UOW expert commentary (4 March)

UOW expert commentary (4 March)

UOW academics provide expert commentary, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing and breaking news stories

Dunkley byelection results

Professor Greg Melleuish is an election analyst who can discuss the Dunkley byelection results. He is a lecturer and researcher with expertise in political theory, Australian politics, ancient history and world history. Professor Melleuish is from the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

World Obesity Day (Monday 4 March)

Dr Anne McMahon can discuss World Obesity Day (Monday 4 March). She says obesity often relates to food stress and poor dietary quality. Dr McMahon is a dietician whose research focuses on understanding food behaviour and health outcomes. She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences.

Vaping reforms

Dr Jody Moller and Dr Celine Kelso can discuss the impact of the latest vaping reforms in Australia. Dr Moller says the new laws will now make it difficult for people who have prescriptions for e-cigarettes to access the products. She also says there is now a risk of more vapes being sold on the black market that contain harmful chemicals. Dr Moller and Dr Kelso are both chemical toxicologists in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience.

Bank card surcharges

Dr Paul Mazzola is available for interviews about Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data that reveals Australians are losing nearly $1 billion per year in surcharges when they pay with a card instead of cash. Dr Mazzola is a lecturer in banking and finance in the School of Business and has more than 25 years’ banking and finance experience in the Australian, European and Asian pacific markets.  

International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March)

Professor Sharon Crozier-de Rosa is a historian who can talk about International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March). Professor Crozier-de Rosa is the Deputy Editor of the international journal Women’s History Review and Board Member of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History. She is a Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

Discovery of new ‘gentle touch’ molecule

Professor Mirella Dottori is available to discuss new research published in Science that found a force-sensing molecule in nerve cells called ELKIN1, which is specifically involved in detecting gentle touch. This molecule converts gentle touch into an electrical signal, the first step in the process of gentle touch perception. In an article Professor Dotorri co-authored for The Conversation she writes:

You were probably taught that we have five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. This is not quite right: “touch” is not a single sense, but rather several working together.

Our bodies contain a network of sensory nerve cells with endings sitting in the skin that detect an array of different physical signals from our environment. The pleasant sensation of a gentle touch feels distinct from the light pressure of our clothes or the hardness of a pencil gripped between our fingers, and all of these are quite different from the pain of a stubbed toe.

Professor Dottori’s research combines technologies in human pluripotent stem cell biology, neuroscience and bioengineering to develop cellular models of the human nervous system. She is a Professor in the School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences.

UOW academics exercise academic freedom by providing expert commentary, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing social issues and current affairs. This expert commentary reflects the views of those individual academics and does not necessarily reflect the views or policy positions of the University of Wollongong.