Science and Society

Public opinion of gene editing and enhancement - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Nov 21, 2017

What if we could fix a kid’s genetic disease, cure them for their lifetime? What if we make that for all of their children, forever? Or enhance humans to be genetically better? What’s your opinion of gene editing and enhancement? A survey asked what people thought. Participants gave a green light for adult gene therapy. They were cautious … Read More

NZ Health Survey drinking statistics - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Nov 20, 2017

The Press reports that the new NZ Health Survey data is up. Smoking rates are down; obesity’s up. Here’s how they describe the drinking stats: Meanwhile, 748,000 people, or 19.5 per cent of the adult population are considered “hazardous drinkers”, according to a World Health Organisation definition, which takes into account a combination of factors including binge drinking, dependency, … Read More

Attitudes and antibiotics - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Nov 20, 2017

A recent FB post from Stuff discussed the rising concerns about the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (This is something that Siouxsie Wiles has often written about: here and here, for example; her excellent book on the subject is reviewed here.) Fairly predictably, it didn’t take long for the proponents of essential oils to turn up, soon to be joined by the … Read More

OIA Accessibility - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Nov 20, 2017

The Official Information Act has an accessibility problem. I wrote recently about asking the government for information, having just published a guide to using the OIA. The OIA is a powerful tool, but it can be limited by how government agencies choose to follow it. One particular limitation that comes up, again and again, … Read More

Put the brakes on ‘gene drives’ for predator control, say researchers - News

John Kerr Nov 17, 2017

New Zealand wants to get rid of predators. But some of the genetic tools under consideration for the task could have disastrous consequences if they spread beyond our shores, warn researchers. Last year New Zealand boldly announced its ambitious Predator Free 2050 goal, and just yesterday unveiled a detailed strategy for reaching the goal. Investigating the potential of new … Read More

The scientific effort to take out our biggest pests - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Nov 16, 2017

Nearly 18 months on from the previous government announcing Predator Free 2050, an ambitious goal to eradicate our most destructive invasive pests, the research that will underpin the strategy has been unveiled. Predator Free 2050 Ltd is the company that was set up to invest in predator eradication and steer the major scientific effort that will be required to achieve … Read More

Cheesecake Files: The ICare-Acute Coronary Syndrome (heart attack) study - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Nov 15, 2017

Hundreds of nurses, Emergency Department doctors, Cardiologists and other specialists, laboratory staff, administrators and managers from every hospital in New Zealand with an emergency department have come together to implement new, effective, and safe pathways for patients who think they may be having a heart attack. Today, Dr Martin Than (CDHB, Emergency Department) presented to the American … Read More

Half a million Kiwis suddenly have high blood pressure - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Nov 14, 2017

At 10am 14 November 2017 NZST, millions of people around the world suddenly had high blood pressure. This will come as a shock to many and may precipitate a crisis in hand-wringing and other odd behaviours, like overmedication and jogging. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology have just announced a redefinition of High blood pressure. High blood pressure … Read More

Simon Upton – New Zealand science like an ‘exotic botanical garden’ - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Nov 10, 2017

The Crown Research Institutes are 25 years old and they celebrated yesterday with a series of talks and a showcase of their science at Te Papa in Wellington yesterday. Labour’s Research, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Megan Woods, a former Plant & Food employee herself, gave a fairly measured speech that strayed little from the science and research-related commitments made … Read More