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Scientists from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) have discovered that a gene linked to performance in elite athletes also influences disease severity in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common inherited muscle disease that affects around one in 3,500 boys. MCRI’s Director, Professor Kathryn North, and researchers Dr Marshall Hogarth and Dr Peter Houweling have successfully shown a link between a common variant in the gene, alpha-actinin-3 (ACTN3), and the degree of muscle weakness and rate of disease progression of DMD. Prof North and her research team are renowned internationally for their previous discovery that ACTN3 variants have a major influence on muscle performance in elite athletes and on muscle mass and strength in the general population. ACTN3 has been dubbed the ‘gene for speed’ due to its link with sprint performance ability. As a result of these findings, testing for the ACTN3 gene will likely become a part...
Scientists from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) have discovered that a gene linked to performance in elite athletes also influences disease severity in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common inherited muscle disease that affects around one in 3,500 boys. MCRI’s Director, Professor Kathryn North, and researchers Dr Marshall Hogarth and Dr Peter Houweling have successfully shown a link between a common variant in the gene, alpha-actinin-3 (ACTN3), and the degree of muscle weakness and rate of disease progression of DMD. Prof North and her research team are renowned internationally for their previous discovery that ACTN3 variants have a major influence on muscle performance in elite athletes and on muscle mass and strength in the general population. ACTN3 has been dubbed the ‘gene for speed’ due to its link with sprint performance ability. As a result of these findings, testing for the ACTN3 gene will likely become a part...
New research from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute has found a link between different types of electronic media and mental health among young children. Led by Dr Lisa Mundy, the research is the first large population-based study to show clear links between the amount of time spent using TV and video games, and emotional and behavioural problems in late childhood (8-9 years). It was published today in Academic Pediatrics . “This is an important age group to study, because it’s the age at which children’s use of media begins to escalate,” Dr Mundy explains. “It’s also an age at which children are highly sensitive, due to the huge biological, psychological and emotional development, which occurs during this phase of life,” she adds. Researchers found that there were specific types of electronic media associated with these problems among 8-9 year-olds. Findings include: The use of video games among boys was associated...
The Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Program Evaluation have partnered to independently evaluate MiniLit, a program targeting children in the bottom 25 per cent of readers at the start of year 1, to help improve their literacy skills. Led in collaboration by Evidence for Learning and the NSW Government, this is the first time in Australia that an independent randomised controlled trial has tested a program that teaches key reading elements such as phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Following the recent PISA results which suggest Australia’s literacy skills, especially for children living in disadvantage, are one year behind their peers in the world’s best performing countries, MCRI’s Professor Sharon Goldfeld said “it’s no longer okay to accept untested interventions.” “Research shows children who fall behind in reading are unlikely to catch up. We want to arm our teachers with the latest...
The Murdoch Children's Research Institute has received a major boost towards life-changing childhood cancer research with the donation of more than $1 million by the Children’s Cancer Foundation towards three innovative research projects. The projects, which will receive funding during the next three years, will enable researchers to better understand the genetic changes that occur in childhood cancers and to develop new diagnostic and clinical tools. This will lead to more effective treatment and prevention for childhood cancers, including leukaemia, brain tumours and solid tumours. ‘The Children’s Cancer Foundation is committed to investing in Melbourne as a global leader in childhood cancer research. Each of these three studies will improve our understanding of the genetic drivers of childhood cancers and lead to changes in the way clinicians diagnose and make clinical treatment decisions for children,’ Children’s Cancer Foundation Chief Executive Aileen Boyd-Squires says. ‘We are proud to fund innovative research...