published last month. The dad - who wanted his son to change schools - also wrote "derogatory, dictatorial and sarcastic notes" in a diary to a teacher, the court heard.

The judge ruled the children should live with the mother and granted her sole responsibility for decisions about the boy's health and education.

Justice Mushin described the case as "extremely protracted and bitter". "There is enormous antipathy between the parties. Throughout this trial I searched for, and could not find, any point of convergence between them with regard to their parenting," he ruled.


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