Technology

Bringing woolly mammoths back from extinction might not be such a bad idea — ethicists explain - News

Guest Author Sep 16, 2021

Julian Koplin, The University of Melbourne and Christopher Gyngell, The University of Melbourne   US startup Colossal Biosciences has announced plans to bring woolly mammoths, or animals like them, back from extinction and into the frosty landscape of the Siberian tundra. Colossal has received US$15 million in initial funds to support research conducted by Harvard geneticist George … Read More

Lessons learned from a remote blood pressure lowering trial in Aotearoa - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 16, 2021

Helen Eyles, Jacqui Grey, Elaine Umali, Cliona Ni Mhurchu Technologies such as smartphone apps, Wi-Fi-enabled data collection devices, and web-based data management systems offer the opportunity to deliver and assess the impact of clinical trials remotely, something which researchers are becoming increasingly drawn to.  However, there are drawbacks, and even experienced teams will encounter challenges.  In this blog we share … Read More

Packaging generates a lot of waste – now Maine and Oregon want manufacturers to foot the bill for getting rid of it - News

Guest Author Sep 10, 2021

Jessica Heiges, University of California, Berkeley and Kate O’Neill, University of California, Berkeley   Most consumers don’t pay much attention to the packaging that their purchases come in, unless it’s hard to open or the item is really over-wrapped. But packaging accounts for about 28% of U.S. municipal solid waste. Only some 53% of it ends up … Read More

The world is desperate for new antibiotics, and New Zealand’s unique fungi are a source of promising compounds - Hot off the press

Guest Author Sep 10, 2021

Siouxsie Wiles, University of Auckland   While we’re all rightly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, the SARS-CoV-2 virus isn’t the only microbial threat we face. Back in 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that within a decade, antibiotic-resistant bacteria could make routine surgery, organ transplantation and cancer treatment life-threateningly risky — and spell the … Read More

Improving ventilation in schools: a key protection against Covid-19 outbreaks and an enduring legacy for healthier learning - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 10, 2021

Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson* As much of the country moves down Alert Levels, children are returning to in-person learning with little or no protection against the potential spread of Covid-19 infection in schools. It is therefore critical that ventilation is improved in … Read More

Licensing bonanza in computational life sciences*   - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Sep 09, 2021

By Florian Pichlmueller (University of Auckland) and Christina Straub (ESR) . 2min read GPL, MIT, BSD, CC – no they’re not a secret vocabulary, these are in fact acronyms for open source licenses that allow code to be freely used, modified and shared. And there are many more – take a look at the open source initiative to see … Read More

NZ is introducing mandatory record keeping to help contact tracers. But is the data protected enough? - COVID-19

Guest Author Sep 06, 2021

Andrew Chen, University of Auckland   From 11:59pm on Tuesday September 7, every person in Aotearoa New Zealand over the age of 12 will be required to keep a record of their whereabouts, either by scanning QR codes or signing paper registers many businesses and event organisers will have to provide. Mandatory record-keeping is part of an effort to … Read More

Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research, raising concerns over scientific rigour - Hot off the press

Guest Author Aug 27, 2021

Mark Ziemann, Deakin University and Mandhri Abeysooriya, Deakin University   Autocorrection, or predictive text, is a common feature of many modern tech tools, from internet searches to messaging apps and word processors. Autocorrection can be a blessing, but when the algorithm makes mistakes it can change the message in dramatic and sometimes hilarious ways. Our research shows autocorrect errors, particularly … Read More

Why rapid genome sequencing is key to finding out how long Delta has been in NZ, and how large this outbreak might be - COVID-19

Guest Author Aug 20, 2021

David Welch, University of Auckland; Jemma Geoghegan, and Nigel French, Massey University   We knew the Delta variant would eventually arrive in Aotearoa, but real-time sequencing, which produces full genomes from positive cases in less than 12 hours, will ensure the lockdown is as short and effective as possible. There are now 21 cases and we can expect more … Read More

New Zealand could take a global lead in controlling the development of ‘killer robots’ — so why isn’t it? - News

Guest Author Aug 20, 2021

Jeremy Moses, University of Canterbury; Geoffrey Ford, University of Canterbury, and Sian Troath, University of Canterbury   “New Zealand versus the killer robots” might sound like a science fiction B-movie, but that was essentially the focus of an event at parliament earlier this month. Hosted by Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford, the “Dialogue on Autonomous Weapons … Read More