Charles Sturt University (CSU) clinical science students have spent the last semester planning and conducting health research projects. They presented their findings at a seminar last week.
Maike Gerhards, Emma Jewell, Leah Martin and Rebecca Nees explored knowledge of university students about caffeine content and effect of drinks such as coffee and ‘energy drinks’.
The study showed that the majority of students surveyed were unaware of the caffeine content of the drinks they consumed and were not readily able to identify benefits, adverse effects or signs of caffeine withdrawal. The student researchers recommended caffeine levels be shown on labels to help people keep track of caffeine consumption and noted the importance of reliable information being available.
Another project assessed the antibiotic properties of a red bracket fungus found in the central west. The fungus has a tradition of use by indigenous people worldwide, including in Australia, for conditions such as mouth ulcers.
Ehab Ghattas, Dominic Myers and Torri Pankhurst tested material extracted from the fungus for activity against a range of bacteria with positive results that support the traditional usage.
Diabetes is a major health cost in Australia and early detection can improve patient outcomes. Adelene Chen, Drishti Sarswat and Thelma Chidarikire surveyed members of the public in Orange to see whether common diabetes symptoms were well recognised, concluding there was an ongoing need for public education.