Research

Just don't call me 'Spidery McSpiderface'

A four millimetre-long jumping spider, with a hipster ginger beard and red hairs on the top of its legs, has been discovered in Queensland – and Australia is being asked to name it.

Small in size but flamboyant in colour, the spider was discovered  as part of species discovery program ‘Bush Blitz’ in the Quinkan region of Queensland’s Cape York by Dr Barbara Baehr and Robert Whyte of the Queensland Museum and PhD student Jim Mclean of Macquarie University.

Most older Australians feeling younger

Three quarters of Australians aged over 50 feel at least 10 years younger, according to research released this week.

National Seniors Australia’s Research Director Professor John McCallum said feeling younger positively impacted health and wellbeing and meant people lived longer.

Prof. McCallum said National Seniors’ recent survey had revealed that people felt about 20 per cent younger than their actual age, with women 30 per cent more likely than men to feel younger.

Have your say about the issues that matter most

A quick word of thanks to the more than 4000 members who have taken the time to complete our advocacy survey.

It’s the first time we’ve done an in-depth analysis of what your thoughts are on such a wide range of issues: everything from downsizing your home to medically assisted dying.

When I travel around meeting members, they often take the opportunity to share their ideas on issues they are passionate about.

That’s great, but I know there are members all over Australia who - for whatever reason - I can’t meet and talk to.

Tell your story about being a woman without children

The number of women in Australia who have no children continues to rise, with figures almost doubling in the past two decades.

Sydney researcher Naomi Menahem has no children, and is completing a PhD at Deakin University to ‘make more sense of her own experiences’.

She’s keen to hear from other women who are happy to talk to her about their childlessness.

Women still do most of the housework

It will come as no surprise to most women that females in full-time employment are also more likely to do most of the housework at home.

Figures from the 2016 Census released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the traditional split has continued among men and women when it comes to domestic chores, Census Program Manager Bindi Kindermann said.

“The census counted that almost one-fifth of women working full-time were likely to undertake at least 15 hours of unpaid domestic work a week, compared to eight per cent of men,” Ms Kindermann said.

Staying awake may be the best way of getting to sleep

New research has found that willing yourself to stay awake at bedtime may put you to sleep more quickly.

A study conducted by the University of Glasgow asked volunteers to monitor their sleep for two weeks.

One group was asked to try to stay awake for as long as possible, while the other didn’t receive any special instructions. Those trying to stay awake felt less anxious at bedtime and fell asleep quicker.

University of Hertfordshire’s psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman said that trying to will yourself to sleep would only make matters worse.

Consumer Directed Care In Australia: Early stage analysis and future directions

A new research report from National Seniors Australia examines the introduction of Consumer Directed Care (CDC) in community care services in Australia.

The report, based on a survey of 4,267 National Seniors members, has revealed 98 per cent of its members, regardless of their age, believe choice of home care services is important, with those living on the age pension most likely to say it is ‘extremely important’.

Council set up to oversee medical cannabis

A peak industry body has been set up to oversee production, supply and distribution standards for medical cannabis products.

The Medical Cannabis Council includes health experts, researchers, and medical cannabis producers and manufacturers.

CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia and board member of the Medical Cannabis Council, Carol Ireland, said early research indicated medical cannabis could treat areas of epilepsy where conventional medicine had been largely ineffective.

200-year search for Parkinson's cure continues

University of Adelaide researchers are contributing to the ongoing global effort to better understand, treat and prevent Parkinson's disease, 200 years after the disease was originally described.

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and World Parkinson's Day is held every year on 11 April. 

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Dr James Parkinson's seminal work, An Essay on the Shaking Palsy, the first paper to describe the debilitating motor symptoms in the body associated with Parkinson's disease. 

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