The News – 21 July 2014

Overview

  • Popular energy drinks that “give you wings” also give you a greater desire to keep drinking when mixed with alcohol, an Australian study finds.
  • This morning (16 July) at Parliament House, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt will launch Biodiversity: Science and Solutions for Australia, a new book from CSIRO.
  • The AMA joins with people around the world today mourning the tragic loss of hundreds of lives aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21stJuly 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/07/18/4048388.html

Popular energy drinks that “give you wings” also give you a greater desire to keep drinking when mixed with alcohol, an Australian study finds.

The study, published today in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research adds to concerns in the field of public health over the growing popularity of combining alcohol with energy drinks.

Senior author Dr Rebecca McKetin, a research fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University, says previous studies have shown young adults who mix alcohol with energy drinks have a tendency to drink more.

While the mechanism behind this was unknown, a US study published last year showed that the addition of energy drinks to alcohol boosted the “priming effect”.

McKetin says this “priming effect” is a measure of how an alcoholic drink incites the urge to keep drinking.

She says there was some skepticism about the US results at the time, so it was important to replicate the study.

The Australian study involved 75 participants (46 women, 29 men) aged 18 to 30 years.

They were given a double shot of vodka (60 millilitres) combined with either soda water or an energy drink in a cocktail that also contained 200 millilitres of a fruit drink.

The participants were asked to complete a series of questionnaires before and after consuming the alcoholic drink, to gauge their ongoing desire to drink.

McKetin says the results show while there was an overall increase among all participants to keep drinking, those consuming the alcohol and energy drink combination showed “significantly higher ratings”.

…The findings support the US results, confirming the earlier study “isn’t a chance finding”, she says.

Although more research is needed to understand the factors that cause this effect, McKetin says it is likely the caffeine in the energy drinks plays an important role in priming drinkers to want more alcohol.

McKetin says the high level of carbohydrate in energy drinks might also make the drinks more palatable and encourage people to want more.

http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/Latest-biodiversity-information-captured-in-new-CSIRO-book.aspx

Latest biodiversity information captured in new CSIRO book

This morning (16 July) at Parliament House, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt will launch Biodiversity: Science and Solutions for Australia, a new book from CSIRO.

Capturing the latest information on Australia’s biodiversity, the book aims to provide business, government, and the community with practical solutions to managing Australia’s globally unique natural assets.

CSIRO’s book draws together the latest science to identify practical solutions to the many challenges that face Australia’s unique biodiversity, which include habitat fragmentation, altered fire regimes, invasive species, harvesting of species, and species decline.”

DR MEGAN CLARK, CSIRO CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Whether it’s a precious cultural symbol, our life-support system, or a resource to be used – biodiversity matters to all Australians. Yet, despite our sense of its importance as part of our national identity, in many parts of our country biodiversity is in trouble.

The book’s 192 pages provide scientific insights including:

• the ancient origins and unique features of Australia’s species, as well as the current status of our biodiversity on land and in rivers, lakes and the sea.

• tools for management and planning, including Australia’s protected area system

• Indigenous perspectives on biodiversity

• how Australia’s biodiversity interacts with agriculture, the resources sector, and cities.

The book is available for free as an eBook from the CSIRO website and will be distributed to key decision makers around the country.

https://ama.com.au/media/ama-mourns-tragic-loss-lives-mh17-disaster

The AMA joins with people around the world today mourning the tragic loss of hundreds of lives aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said that the AMA offers its condolences to the victims from many countries, including the 28 reported Australian victims.

“The medical community is also reeling from the news that possibly more than 100 AIDS activists, researchers, and health workers en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have perished.

“Among those confirmed to be on the flight was the internationally renowned researcher and clinician, Joep Lange.

“The AMA pays tribute to Joep Lange, who has been at the forefront of HIV research and treatment since 1983.

“The dedication of all the lost AIDS experts and has made a profound difference in improving the life of those with HIV, particularly in resource-poor countries.

“The world has today lost many people who have played critical roles in the global fight against HIV.

“The AMA expresses its profound sadness and sincere condolences to the families and friends of all the victims of this catastrophe,” A/Prof Owler said.

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