Science and Society

New code for controlling new food varieties (FASNZ; GMO, or not) - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Apr 09, 2018

New Zealanders and Australians might like to contribute (last-minute!*) submissions to revise Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’s code for controlling new food varieties, FSANZ is seeking input from the community on whether food derived using new breeding techniques (NBTs) should be captured for pre-market approval under the Code, and whether the definitions for ‘food produced using gene technology’ … Read More

Green sky thinking - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 09, 2018

We are starting to see more scenarios about getting to a “decarbonised” future. One where greenhouse gas emissions are no longer a problem. Many scenarios are forgettable. The good ones have the power to create the change. Shell has added a new futures scenario, called Sky, to its New Lens scenario set. I think … Read More

How compassion can triumph over toxic childhood trauma - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 09, 2018

Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary; Nicole Racine, University of Calgary, and Suzanne Tough, University of Calgary This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. In a recent piece on the television show 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey discussed childhood trauma — shining a public spotlight on the lasting … Read More

Solution to 50-year-old mystery could lead to gene therapy for common blood disorders - News

Jean Balchin Apr 06, 2018

In a recent study published in the journal Nature Genetics, UNSW Sydney-led researchers have used CRISPR-gene editing to introduce beneficial natural mutations into blood cells to boost their production of foetal haemoglobin. This study solves a 50-year-old mystery about how these mutations operate and alter the expression of human genes. Naturally carried by a small percentage of people, these mutations contribute to … Read More

Critic and conscience of a national science challenge - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 06, 2018

Troy Baisden By legislation, universities have a role to play as critic and conscience of society. Having recently moved to a professorial post at the University of Waikato, I’m taking up that role to initiate this blog at the Our Land and Water (OLW) National Science Challenge’s 2018 Symposium. The event is on yesterday and today in Wellington, … Read More

Eric Crampton on the sugar tax and Otago’s response - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Apr 06, 2018

Otago’s public health people, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t like NZIER’s take on sugar taxes. They’ve blogged on it here, but they seem to have missed a few important points. A Report commissioned by the Ministry of Health, written by NZIER, has recently been getting air-time as an argument against taxing sugary drinks.  However, the Report seems to us to be … Read More

Free online tool could help women decide on breast reconstruction - News

Jean Balchin Apr 05, 2018

A new study published in Psycho-Oncology has revealed that a free web-based decision aid that helps women with breast cancer make decisions regarding reconstruction surgery after mastectomy is likely cost-effective. BRECONDA (Breast Reconstruction Decision Aid) is a tool that helps people make decisions about breast reconstruction surgery. It was developed in collaboration with an international team of breast surgeons, oncologists, … Read More

Five things to consider before ordering an online DNA test - News

Guest Work Apr 05, 2018

Jane Tiller, Monash University and Paul Lacaze, Monash University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. You might be intrigued by what your genes could tell you about your ancestry or the health risks hidden in your DNA. If so, you’re not alone. Fascination with personal genetics … Read More

The SMC Video Competition: John Mortimer, Chaucer, and a mysterious manuscript - News

Jean Balchin Apr 05, 2018

Last week, the results of the Science Media Centre Video Competition was judged. It was an incredible competition, open to previous participants of the SMC’s science video workshops. There were eight entries, and the judges were incredibly impressed with the creativity and quality of the entries. I was fortunate enough to watch all eight entries and chat to a … Read More

Why bodycam footage might not clear things up … - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 05, 2018

Deryn Strange, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Kristyn Jones, John Jay College of Criminal Justice This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Stephon Clark, an African-American man, was killed by Sacramento police in his grandmother’s backyard last month, setting off protests and conflict over the police’s … Read More