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News briefs

New collaboration for NHMRC and Americans

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) reports that it has opened a joint funding round with their American counterparts, the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the United States Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Under this collaboration, the NHMRC will provide funding to support Australian researchers to participate in The BRAIN Initiative, which was announced by President Obama in 2013. “It is hoped that the research conducted through The BRAIN Initiative will lead to more effective treatments and methods of prevention for brain conditions such as dementia, autism, epilepsy, depression and Parkinson’s disease”, the NHMRC statement read. The NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said: “Both the NIH and the NHMRC believe that the ambitious goals of The BRAIN Initiative can best be attained by collaborating across both disciplinary and geographic boundaries. Over the past four decades Australian researchers have collaborated more with researchers in the US than in any other country.”

Missing microbes may point to asthma risk

NPR reports that a new study published in Science Translational Medicine shows that the composition of microbes living in babies’ guts may play a role in whether the children develop asthma later on. “The…