The end of ScienceOnline Grant Jacobs Oct 10

A few minutes ago I checked my email, to be greeted with the news that the board of ScienceOnline have elected to dissolve the organisation and cancel their 2015 meeting. I hope that local counterparts will surface. Perhaps we can hope for an Australiasian* counterpart? Perhaps hosted in different nations in different years? In previous [...]

Good governance, democracy and investment in science Grant Jacobs Aug 28

From what others have written here at sciblogs most readers will know that we have elections on in New Zealand soon. While reading the newspaper last weekend I encountered an opinion piece by political commenter Colin James that includes commentary on investing in science that readers might be interested in. His essay opens by talking [...]

Sci fi short – Abiogenesis Grant Jacobs Aug 28

I think it’d be fair to suggest many scientists are sci fi fans. Hopefully some of my non-scientist readers are too! You might enjoy this short (4-5 minute) sci fi film by New Zealand animator, Richard Mans. Titled Abiogenesis it was backed by the New Zealand Film Commission, and has won a number of awards [...]

Séralini GMO maize and Roundup study republished with no scientific peer review Grant Jacobs Jun 26

One of my questions in my previous article on Séralini’s widely criticised study being republished appears to have been answered. In my previous article, I wrote “I am a little curious about how the review process accepted the paper”, wondering how they dealt with the criticisms levelled at the paper after it’s original publication. Scientific journal Nature published [...]

Widely criticised Séralini GMO feed study republished, with companion piece Grant Jacobs Jun 25

As I start to write this an hour after the embargo for the release of the news that a new iteration of Séralini’s widely criticised paper is being published, the paper has somewhat belatedly become available.[1] In addition to republishing their earlier work, four of the eight authors (including Séralini) offer a companion piece, Conflicts of interests, [...]

Gene editing and GMOs in NZ, part three Grant Jacobs Jun 12

As a short addition to my previous two articles on Gene editing and GMOs in New Zealand, readers might like to read the arguments presented in an article just published, Moving Beyond the GM Debate, by Ottoline Leyser.[1] The article is one of two Perspectives in the PLoS Genetics’ The Promise of Plant Translational Research collection and is open-access (i.e. free to be [...]

Leave boring behind – the NZ International Science Festival 2014 Grant Jacobs Jun 06

Tickets for a huge program of events are available from next week (June 9th); get them while they’re going – some events have limited numbers. No, that’s not photo-shopped. To the left is Dr. Bunhead igniting an explosion from his pate. I value my red hair, and will emphatically not be joining him as a [...]

Gene editing and GMOs in NZ, part two – is the law out of date? Grant Jacobs Jun 02

(If you’re not a biologist, you may prefer to start with part one. There’s also a third part.) Are the GMO-related clauses of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 out of date? Perhaps it’s time to start working on a replacement. Recently a legal ruling in New Zealand overturned a previous opinion that using gene editing [...]

Gene editing and GMOs in NZ, part one Grant Jacobs May 30

(Scientists will want to skip straight to part two, which looks at the court ruling. Part three adds further thoughts and introduces a perspective article on GMOs) Last week a legal decision in New Zealand overturned a previous opinion that using gene editing to create variants would not create genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).[1] At the centre of this [...]

Sir Joseph Bank’s journal and account of New Zealand Grant Jacobs May 25

Readers interested in historic scientific voyages and New Zealand history might like to know that Sir Joseph Bank’s journals of 25 August 1768 — 12 July 1771 aboard the HMS Endeavour under the command of Lieutenant James Cook are available on line from the University of Sydney Australia Digital Collections website. This voyage observed the Transit of Venus [...]

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