Guest Work

Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

Guest Work Dec 07, 2017

Chris Fogwill, Keele University; Chris Turney, UNSW, and Zoe Robinson, Keele University Ever since the ancient Greeks speculated a continent must exist in the south polar regions to balance those in the north, Antarctica has been popularly described as remote and extreme. Over the past two centuries, these factors have combined to create, … Read More

The future of plastics: reusing the bad and encouraging the good

Guest Work Dec 03, 2017

By Kim Pickering, University of Waikato Plastics have got themselves a bad name, mainly for two reasons: most are made from petroleum and they end up as litter in the environment. We’re reposting this article from The Conversation as part of our Consuming Science series. However, both of these are quite avoidable. An increased focus on … Read More

Penguins under threat from drowning in fishing nets

Guest Work Dec 02, 2017

By Ursula Ellenberg, La Trobe University.  Fishing nets pose a serious risk to the survival of penguin species, according to a new global review of the toll taken by “bycatch” from commercial fishing. Fourteen of the world’s 18 penguin species have been recorded as fishing bycatch. Among the species under threat are Tasmania’s little penguins and New … Read More

‘Brain training’ apps won’t make you smarter

John Kerr Dec 01, 2017

If you think that a few bucks spent on a braining training app is a solid investment in your intellectual future, think again. Anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time on the internet has probably heard of the brain training app Lumosity. The San Francisco-based company has spent millions on advertising and claims to have 85 million users. Their app is … Read More

A fresh start for climate change mitigation in New Zealand

Guest Work Dec 01, 2017

By Robert McLachlan, Massey University.  The election of the sixth Labour-led government heralds a new direction for climate change policy in New Zealand. As part of the new government’s 100-day priority plan, it pledged to set a target of carbon neutrality by 2050 and to establish the mechanisms to phase out fossil fuels. In doing so, New … Read More

New research suggests common herbicides are linked to antibiotic resistance

Guest Work Nov 24, 2017

By Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury.  Antibiotics are losing their ability to kill bacteria. One of the main reasons for the rise in antibiotic resistance is the improper use of antibiotics, but our latest research shows that the ingredients in commonly-used weed killers like Round-up and Kamba can also cause bacteria to become less susceptible to … Read More

New research shows explaining things to ‘normal’ people can help scientists be better at their jobs

Guest Work Nov 22, 2017

by Susanne Pelger, Lund University In times when fake news and alternative facts circulate in society, spreading scientifically based findings is more important than ever. This makes science communication one of academia’s most vital tasks. But despite the pivotal role scientific communication plays in society, communicating with the general public is not always prioritised among researchers. This is … Read More

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The long, strange history of dieting fads

Guest Work Nov 12, 2017

By Melissa Wdowik, Colorado State University.  “Of all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine, any more distressing than that of Obesity.” So started William Banting‘s “Letter on Corpulence,” likely the first diet book ever published. Banting, an overweight undertaker, published the book in 1864 to espouse his success after … Read More

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How to solve the ‘monster’ fatberg problem

Guest Work Nov 09, 2017

By Alison Browne, University of Manchester and Mike Foden, Keele University.  Fatbergs – enormous solid masses of oil, grease, wet wipes and other hygiene products that congeal together to cause major blockages – are wreaking havoc on the sewers of cities around the world. A 130 tonne specimen described as a “monster” recently caused backups … Read More

Why are talks over an East Antarctic marine park still deadlocked?

Guest Work Nov 05, 2017

By Cassandra Brooks, University of Colorado. Last week, representatives from 24 countries plus the European Union met in Hobart to discuss plans for a vast marine protected area (MPA) off the coast of East Antarctica. The proposed area, spanning almost 1 million square km, is crucial for a vast array of marine life. Scientists, conservationists and governments … Read More