Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
In this study we report the underlying reasons to why bacteria are present on banknotes and coins. Despite the use of credit cards, mobile phone apps, near-field-communication systems, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins which are replacing the use of hard currencies, cash exchanges still make up a significant means of exchange for a wide range of purchases. The literature is awash with data that highlights that both coins and banknotes are frequently identified as fomites for a wide range of microorganisms. However, most of these publications fail to provide any insight into the extent to which bacteria adhere and persist on money. We treated the various currencies used in this study as microcosms, and the bacterial loading from human hands as the corresponding microbiome. We show that the substrate from which banknotes are produced have a significant influence on both the survival and adherence of bacteria to banknotes. Smooth, polymer surfaces provide a poor means of adherence and survival, while coarser and more fibrous surfaces provide strong bacterial adherence and an environment to survive on. Coins were found to be strongly inhibitory to bacteria with a relatively rapid decline in survival on almost all coin surfaces tested. The inhibitory influence of coins was demonstrated through the use of antimicrobial disks made from coins. Despite the toxic effects of coins on many bacteria, bacteria do have the ability to adapt to the presence of coins in their environment which goes some way to explain the persistent presence of low levels of bacteria on coins in circulation.
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS This study examined references to alcohol and other drugs in top 20 songs over the last quarter of a century to explore the potential for popular music to constitute a barometer for changes occurring in youth consumption of alcohol and other substances. DESIGN AND METHODS The online Australian Recording Industry Association charts resource was accessed to identify the top 20 songs for the period 1990 to 2015 inclusive. The lyrics of the identified songs were imported into NVivo11 for coding and analysis. Two coders analysed each song by line unit and a third coder assisted in resolving any coding discrepancies. RESULTS Of the 508 discrete songs, 74 (15%) featured references to alcohol, tobacco and/or illicit drugs. Substance mentions increased over time such that the second half of the study period accounted for three-quarters of all references. The peak period for mentions was 2008-2012, with 2010 exhibiting an especially high prevalence rate for alcohol references. There was a marked decline in alcohol mentions between 2010 and 2013. The rate at which female artists referred to alcohol increased sharply until 2010 and then decreased. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Patterns in substance mentions in top 20 songs in more recent years may reflect broader social trends that influence youth substance use. As such, monitoring music lyrics may assist researchers to better understand forces underlying patterns of youth substance use.
Issue addressed This study analysed diabetes coverage in 12 Australian metropolitan/national newspapers over a period of 5 years (2013-2017). It aimed to describe quantitative tendencies in diabetes coverage (amount of articles per newspaper and over time) and to identify potential discrepancies between diabetes coverage and societal prevalence of diabetes. The study addressed the following research questions, with a focus on language use: How frequent are mentions of different types of diabetes? How are people with diabetes referred to? How frequent and how distributed are mentions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and matters? Methods Data were collected in electronic format, manually classified and processed using a specialised software program, with a focus on quantitative analysis. Results 577 articles were classified as news and 117 were classified as "non-news." The Australian Financial Review published the fewest items, followed by the NT News, while the West Australian and the Advertiser published the most. References to "type 2" appear slightly more frequent and more distributed than to "type 1" diabetes. The labelling of people with the noun diabetic/s occurs in about a quarter of the dataset. References to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or matters appear to be extremely rare in the analysed dataset. Conclusions Diabetes coverage does not fully align with incidence of diabetes among Australians, and problematic language practices such as the labelling of people as "diabetics" continue to occur. SO WHAT?: Given the agenda-setting function of the news media, new strategies may be needed to change how Australian metropolitan and national newspapers cover diabetes, especially in relation to incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and perspectives.