Satellite captures rarely-seen atmospheric gravity wave phenomenon off WA’s north

Gravity Wave
Gravity Wave

Satellite images have captured a usually invisible phenomenon known as atmospheric gravity waves pulsing through clouds off Western Australia’s north-west.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior meteorologist Adam Morgan said atmospheric gravity waves were basically ripples in the sky.

“When you think of waves in the ocean, they’re a type of gravity wave,” he said.

“When you throw a rock in a pond and you see the ripples flowing out, they’re gravity waves as well.

“Essentially gravity waves are disturbances in any sort of fluid, so we see them often in water, but the atmosphere is a fluid as well — so any sort of disturbances in there can generate waves.”

Chinese Vaccine Maker Bankrupted By Fine

Chinese Vaccine Maker Bankrupted By Fine

Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Limited, a Chinese company involved in a defective vaccine case, was handed a bankruptcy ruling by a court in northeast China, according to an announcement released Friday by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The Intermediate People’s Court of Changchun, capital of Jilin Province, ruled that Changchun Changsheng is insolvent and unable to pay its debts when they are due. Meanwhile, there is no possibility of reorganization, the announcement said.

Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences is a subsidiary of Changsheng Bio-technology, a major Chinese vaccine maker.

Last year, authorities revoked their pharmaceutical production license and imposed a fine of more than 9.1 billion yuan (about 1.3 billion U.S. dollars) on Changchun Changsheng for illegal production of vaccines.

UPDATE: Natural Therapies Review 2019-20

On 7 April 2019, the Minister for Health (the Hon Greg Hunt) announced new 2019-20 review updates of 16 natural therapies. This was the result of 13,324 people writing to the Minister via the Your Health Your Choice campaign in Feb-Mar 2019 protesting removal of Private Health Insurance rebates for natural therapies from 1 April 2019.

There are promising signs that the Government has taken heed of public pressure and taken steps towards ensuring that the 2019-20 reviews are conducted more transparently and ethically than their 2014-15 counterparts, which were designed with the intent to remove health fund rebates for natural therapies.

Appointment of Expert Advisory Panel and Working Committee:
The Government has formed a Natural Therapies Review Advisory Panel (NTREAP) to advise the Chief Medical Officer on the new reviews, which includes a balanced mix of complementary medicine subject/ research experts. Membership of the NTREAP and its terms of reference can be viewed here.

To oversee the actual review work, the Government has again put the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in charge of this task, despite concerns over bias and impropriety in its execution of the 2014-15 reviews, alongside an ongoing Commonwealth Ombudsman misconduct investigation.

However, an encouraging sign is that the NHMRC has appointed a Natural Therapies Working Committee to oversee the reviews that contains a solid mix of complementary medicine research experts. This has been influenced by public pressure mounted on the Government by campaigns such as Your Health Your Choice, which have drawn the public’s attention to serious deficiencies of the previous 2014-15 reviews, including the absence of any CM research experts on the previous ‘expert’ committee.

Membership of the NHMRC committee includes the Director of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), Professor Alan Bensoussan, as well as NICM researcher Professor Jennifer Hunter who is the Chair of the Committee.

Professor Stephen Myers, who conducted a world-first systematic scoping study on Naturopathy published earlier this year, has also been appointed to the NHMRC Working Committee.

A full list of the Natural Therapies Working Committee membership and terms of reference can be accessed here.