Science

Water fluoridation – what to expect in the near future - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 21, 2017

Community water fluoridation (CWF) will persist in science news for the foreseeable future – not for any valid scientific reason but because of reaction to political pressures against it. This is particularly so in New Zealand where our parliament will be discussing legislative changes to fluoridation decision-making this year. This is not to say that all the relevant news will be … Read More

Premature births a factor in cognitive deficits observed in areas of endemic fluorosis? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 20, 2017

Anti-fluoridation activists are soon likely to be promoting a new paper reporting a study which found a relationship between maternal (in utero) exposure to fluoride and cognitive development delay in infants. Could the increased incidence of premature births explain cognitive deficits observed in areas of endemic fluorosis? Image credit: New Kids-Center. Of course, they will be unlikely … Read More

‘Conservation by numbers’ hides genetic dangers in endangered species - Wild Science

Helen Taylor Jan 18, 2017

How do we know when a threatened species is ‘safe’? A new study featuring one of New Zealand’s iconic kiwi species suggests increasing population size might not be enough – an increase in numbers doesn’t always cut it for conservation… Saving threatened species tends to be a numbers game. We often use population growth as a proxy for population … Read More

Colours of the Quantum World - Micro to Macro

Ryan Ridden Jan 16, 2017

Colours are everywhere. The colours we see come from light with different wavelengths, but light isn’t the only thing physicists say have colour. In the quantum world the subatomic particles known as quarks have colour. As with everything quantum mechanical the colour of quarks isn’t what it may seem. Quarks can come in a variety of six colours, from red, … Read More

More nails in the anti-fluoridation myths around IQ and hypothyroidism - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 16, 2017

A new Canadian study shows no relationship of cognitive deficits or diagnosis of hypothyroidism with fluoride in drinking water. This work is important because it counters the claims made by anti-fluoride campaigners. While the campaigners cite scientific studies to support their claims, those studies are usually very weak, or irrelevant because they involve areas of endemic fluorosis where drinking … Read More

Five things to consider when designing a policy to measure research impact - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 13, 2017

By Andrew Gunn, University of Leeds and Michael Mintrom, Monash University.  This year will see the Australian government pilot new ways to measure the impact of university research. As recommended by the Watt Review, the Engagement and Impact Assessment will encourage universities to ensure academic research produces wider economic and social benefits. This fits into … Read More

Fluoridation: New scientific review of fluoride and oral health - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 11, 2017

Want to get up to date on  research about community water fluoridation (CWF) and the effects of fluoride in dental health in general? Have a read of this new review. It’s published in a special issue of Community Dental Health devoted to the WHO approach to the prevention of dental caries through the use of fluoride. And is also … Read More