Home' InDaily : January 29th 2010 Contents FREE PUBLIC LECTURE
Imperceptible to the naked eye, our bodies are in perpetual motion.
Continual cellular movement is a normal, indeed vital physiological
function, assisting our growth, maintenance and immune systems.
When the body comes under certain forms of attack, however,
it s a very different story. Cellular movement becomes our
enemy, facilitating the spread of cancers and the development of
But what if that movement could be isolated and controlled? Could
these pathologies be slowed, halted or even prevented?
Research at the University of Adelaide s School of Molecular &
Biomedical Science appears to be saying, "Yes". And in this inspiring
cColl explains how.
Research Tuesdays is a monthly public lecture
series that showcases the work of the University
of Adelaide s outstanding academic staff.
How controlling the movement of cells can lead the fight
against cancer, infection and autoimmune disease.
9th February, 5.30pm--6.30pm
ure Theatre 2
od Building 3.33
on free, bookings essential
Shaun McColl is Head of
Chemokine Biology and Deputy
Head of the School of Molecular
& Biomedical Science at The
University of Adelaide. He is a
former Research Fellow at the
Australian National University and
has over 100 published articles,
Biomedical Science appears to be
presentation, Professor Shaun Mc
reviews and book chapters.
The Independent Weekly
January 29 - February 4, 2010 spectrum
Cycling has become more popular over the past
decade and most people cite fitness as the main
reason they ride a bike, whether as commuters,
leisure-seekers or competitors.
The most recent Exercise, Recreation and Sport
Survey showed a 36 per cent increase in participation
in cycling between 2001 and 2008.
Governments in both the developed and developing
world have been looking to cycling since the early
1990s as one of a suite of measures to address the
increasing carbon footprint of transport, rising
prices associated with competition for declining oil
reserves, and the health problems associated with
Everyone has a cycling story and everyone has an
opinion on how to improve conditions for cyclists,
but there is surprisingly little research on cycling in
Australia and overseas.
Addressing this serious lack of research, each year
Adelaide hosts not just the Tour Down Under but also
the Australian Cycling Conference convened by Dr
Stuart Clement. One of the most important issues
raised in this forum is that women comprise only 20
per cent of Australian cyclists, yet in recent studies
conducted in South Australia and Victoria, most
female respondents said they would like to ride a bike.
Australian figures also contrast with rates of
cycling among women in Asia and Europe, where
at least half of all bike riders are women. There are
also much higher rates of utilitarian cycling (going
to work or the local shops, or taking kids to school)
in Asian and European countries than in English-
speaking countries such as Australia.
Of course, rates of women cycling don t just vary
between continents and countries -- research shows
there is significant variability within Australian
cities. There tend to be higher rates of women cycling
in inner-suburban areas than the middle or outer
Cycling for the "journey-to-work", one of the few
data sources on cycling in Australia, shows that 30 per
cent of people who cycle to work in the local govern-
ment areas of Adelaide, Unley, Norwood, Payneham
and St Peters are women, while in Melbourne s inner
local areas of Yarra North and Moreland Brunswick,
almost 40 per cent of cycle "journeys-to-work" are
made by women. These findings contradict a popular
view that Australian women simply don t like
When women are asked why they don t cycle, most
say it is because of the traffic. Other factors that
influence levels of cycling include: urban context
(eg retail, employment and population densities, and
topography), cycling conditions (cycle paths, on-road
lanes, parking), socio-economic characteristics
(education, family status, local and state government
policies and programs) and culture.
There is much conjecture about why women
living in inner areas make up a higher proportion of
cyclists than women living in the middle and outer
suburbs. This forms part of a much broader discus-
sion, especially in health promotion literature, about
how to encourage women to take up cycling.
To help answer this question, a study has been initi-
ated by Adelaide researchers to trace the experiences
of women aged 20 to 75 who have recently returned
to bike riding. Most participants were from suburbs
across Adelaide, but women living in country areas
and interstate also took part in the study. It examines
when and why women stop cycling, why they start
again and what has helped or hindered them in
returning to cycling. In some cases, women have
tracked their journey with the assistance of bike-
mounted video cameras.
Preliminary analysis indicates the important
moments that women stop cycling: as young teenag-
ers, when they get a driver s licence and when they
have children. The overwhelming majority of women
in the study returned to cycling for health and fitness.
Many found riding to work a great way to get healthy
despite a busy lifestyle.
A number of women found that taking small
steps -- short rides along roads and paths they felt
comfortable riding on -- were important in regaining
their bike skills and developing confidence to travel
The findings from this research will help transport
and health professionals encourage women to return
to or begin cycling.
Dr Jennifer Bonham is a lecturer in geographical
and environmental studies at the University of
Adelaide and a member of the organising committee of
the Australian Cycling Conference.
Not just men in lycra
Researchers are trying to
work out how to get more
women into cycling, writes
Dr Jennifer Bonham.
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