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(generated from captions) my series pal, you're the

ring-in. I'll get an agent to

be on the safe side. How did

the campaign go this week? It picked up momentum during the

week. Excuse me, hello, face

me! I could do it to you. The

campaign picked up momentum

to your during the week is the answer

to your question. Why? Because

got genuinely interesting. What we got to actual policies that

did you think about the Mark Latham thing, that was Latham

hilarious? Why am I didn't understand that. He

wasn't the Prime Minister a few

years ago? I wasn't the Prime

Minister either, should I ring him? Maybe I should give Andrew

a call. What policies appealed

to you this week? Can I clant? Sure. I'm particularly to you this week? Can I make a

interested in the Opposition

policy on broadband because we

run an Internet business and I

was watching this program a

couple of nights ago and I saw Kerry O'Brien, is that

him? That's him. I saw him

talking to Tony Abbott about

this. Wrong bloke to talk

policies are on the to. Shouldn't he know what his

subject? But he Kerry "I don't know what I'm

talking about in this area" ,

why did Kerry keep going with

the questions? If a man hasn't

got a watch, don't ask him the time! Shouldn't a man who might become the Prime Minister

understand what peak speed is

broadband in a discussion around

broadband policy he's released

that day? In an ideal world.

We don't live in an ideal

world. I know that, you know

that, Kerry ought to know that. What do you think of the

Labor campaign? The first one

the shock absorbers, back in was recalled some problem with

the factory. Do you think they'll go the second one. What's the campaign? They seem happy with

difference? The first was first. If second was

second. Followed the first

one. That's all terrific, thank

you. Can we you. Can we speak again next week? Speak to my people, my

agent. It's going pretty well. You obviously want me. Why? I

thought I'd double my fee,

yeah. Are you serious, two cups

a tea? And a biscuit. This is

the ABC! And a biro, you've got

a biro. They're not going to

pay you more than Kerry. forget 'Stateline' tomorrow, created a monster. Don't

I'll be back on Monday, but for

now, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI * 'Ahead on Catalyst, medication overload.' Maryanne warns of of drugs. Patients on a dangerous cocktail the native bush rats' habitat.' 'The battle to reclaim And with one small leap, of Australia began. the black rat's invasion the future of batteries.' 'Tanya Ha checks out the charge to replace batteries? Will this new technology lead G'day. Welcome to Catalyst. a pill-popping nation. Australia is becoming are filled every year. Around 200 million prescriptions Now, some researchers believe are not only unnecessary, many of those scripts making people sicker. they're actually known as polypharmacy, We're seeing the rise of a phenomenon of different drugs at the same time. where patients take a number with each other, Now, those drugs can interact even putting people in hospital. what can be done about it. Well, Dr Maryanne Demasi investigates for just about everything, Nowadays there's a pill the more you take. and it seems the older you are, five or more medications every day. Up to 40% of elderly people take known as polypharmacy 'It's a phenomenon five or more medications, where patients are on more harm than good.' some of which are doing and our culture It's just that our psychology prefers to give medications rather than to withdraw them. or complementary medicines, 'Whether they are prescribed more than 40 million pills each day.' Australians consume consultations Patients may be accessing from a number of different doctors and then seeking medications from community pharmacies. a number of different all of those drugs together, There's no one person to overlook run into trouble. and that's when people really SIREN WAILS over 140,000 Australians 'In fact, each year, with their medicines.' are hospitalised because of problems the fourth or fifth greatest killer Adverse drug reactions are probably and stroke. after heart disease, cancer our ageing population 'And the bad news is that with the problem is getting worse. the more health problems you have The older you are, and the more specialists you see. multiple medications, Then you wind up on dangerous drug interactions.' putting you at risk of and delirium, Most commonly we see confusion as a result of falls, falls, and injury like weakness and nausea. and general symptoms was admitted to hospital 'Jack McEnally after he fell and broke his hip.' Oh, slowly. And how's your walking been going? he's on 19 different medications.' 'His medical records show Got a headache across here and then I felt a nausea. Could I see you walk? or two steps for me, do you think? Would you be able to take one trying to work out 'Professor Le Couteur is now are causing him problems.' which of Jack's medications were interfering Some of his heart tablets with the diabetic tablets, so they're trying a different tablet with the other. and seeing one doesn't interact we're ready to leave hospital They'll give us a list when once he goes home. of what he will be taking has just been admitted. 'Across the ward, Mrs Meldrum She's also on a cocktail of drugs.' I don't know exactly, but I would say around 25 to 30. Wow. That's almost a meal. I take Arthro-Aid for joints, a pill for heart and fluid. I have two that look at the reflux. For chest pain - angina. One that looks after my bladder, because I... and the mood swing I do need And the list goes on, yes. And the list goes on. It goes on and on. between 5 and 10 medications Our typical patient is on and I would say, without exception, there are drug interactions in all of these patients. But the common ones we would see would be interactions between drugs that cause bleeding - so these are the various drugs used to treat heart disease - and drugs that lower blood pressure and drugs that act on the brain, so sedative drugs and anticholinergic drugs. 'Adding to the problem are complementary medicines.' High doses of vitamin E used to try and delay ageing but, in fact, increase bleeding, so can interact with other drugs that are used to treat heart disease and increase mortality. Ginkgo biloba is used by some people to try and help with their cognitive impairment, and that also will interact with antiplatelet drugs and anticoagulants. St John's Wort is typically taken by people who have problems with depression and it will interact with the antidepression... ..antidepressive drugs that people are taking. If you don't know someone's taking something you can't even begin to tell them that, "Hey, the reason you've got that dizziness when you stand up is probably cos you're taking that extra medicine." 'The problem is clinical trials test the safety of individual drugs, but no-one is testing whether multiple medications interact with each other.' Clinical trials, without exception, exclude people on polypharmacy, so we just don't know whether treating hypertension in someone who's already being treated with depression and osteoarthritis is of benefit. 'The other oversights in clinical trials are that drugs are always tested on young, healthy volunteers and only for short periods of time.' Clinical trials do not include much older people, so people in their 80s and beyond. The long-term use of these medications is associated with adverse drug reactions that we just weren't aware of when the drugs came onto the market. 'Mrs Thorburn came to hospital a few days ago feeling unwell. She was on five medications.' I was vomiting and very, very sick, and...uh... ..he seemed to think that it was the tablets. 'Over the last week, her doctor has been slowly reducing her medications.' How do you feel? Well, I feel terrific. 'Mrs Meldrum often asks her doctor to reduce her medications.' One doctor told me that he would take as many as I liked as long as I took the blame if I dropped dead. He said, "Because who knows which ones are keeping you alive?" And at 86 I don't want to drop dead. There's a fear of litigation, so doctors are concerned that if they don't prescribe medications they will be sued for inappropriate withholding of medications. 'New research has developed a tool to help doctors work out which drugs are causing problems. It's called the drug burden index.' Looks at a person's total exposure to high-risk drugs in terms of how many of those high-risk drugs they're on and also what dose they're on. Here we've got an example of one patient. We note down what medicines they're on, we look at the dose they're on and then we work out the drug burden index. So what does a total of one mean? You could say that these two drugs that she's on are slowing her down as much as having depression plus heart disease plus lung disease. So, ideally you'd like to take the patient off these drugs. You would, yes. You'd aim to get this person's drug burden index down to zero. 'But in many cases patients will have to stay on certain drugs, so substituting one for another will help to at least reduce the patient's score. Another way to tackle the problem is to focus on pharmacies, where the drugs are dispensed. One idea is to give pharmacists electronic access to a patient's full drug history.' Electronic health records will have a massive impact on polypharmacy by allowing both the doctor, who is prescribing the medication, and the pharmacist, who is dispensing it, to view that patient's entire health and prescription record if the patient elects that to be so. 'In the meantime, there's a government programme available called the Home Medicines Review. This enables you to have a pharmacist come to your home and conduct a comprehensive review of all your medications.' Anyone can access it. It's a Medicare-funded Commonwealth programme. If you talk to your GP about it they can organise it, initiate organising it, or often the GP will actually will have a pharmacist and most community pharmacies home medicines reviews who's accredited to do and do that for you. and will come out customers or patients We'd certainly encourage with a community pharmacy to establish a relationship when a medication is dispensed so that at any time and availability it is dispensed with full knowledge of that person's medication history. 'It's been two weeks, with a new list of medications. and Jack McEnally has returned home but some of the tablets did change.' He's not taking less, Oh, I feel pretty good now. I'm getting better. Starting to... I feel going backwards. Before I could feel myself Getting weaker every day. of drugs you felt better? So just by changing the combination Oh, yeah. I've recovered 100%. of geriatric medicine One of the joys and seeing people get better. is stopping medications We have phoenixes that rise from the ashes in geriatric medicine unlike any other specialty - people who come in that are very unwell, and by the simple...intervention of stopping medications we see people get better. and I'm not having any medication. I'm going home tomorrow Of course I am! Are you pleased about that? I'm happy as can be. (LAUGHS) as soon as I get home. (LAUGHS) And I'll be in the garden your pills, 'But before you go throwing away consult your doctor.' you should always rats in the bush.' GRAHAM PHILLIPS: 'Still to come, If they're shaggin', they're happy. That's what we want to see. device within your reach right now. Chances are there's a battery-powered TV remote, mobile phone, wristwatch. in our lives these days. Batteries are everywhere some serious shortcomings. But they do have or recharge very quickly, They don't deliver their power plus they have a limited lifespan. How do we improve the battery? the battery of the future Well, Tanya Ha discovers may not be a battery at all. is run by battery power.' TANYA HA: 'Our modern lifestyle But as technology rapidly develops, cleaner, greener and longer lasting. we need portable power that's With the emergence electronic devices in the '90s of all these portable on energy storage devices. there's been a huge demand 'The traditional battery stores chemical energy that can be converted into electrical energy. comes with its own limitations. But this simple energy store release or recharge, It's good for slow and steady energy a limited number of times, but you can only recharge them with high power demands, they don't deal well and then you have to dispose of them. being tackled? So how are these problems It appears that these scientists technology called capacitors. have been souping up an old electrostatic charge, Capacitors store energy by separating release energy quickly.' meaning they can for much longer than batteries, Capacitors have been around but it wasn't until the 1990s, with the advent of nanotechnology, became available. that new materials extremely high surface area. New nanoporous materials that had in a new generation of capacitors, And they could then be applied supercapacitors and that's why we call them 1,000 or 10,000 times more energy because they deliver than regular capacitors. in supercapacitors So, really, the "super" of the surface area. is all about the size That's right. The conventional capacitor is just made up of two parallel plates. The larger the plate area, the greater the amount of energy stored. applies a little trick. A supercapacitor Instead of a plain area surface, what's called activated carbon, we have an electrode coated with porous charcoal. which is just a form of is dramatically bigger. So its surface area Increased. a battery and a supercapacitor The main difference between charge electrostatically, is that capacitor stores in a chemical reaction. where a battery stores energy supercapacitor. This is a medium-sized I've got a paperclip here, attached the paperclip, and on one terminal I've already across to the other terminal and if I short the paperclip the device contains you'll see just how much energy and how quickly it's transferred. that it melts the wire. It transfers it so quickly couldn't do that. Now, a battery of a similar size about the size of a shoebox You would need a battery that quickly. to deliver that much current delivered from supercapacitors 'This intense energy burst that is opens up a whole spectrum of applications, from supercapacitors powering the flash in a mobile phone to powering an electric tram that is able to quickly recharge every time it stops, for overhead wires. eliminating the need for bursts of high-power energy, So, supercapacitors are good a sustained supply of energy? but what about devices that also need would work.' Maybe a combination of the two And that's exactly what they've done. I'm not a revhead, Now, you know, I have to admit an ordinary car battery to me. but this looks a lot like on the outside, It certainly does look like one a supercapacitor but it actually contains linked in with a lead-acid battery. as a lead-acid battery, It weighs the same as much as a normal battery. but it lasts at least four times the nickel-metal hydride batteries 'The UltraBattery can also outperform currently found in many hybrid cars. Solving the high power demands of car batteries and even trams will certainly move us towards greener energy use.' But will it be the longer life and improved performance of our much-loved gadgets that really fast-tracks this technology? Introduced species have caused all sorts of problems in Australia over the years - just think rabbits, cane toads and, of course, the European black rat. It was one of the earliest pests. Could have slipped ashore even before Captain Cook had a chance to plant the flag. particularly devastating Now, black rats have been for the native bush rat, but Paul Willis finds new research a chance to fight back. that's finally giving the bush rat of Sydney Harbour 'On the northern foreshore a rat war is about to be waged. the combat zone their home. And the winner will make or bogul, On the one side is Rattus fuscipes, for the native bush rat. the Aboriginal name On the other is Rattus rattus, as the European black rat.' an invasive pest better known firmly established The black rat is now foreshore. across most of Sydney Harbour's recorded here since 1901. The bush rat, it hasn't been But ecologists are confident back in favour of the bogul. that they can tip the balance 'The ecologists are part of a team to pest management.' pioneering a new approach an otherwise common species We're reintroducing to try and deal with a pest animal. That's something that hasn't really been done anywhere before. 'Their solution is to bring back the bush rats, but first they have to deal with the black rats.' They're like a disease in an ecosystem. They are so destructive on so many different levels, and what you've gotta do, in the harbour, before we can do anything else we need to take out this disease, we need to take out the black rats and put in the antidote, put in the native bush rat. 'The idea is the boguls will defend their new territory against reinvasion by the black rats.' Oh, there it is. Yep. 'The study will focus on 12 sites dotted along the harbour headlands.' So, this is the black rat, is it? This is the black rat. OK, so what I want you to notice about the black rat is the length of its tail and the thickness of its tail, and they use this for balance when they climb trees, so they're fantastic climbers, which is something the native bush rat isn't. And that's where you get the problem. They're terrible predators on nest eggs and will also kill a lot of the native birds. 'While boguls don't leave the bush, black rats, as depicted here by the closely related brown rat trained at Taronga Zoo, are happy to live with and scavenge off the human population. That's why just poisoning the black rats in the bush would be futile. There's always a reservoir of them in urban areas, ready to reinvade. So, reintroducing the bogul is the only hope. The question is - will it work? The team decided to test the theory at Taronga Zoo.' Under that white container down there there are video cameras that the researchers set up to look down onto a food source. Now, these enclosures were already dominated by bush rats, and what the researchers wanted to know was would the bush rats hold their turf when the black rat was introduced? 'This black rat has snuck in to steal the food, but what will the bogul do?' Oh, it just ran away. Yeah, and here's a bush rat come in. Right. So rather get out of there than stick around and have a fight. That's right. They don't wanna have a fight. The results that we've got so far does seem to play out that if you're the resident then you're actually able to hold the territory because black rats and bush rats are about the same size when they reach an adult stage. We often think that native fauna in Australia are vulnerable to all sorts of invasive species coming in and they're basically at their mercy, but in this situations we think that the bush rats can certainly fight their own battles. 'But if that's so, what happened to the boguls on the harbour headlands? It's a good question. After all, for thousands, if not millions of years, they had the residents' advantage and their dominance was uncontested. But all that changed with the arrival of the black rat, also known as the ship's rat. They came with the first European settlers. The black rat's wide appetite and knack for adapting to new environments meant they thrived. Their chance to capture the harbour habitats arose with the plague of the early 20th century, when a bounty of sixpence - $4 in today's terms - was put on the head of any rat.' This resulted in about 810,000 rats being collected in Sydney. And I suppose these guys wouldn't be too particular whether they got a black rat, a bush rat or any other kind of rat. No. Indeed, it was an absolute rat annihilation. So, why did the black rats come back and the bush rats disappear? The standards of hygiene were not very good at the time and it meant that black rats were all through the city, and after areas of bushland had been cleaned out, they could simply move back in from the suburban areas. The bush rats, on the other hand, because of this great fragmentation of the natural bush areas, had nowhere to move back in from. 'The ecologists are currently six months into a three-year study. The first boguls will be trapped for breeding and release in 2011.' Smells like a bushie. Smells like a bushie? You can actually tell by the smell? They have a very distinct smell. You're right. Ahem. They really do, don't they? Yeah. But it's not exactly a perfume, is it? No. It's the smell of success. The smell of success. (LAUGHS) It really has. Let's have a look at him. We need the experimental proof to demonstrate that will happen. It's all very encouraging because we've got so many lines of evidence there that it actually going to work, but once we get that experimental proof then we'll be in a good position to say, "This idea works. Let's take it to the rest of Australia and maybe to other parts of the world." How will you know when you've succeeded? We will know when... after probably a few months once we know the bush rats are still there, they have established, and they are breeding and they are feeding and they are doing well. If they're shaggin', they're happy. That's what we wanna see. GRAHAM PHILLIPS: 'Next time on Catalyst, Mark Horstman takes a class action.' Scientists go back to school to help grow a clever country. 'Tanya meets the truckie doing his bit for science.' This is Terry's weekend workshop. 'Ruben samples air from the '60s.' The last time this scuba tank was used the Beatles were the top band in the world. 'And Maryanne loses sleep in the name of science.' I'm about to get behind the wheel after only four hours of sleep. Well, that's it for this week. Have you cast your vote yet for the Eureka People's Choice Awards? You can check out the nominees on our website. I'm Graham Phillips. Thanks for watching. Closed Captions by CSI * 'Here is a broadcast by Prime Minister Julia Gillard for the Australian Labor Party for the 2010 federal election.' There have been many issues talked about in this campaign, but there's one that I believe is critical to all Australian families and the future of our country. This election is about a strong economy which allows us to deliver jobs and vital health and education services Australian families rely on. When the global financial crisis hit the shockwaves were felt across the world. Banks and businesses across Europe and America were collapsing and 700,000 Americans lost their jobs in one month. As a government, we were faced with a choice between doing nothing and following Europe, America and countries like Japan into recession, or using a targeted stimulus package to keep businesses afloat and Australians in work. We made the judgment that we had to act quickly and we had to act decisively. It meant 200,000 Australians kept their jobs and Australia came through with the highest growth, lowest unemployment and lower debt than any of the major advanced economies. But if we'd followed Mr Abbott's judgment and done nothing, Australia would have gone into a deep recession, and while much of the world is still trying to climb out of that recession we've created 200,000 new full-time jobs in the last year alone and our budget is on track to be in surplus by 2013. Despite the crisis, we were determined to deliver on key commitments like getting rid of WorkChoices, giving families tax cuts three years in a row and raising the rebate on child care. Now we're strengthening our economy by giving business a permanent tax cut the national broadband network and rolling out the power to compete to give Australian companies like Singapore and Korea with countries in our region and growing economy because it's only with a strong provide the high-quality services that we can create the jobs and that Australians deserve. across Australia And for families and communities we're boosting retirement savings, more doctors and more nurses, building GP superclinics, training putting computers into classrooms into high schools. and trades training centres a clear choice between my plan At this election there's to create jobs, that will deliver a stronger economy protect your rights at work support businesses, health and education services, and provide quality or Mr Abbott, during the global financial crisis, who opposed the stimulus to cut important services, and now wants like GP superclinics, trades training centres, computers in schools and the national broadband network. Let's move Australia forward, not backwards. Let's build a strong, sustainable economy to deliver better services and give Australians the schools and hospitals they deserve. This Program Is Captioned

Live. Good evening and welcome

to this Q&A population special.

I'm Tony Jones. The start of this year both the Government and Opposition seem that a big Australia was a good

thing now both have changed

their tune. Tonight we've

represents the three major gathered a panel that

parties, an audience of Australian voters and a range

'Dick Smith's Population of experts and guests to watch

Puzzle', a new documentary that

tracks Dick's efforts to put population on the national

agenda and sets out Dick's opinions on why he favour as

smaller Australia. You may or

may not agree with him but we

hope the documentary will

challenge you. In just over an

hour we have question Dick Smith and hear

from others who favour a bigger

Australia. Stay with us now for

'Dick Smith's Population

Puzzle' and stay with us after

for the Q&A population debate. This Program is Captioned Live. Oh, traffic. Gridlock. For most Australians it's never been more crowded. NEWSREADER: Australia is heading for a population boom. By 2050 it looks like there will be 35 million people here, that's not far off double what it is now. It's official - the weight of its own popularity. Sydney is collapsing under million, forecast to double by 2056. Greater Brisbane, population two of a population boom, We're in the middle