Health

Have humans always slept through the night?

But the notion that we need all of our sleep in one unbroken block, is not necessarily driven by our biology. And there's a good deal of evidence to show we haven't always had this approach to sleep.

In Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century text, The Squire's Tale, the king's daughter, Canacee, is described as having a "fyrste sleep," arising in the early morning ahead of her companions, who sleep fully through the night.

Carbs could be key to effective malaria vaccine

Experts from Melbourne independent medical research centre, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, have discovered carbohydrates play a vital role in the malaria parasite's infection of humans.

Justin Boddey and his team made the discovery, which debunks the long-held belief that the single-celled malaria parasite only uses proteins to infect humans.

"So what this research has shown is that the parasite tags many of the proteins on its surface with carbohydrates," he told AM.

Why Pap smear tests are changing

They're being phased out in favour of an alternative known as HPV tests — which will start at a later age, with more than double the time in between examinations.

The move, slated for early December, will improve early detection and save lives, experts say.

But before you start celebrating: the end of the Pap smear won't mean the end of invasive examinations.

Yoga: A beginner's guide

In fact, centuries before Instagram and activewear, "doing yoga" didn't involve the body at all.

At its core, yoga is a practice for tapping into your mind and poses are just one way of doing that.

Yoga's philosophy is based on eight limbs; only one of them, asana, is about the poses. The rest: yama, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, are best described as moral and ethical codes to live by.

Let's talk about the mental load

You know the scene — you're making dinner, calling the plumber/doctor/mechanic, checking homework and answering work emails — at the same time.

All the while, you are being peppered with questions by your nearest and dearest "where are my shoes?", "do we have any cheese?", "what time's my basketball game?", "what are we doing next Saturday night?".

But even if you know this experience well, you may not have the language to describe it.

Actress with dwarfism making a change

No matter how witty they think their little insult is going to be, I've heard it before."

Born with a rare form of dwarfism, Kiruna has spent her life dealing with discrimination and abuse.

But through a combination of talent, luck and unflagging self-belief, she has forged an impressive career on stage and screen, here and in Britain.

"She has always been aware that she was different from other people," her mother, Kerry, said.

"In a way that's been liberating because when you're different you don't necessarily have to follow the road map."

'The ultimate gift': Selena Gomez reveals kidney transplant

In the post, the Good For You singer said fans had been wondering why she had been "laying low" over the summer.

"I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health," she said.

The singer also shared images of a post-operative scar on her lower abdomen.

Do you know your first aid?

What about if your child drinks something poisonous or stops breathing?

Australia has the lowest rates of first-aid training in the world, according to the Australian Red Cross, with less than 5 per cent of people trained in how to handle an emergency situation.

Almost 500,000 Australians are admitted to hospitals every year as a result of injury, with around 12,000 dying from their injuries, primarily from falls.

Most injuries occur in the home, followed by the workplace.

"Workplaces offering first aid is low," Red Cross spokeswoman Amanda Lindsay said.

VIDEO: PM on medicine supply issue

He said the only problem is the delay is the delivery. 
The Prime Minister says issues affecting the delivery have been identified and dealt with. 

Lupin seed extract could provide potent diabetes treatment, researchers say

Research team leader Professor Philip Newsholme said lupin seed extract was being used in laboratory trials to regulate blood glucose levels.

He said research had shown broken down lupin seed could be used to stimulate insulin secretion in cells.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin, or cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced, so that glucose in the blood could not be absorbed into the body's cells.