News

Medicinal cannabis collides with e-cigarettes

Erica Mather May 27, 2016

Swiss researchers reveal that the vaporisation of cannabis oil, termed ‘cannavaping’ is a less hazardous way to administer medicinal cannabis compared to smoking, as published this week in Scientific Reports. Vincent Varlet and colleagues used butane gas to extract the psychoactive constituents (cannabinoids) from cannabis, producing butane hashish oil concentrate, which was then atomised using e-cigarettes. By analysing the … Read More

Experts support weight loss surgery for type-2 diabetics

Guest Work May 25, 2016

By Meena Amso A joint statement by leading diabetes organisations and endorsed by 45 worldwide scientific societies this week called for surgery to be recognised for the first time as a standard treatment option for type-2 diabetes. Weight loss surgery can play an important role in achieving blood sugar control and reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, say international experts who … Read More

Lessons from our worst oil spill

Erica Mather May 20, 2016

As thick heavy fuel oil washed ashore in the wake of the Rena grounding on the Astrolabe reef, smothering beaches and birds along the Bay of Plenty coast, public outrage mounted. Intense media coverage put pressure on environmental managers to answer difficult questions: what was the extent of the impact? How long would it take for the marine environment … Read More

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New report: NZ’s marine fisheries catch massively under-reported

Erica Mather May 16, 2016

The findings from a re-analysis of marine fisheries catches from New Zealand waters between 1950 and 2010 suggests the actual catch was 38.1 million tonnes, which is 2.7 times higher than the reported catch statistics for this 61 year period. The incomplete statistics are largely accounted for by the omission of unreported industrial catch and discarded fish, the … Read More

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Flotsam and jetsam: microplastics amass on NZ shores

Erica Mather May 10, 2016

The New Zealand shoreline is being clogged with microplastics.  A new study by the University of Canterbury reveals that the high quantities of microplastics found in coastal environments is comparable to levels identified overseas, which is surprising given New Zealand’s geographical isolation. Microplastics are small plastic particles less than 5mm in size that are found in exfoliant facial scrubs and … Read More

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Shallowest slow-motion earthquake recorded off NZ

Erica Mather May 06, 2016

BREAKING: Scientists from New Zealand and overseas have recorded a slow-motion earthquake below the seafloor off the coast of Gisborne. This unprecedented study contributes crucial information to the understanding of earthquake and tsunami risk for New Zealand and worldwide. For the first time, scientists have recorded detailed, centimeter-level movement beneath the seafloor in area called the Hikurangi subduction zone. Read More

Norovirus: culprit for gastroenteritis in NZ and worldwide

Erica Mather May 04, 2016

The widely reported gastroenteritis outbreak in NZ and Australia in 2013-14 has been traced to a single strain of norovirus that emerged in 2012 in Sydney. Norovirus is a ubiquitous virus found throughout low to high income countries. The virus is incredibly common, causing vomiting and diarrhea especially in young children from low income countries. Norovirus is responsible for … Read More

Robotics Championships: NZ named world champions

Erica Mather Apr 29, 2016

New Zealand competed at the VEX Robotics World Championships held in Louisville last week and are world champions for the eighth year running. The VEX Worlds provides the opportunity for the hard work and dedication of a growing community of robotics teams to be recognised.  The competition requires students in small teams, with guidance from their teachers, to design and … Read More

Re-examining the therapeutic potential of LSD

Erica Mather Apr 20, 2016

Humans have paired psychedelic drugs with music to alter their consciousness for millennia. Retro psychiatric therapies actually made patients listen to music while high on LSD and now scientists from New Zealand and Europe have found that these therapies weren’t so outrageous after all. Despite the lack of formal investigation, music has been considered essential for psychedelic psychotherapy as it … Read More

Gaps in conservation work

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Mar 30, 2016

Some of the countries that need conservation work the most are missing out, undermining global efforts to protect biodiversity, a new study suggests. The research, published today in PLOS Biology, analysed over 10,000 scientific papers from more than 1000 journals published in 2014. The Australian researchers looked at where the research was done, by whom and how that related to … Read More

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