Science

We know why short-statured people of Flores became small – but for the extinct ‘Hobbit’ it’s not so clear - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 04, 2018

Michael Westaway, Griffith University and Francis David Bulbeck, Australian National University Humans are diverse in size and shape – but some populations are of relatively low average height, and historically described using the term “pygmy”. Some researchers have suggested that the Rampasasa inhabitants of the Flores highlands of Indonesia are one such group. A paper published … Read More

Who owns the moon? A space lawyer answers - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 24, 2018

 Frans von der Dunk, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a … Read More

Critically endangered but not lost: the fight to save Te Papa’s collections from extinction - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jul 23, 2018

In an unassuming building at the top of Tory Street in Wellington lies buried treasure: the remains of a lost world that rivals Smaug’s hoard, but the equivalent of the five armies is closing in. The proposed restructure of our national museum means we are in danger of losing the key to unlocking the secrets these biological taonga hold. Read More

Compostable packaging - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 12, 2018

Lou Sherman People say there is too much plastic packaging in today’s global marketplace. But packaging protects the product through the supply chain and prevents product waste. Plastic is an attractive material to use for packaging as it is lightweight and has the right properties to enable products to survive long supply chains such as overseas exports. Many consumers do … Read More

The science behind the Impossible Burger - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Jul 05, 2018

Air New Zealand has just announced The Impossible Burger is now available to a minuscule number of their customers, a move described as an “existential threat” by New Zealand First’s Mark Patterson. So what is all the fuss is about? This week, Air New Zealand announced that Business Premier “foodies” on their Los Angeles to Auckland flights would be able … Read More

Appeal to antiquity? Appeal to nature? Bingo! - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Jun 13, 2018

I was idly skimming the Herald’s website when I came across an article with the headline “Is plant medicine really that effective?” Since the article appears to be in the nature of an advertorial, the answer is, it depends on who you ask. Unlike man-made chemical drugs that have been developed as novel medicines from the 19th century onwards, plant medicines … Read More

Rover detects ancient organic material on Mars – and it could be trace of past life - Guest Work

Guest Author Jun 08, 2018

Monica Grady, The Open University It was to a great fanfare of publicity that researchers announced they had found evidence for past life on Mars in 1996. What they claimed they had discovered was a fossilised micro-organism in a Martian meteorite, which they argued was evidence that there has once been life on the Red Planet. Sadly, … Read More

Is there science in reflexology? - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Jun 06, 2018

I subscribe to the Tertiary Insight newsletter (a great way to keep up with news of what’s happening in the tertiary sector). Yesterday’s edition included a statement (& a link) about the NZQA’s decision to cancel the registration of the Aromaflex Academy. It seems that this Private Training Establishment (PTE) was placed under strict conditions in January 2018, & … Read More

Could – & should – the moa be a goer again? - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Jun 03, 2018

I’m starting to gear up for some Schol Bio preparation days in the regions (hi, Hawkes Bay! See you in 4 weeks!) and realised that I haven’t written anything specifically focused on those exams for a while. So I thought that putting something together would be a good way to spend a rather wet Sunday. At these days we usually … Read More