Technology

Seven Earth-sized planets discovered orbiting a nearby star - Guest Work

Guest Work Feb 23, 2017

By Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland An international team of astronomers has found that a nearby star is accompanied by a swarm of at least seven small, rocky worlds. One of the eyecatching claims in the work, published today in Nature, is that in the appropriate circumstances, there is a chance that any (or all) the … Read More

New Zealand science looks to the future – Sciblogs Horizon Scan - News

John Kerr Feb 20, 2017

Pandemics, predators and predicting sea-level rise are just a few of the issues covered in our Sciblogs Horizon Scan special series. We asked experts across the spectrum of New Zealand science to give us their take on the big issues in their field and what might be around the corner. What does the future hold in store for New Zealand … Read More

How far they’ll go: Moana shows the power of Polynesian celestial navigation - Guest Work

Guest Work Feb 16, 2017

By Duane W. Hamacher, Monash University and Carla Bento Guedes, UNSW One of the greatest feats of human migration in history was the colonisation of the vast Pacific Ocean by Polynesian peoples. They achieved it thanks to their sophisticated knowledge of positional astronomy and celestial navigation. The Disney film Moana has drawn attention to … Read More

Cyborg bugs - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 10, 2017

Here’s a sci-fi scenario that may become reality: genetically modified cyborgs susceptible to mind control. That’s the plan for a collaboration between engineering R&D firm Draper and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  They are focusing on dragonflies, and using optogenetics so that their movements can be controlled by light. The techniques and technologies are there, … Read More

Theoretical physicist Brian Greene is heading our way - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Feb 02, 2017

Famed physicist Brain Greene visits Auckland next month in one of numerous events scheduled by leading personalities from the world of science. One of the world’s leading science communicators, Professor Greene will explore string theory, mathematical physics and cosmology in his popular A Time Traveller’s Tale lecture and audience Q&A. The Columbia University … Read More

Why we need to go back to the future (and give it a name) - Stick

Peter Kerr Feb 01, 2017

Here’s a counter-intuitive notion, that if we’re smart, could allow our ‘analogue’ agricultural systems to thrive in a digital world. But to do so we MUST own our story. My contention is, the more society connects to the cloud, the more we will want to connect to the land. That is, as virtual and artificial becomes ubiquitous and cheaper, the … Read More

Computer games - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jan 31, 2017

Another one bites the dust. Libratus, an artificial intelligence program from Carnegie Mellon University has beaten four top Texas Hold’em poker players in a series of two player games over the last three weeks. That’s big news because unlike chess and go, poker playing relies on incomplete information. And you have to decide when to bet, and how much. Read More