Infectious Thoughts

Surviving the flupocalypse!

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 07, 2015

Picture this. A new virus, Mortenza, is sweeping around the world, killing millions. Despite all efforts, Mortenza reaches New Zealand and rapidly spreads around the country. In desperation, the Government isolates the tiny uninfected island of Great Barrier. How would this small community cope? Would they survive the pandemic? This is the fascinating scenario I’ll be exploring this coming weekend … Read More

NIWA in astonishing attack on scientist association

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 28, 2015

NZ’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has accused the NZ Association of Scientists (NZAS) of casting doubt on the integrity of NZ’s scientists, and says it will no longer pay membership fees for its staff.  This morning, news broke on Radio NZ National of an internal email within the Crown Research Institute (CRI) NIWA sent … Read More


What would you ask a scientist?!

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 27, 2015

In preparation for Queenstown Research Week, Auckland University’s Prof Peter Shepherd asked primary school kids what questions they would ask a scientist. One class at Shotover Primary School sent us this list: Edit: A group of 10-11 year olds from Wakatipu High have added to the list (Q29-48) How does the sky stay up? How does … Read More

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Question it! Science in Queenstown

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 27, 2015

From the 29th of August to the 4th of September, over 1,000 scientists will be descending on Queenstown for the annual Queenstown Research Week. And this year the public are invited! In addition to the conferences the scientists will be attending comes a fantastic array of events for the public. Hands on science Otago University’s chemistry, physics, geology, microbiology, food … Read More

Meet Arachnocampa luminosa, New Zealand’s amazing glowing ‘maggot’

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 20, 2015

The bioluminescent larvae of Arachnocampa luminosa are a magical sight, lighting up caves around New Zealand with their beautiful blue light. If you don’t believe me, watch the video put together by photographer Jordan, from  Stoked for Saturday. He spent 60 hours in the caves at Waitomo, taking time-lapse photographs. The result is absolutely spellbinding. You can read his blog about … Read More

Monday Micro: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Korea

Siouxsie Wiles Jun 08, 2015

“MERS-CoV electron micrograph1” by Maureen Metcalfe/Cynthia Goldsmith/Azaibi Tamin – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. In 2012 a new virus emerged in the Middle East. Causing severe respiratory and flu-like, the disease was called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)* or “Saudi-SARS”. The virus responsible was found to be a … Read More


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