Understanding Feto-Placental Vasculature

Proper vascular development of the human placenta is crucial for meeting the metabolic needs of the developing fetus during pregnancy. Maternal environmental stressors such as malnutrition disrupt the elaboration of the feto-placental vasculature that, in turn, impacts on placental function and results in reduced fetal growth. The ramifications of this are not only on short-term foetal health but also on long-term health outcomes. Indeed, distortion in placental shape and size strongly associate with later adult health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.

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The Australian Epilepsy Project

The Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP) will change the lives of people living with epilepsy by reducing uncertainty surrounding diagnosis and fast-tracking the path to optimal treatment using the combination of advanced imaging, genetics, cognition, and artificial intelligence. Such improvements will result in better outcome prediction at disease onset, a higher rate of seizure freedom, reduced economic burden of disease and will increase life-participation of people with epilepsy. 

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Micro-CT of re-regeneration in lizard tails

Re-regeneration to reduce adverse effects associated with tail loss

Caudal autotomy, the ability to drop and regenerate a portion of the tail, is a widely used anti-predation strategy in many lizard species. Intra-vertebral autotomy planes within a series of the lizard’s caudal vertebrae allow individuals to autotomise a portion of their tail to escape a threat, such as a predator’s grasp. Once autotomised, the tail regenerates with a rigid cartilage rod in place of the original bony vertebrae. Although an effective anti-predation strategy, it has both short and long-term costs to the individual associated with physical tail loss, as well as the energy required for regeneration. Additionally, a regenerated tail lacks autotomy planes, where subsequent autotomy events having to at a more proximal position at a caudal vertebra with an intact autotomy plane.

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