News

Avoiding the strange of climate change

John Kerr May 23, 2017

Children alive today will find themselves living in a totally different climate in the future, should greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, warns a new study. Climate change does what it says on the tin – it changes the climate. The question of when and where we will start to notice those changes is tackled in a new, Kiwi-led study published … Read More

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Antimicrobial resistance – what does it mean for NZ?

John Kerr May 17, 2017

We may be a small country tucked away in the South Pacific, but that doesn’t mean New Zealand is immune to the global problem of ‘superbugs’, warns a new report.  A new evidence paper from the Royal Society Te Apārangi sums up the current knowledge on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in New Zealand and outlines efforts underway to prevent the … Read More

NZ scientists leading de-extinction discussion

John Kerr May 11, 2017

If we could resurrect an extinct species like the moa or the mammoth, how would it fare out in the big bad world? This week the journal Functional Ecology published a special feature series on the ecology of de-extinction, including a number of articles by New Zealand authors. Sciblogs has dived into the de-extinction discussion with a special miniseries on de-extinction … Read More

Depression among Māori, Pacific and Asian Kiwis flying under the radar

John Kerr Apr 28, 2017

Māori, Pacific and Asian New Zealanders are more at risk of depression and anxiety disorders and yet are likely to be under-diagnosed, say the authors of a new study.  Around one in six  New Zealand adults are diagnosed with an anxiety or mood disorder in their lifetime. However some minorities are less likely to be diagnosed, despite appearing to have higher rates of … Read More

Superbug death may herald ‘start of the post-antibiotic era’

John Kerr Apr 21, 2017

Infectious disease experts are “deeply alarmed” by the death of a US woman due to a bacterial infection resistant to all available antibiotics. Writing this week in a  Medical Journal of Australia editorial, researchers warn that the case may herald “the start of the post-antibiotic era.” Professor Cheryl Jones, President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), and … Read More

Counting the calories of cannibalism

Jean Balchin Apr 16, 2017

Human cannibalism is a deliciously fascinating topic. Identifying the motivations for human cannibalism remains a contentious issue. A recently-constructed nutritional template for the human body suggests that prehistoric human cannibalism was most likely motivated by something other than nutritional needs. Human flesh may have been cooked for greater calorific value. James Cole, from the University of Brighton found that the … Read More

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The Face of Evil – skin disorders overrepresented in Hollywood villians

John Kerr Apr 07, 2017

The bad guy in movies is more likely to have a skin condition, reports a new study, and it could be contributing to prejudice in the real world.  Dermatologists from the University of Texas have undertaken a quick a stocktake of skin and hair problems among the top ten Hollywood villains and heroes, as cataloged in the American Film Institute 100 … Read More

E-cigarettes to have legal market in NZ, experts cautious

John Kerr Mar 29, 2017

The Government has announced new regulations to allow nicotine containing electronic cigarettes to be sold in New Zealand. Currently e-cigarette devices can be sold in New Zealand but nicotine-containing e-liquid can not (nicotine is a scheduled substance under the Medicines Act), although consumers can purchase e-liquid from overseas for personal use. That is set to change with announcement of … Read More

Neil deGrasse Tyson, science communication superstar, coming to New Zealand

John Kerr Mar 28, 2017

One of the world’s most well known and entertaining science communicators is coming to New Zealand. Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson will be coming to New Zealand – for the first time ever – this July to talk life, the universe and everything. He will be performing his show A Cosmic Perspective in Christchurch (July 4) and Auckland (July 9). Both … Read More

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One bubble in the great bath of existence – Brian Greene on the universe, time travel and string theory

Jean Balchin Mar 23, 2017

Earlier this afternoon, I was fortunate enough to interview Dr Brian Greene, the renowned theoretical physicist and string theorist. Dr Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, and is recognized for a number of revolutionary discoveries in his field of superstring theory. I spoke with Dr Greene about his theories on string theory and multiverses, … Read More

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