Science

The four-year treasure hunt for the hoodwinker sunfish - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 20, 2017

Marianne Nyegaard, Murdoch University Sunfish are famous for looking odd. They are the largest bony fish in the world, can grow to over 3 metres in length and weigh up to 2 tonnes, and look a little bit like a suitcase with wings. But when I began my PhD doing population studies on sunfish off Bali in … Read More

The temperamental past of Auckland’s Volcanoes - News

Jean Balchin Jul 18, 2017

Two recent studies have found that Auckland’s volcanoes had a rather stormy and temperamental past. At one stage, several large eruptions happened within 4,000 years, whereas at other times there were thousands of years of silence. The two studies were published this month in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research … Read More

Sycamore seeds and wind turbines - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 18, 2017

At the recent NZ Institute of Physics conference in Dunedin we heard about a wide range of different physics topics -measuring electrical forces; atomic frequency combs; why a highly gendered physics class is not a good thing and measuring forces with your phone. One very simple but thought-provoking presentation was by Tim Molteno — on sycamore seeds … Read More

A map that fills a 500-million year gap in Earth’s history - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 10, 2017

Alan Collins, University of Adelaide and Andrew Merdith, University of Sydney Earth is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old, with life first appearing around 3 billion years ago. To unravel this incredible history, scientists use a range of different techniques to determine when and where continents moved, how life evolved, how climate changed … Read More

Finland’s nuclear waste and the NZ connection - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Jul 07, 2017

You don’t hear much about Finland being a big user of nuclear power, but the country’s four reactors supply nearly a third of the country’s electricity needs. A fifth reactor is currently being built to boost capacity, as other European countries mothball or proceed to phase out their nuclear facilities due to lingering fears over the safety of nuclear … Read More

Mice lacking a sense of smell stay thin - News

Jean Balchin Jul 06, 2017

Mice that have been engineered to lack a sense of smell lose weight on a high-fat diet, according to a report in today’s issue of Cell Metabolism. The mice ate just as much as counterparts with unaltered senses, yet lost an average of about 16 percent of their body weight. This weight loss was almost entirely from … Read More

Deep water corals glow in the dark to survive - News

Jean Balchin Jul 05, 2017

It has long been established that corals in shallow waters glow because of fluorescent proteins that act as sunblock, protecting the endangered species from the sun’s intense rays. As any kiwi can attest, too much sunlight is bad for humans. Excess sunlight is also detrimental to corals. Some shallow water corals produce fluorescent proteins to block excessive sunlight that could … Read More

Microbes aren’t the enemy, they’re a big part of who we are - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 05, 2017

Amy Loughman, Associate Lecturer, Industry Fellow, RMIT University and Tarsh Bates, PhD candidate, University of Western Australia We have long believed that “good” immune cells recognise and defend against “bad” invaders. That’s why a large proportion of medicine has been directed at killing microbial enemies and conquering microbial infections. This militaristic understanding of immunity reflected the … Read More

Want a better camera? Just copy bees and their extra light-sensing eyes - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 04, 2017

Adrian Dyer, Associate Professor , RMIT University; Andrew Greentree, Professor of Quantum Physics and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, RMIT University, and Jair Garcia, Research Officer , RMIT University When you step outside your house, light from the sun means that the colour of everything changes. You probably haven’t even noticed it, because your … Read More