Redback antivenom study divides Australian doctors
George Christensen, a member of the ruling Coalition, wore one of actor Tom Baker’s trademark scarves in the House of Representatives as he used the fiftieth anniversary of the show to insist it is an “Australian institution”. He said the theme song was composed by an Australian, Ron Grainer, but resisted calls from across the chamber to sing it because “we have only got ten minutes”. “Australia is pretty similar to the UK in terms of its settings but I have got to say, imagine the Tardis landing near the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in the Australian outback, Uluru, Ayers Rock,” he told Parliament. “Think of all the exotic locations we could have.” The motion was supported by MPs and Doctor Who fans on both sides of the chamber, who were later photographed with a blow-up Dalek in the halls of Parliament. The motion has bipartisan support and is not expected to be put to a vote. Related Articles Are aliens really watching Doctor Who? 14 Nov 2013 Mr Christensen’s office told The Telegraph the MP attempted to bring a “real” Dalek a movable replica into Parliament House but security would not allow it. Instead, he flew his own blow-up Dalek to Canberra from the state of Queensland. “In the lead-up to this 50th anniversary of Doctor Who there are so many connections between this show and this nation that I think Doctor Who is as much an Australian institution as it has been a British institution,” Mr Christensen said. “In the lead-up to this debate there have been lots of MPs who have approached me telling me the same thing over and over, that when they were a kid they used to hide behind the couch and build cushion fortresses to protect themselves from whatever was on the screen, and they loved the show.” Mr Christensen said the show has been filmed abroad before and urged Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC, and other entertainment and tourism agencies to support the move. “It is great to have the Australian connection with it, but I think a greater Australian connection could come if a series were actually filmed down under,” he said.
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Australian ‘Doctor Who’ Fans Gear up for 50th Anniversary Special
Photo: Kitty Hill Traditional antivenom used to treat redback bites is ineffective and does not ease pain, new research shows. About 4000 Australians are bitten every year and a study of 224 people treated for redback spider bites revealed that patients who received antivenom had no improvement in symptoms compared with those who were not given the medication, said chief researcher and toxicologist Geoff Isbister. ”It just doesn’t seem to work,” he says. ”We know that all antivenoms work in a test tube, but that doesn’t translate into making patients better.” But the head of toxinology at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Professor Julian White, said redback antivenom was commonly used and past studies indicated it was highly effective. ”It’s important to remember that redbacks are widow spiders, which are found around the world. ”Antivenom isn’t a risk-free treatment. One in 20 patients get side effects, which can include anaphylaxis, nausea and allergic reactions. You are always balancing the risk versus benefit. I won’t use redback antivenom any more.” The study, presented at an international toxicology conference in Dubai on Tuesday, showed patients who received a placebo showed no statistically significant improvement in pain or systemic effects over a day compared with those who received the antivenom. All patients were given standard analgesia. ”If it does work, it has a very small effect,” said Dr Isbister, a toxicologist at Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital. ”The risk of allergy means there is limited benefit.” Most antivenoms in Australia, which have been used since the 1950s, are produced by injecting a horse with a low dose of venom. The horse becomes immunised and produces antibodies, which are then extracted. ”The risk is that you are giving patients a foreign protein,” Dr Isbister said.
The show is set for 6:50 a.m. Australian Eastern standard time. VIDEO: ‘Doctor Who’ Anniversary Special Releases Two Trailers (Video) Sundays live broadcast of the 50th anniversary special — which will be simulcast in around 75 countries worldwide — will be augmented by 3D screenings at over 90 cinemas nationally, a repeat of the special in Sunday primetime on ABC followed by historical special Doctor Who: An Adventure in Space and Time. BBC Worldwide said that demand for the cinema screenings of the special at some Aussie cinemas is outstripping demand for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire tickets, which opened on Thursday and has the second-largest opening day figure for this year behind Iron Man 3. PHOTOS: ‘Doctor Who’ at 50: Peter Capaldi and the 12 Men Who’ve Played the Doctor Meanwhile, a Doctor Who marathon will air over the weekend on BBC Worldwides Australian general entertainment pay TV channel UKTV. The Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) has been the BBCs partner, broadcasting Doctor Who for all of its 50 years here, and the iconic series has a significant fan base of Whovians” of all generations down under. Tapping into that fan base, BBC Worldwide has run a number of off-air activities around the anniversary this year, including pop-up shops in Sydney and Brisbane selling exclusive Doctor Who merchandise, as well as an online store, symphony concerts in early 2014 in Melbourne and Queensland based on recent Doctor Who 50th concerts in the U.K., an AUS$2 Doctor Who coin minted at the New Zealand Mint and the Perth Mint, which are legal tender in the South Pacific island nation of Nuie, as well as an exhibition at the ABCs headquarters in Sydney running since August and until January. There is even a pop-up digital radio station on ABC Radio, which will operate on Sunday straight after The Day of the Doctor and continue until midnight on Saturday, Nov. 30. It will feature fan reactions to the special, interviews, profiles, panel discussions and Doctor Who-inspired comedy and music. The Day of the Doctor will be one of the last major programs exclusive to the ABC and on free-to-air TV here before a new deal between the ABC and BBC comes into play in August next year when BBC Worldwide launches its new BBC First. Under that arrangement, the ABC, which has been screening BBC programs for 60 years, will no longer be the home of first-run BBC dramas and comedies.
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