Guest Work

Before replacing a carer with a robot, we need to assess the pros and cons

Guest Author Nov 09, 2018

Helen Dickinson, UNSW and Catherine Smith, University of Melbourne If you have seen science fiction television series such as Humans or Westworld, you might be imagining a near future where intelligent, humanoid robots play an important role in meeting the needs of people, including caring for children or older relatives. The reality is that … Read More

Mānuka honey: who really owns the name and the knowledge

Guest Author Nov 07, 2018

Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Adulterated honey and fake mānuka honey have repeatedly made headlines in recent years. The arguments around adulterated honey are relatively simple. These honeys are diluted with cheaper syrups and their lack of authenticity is unquestionable. The discourse around mānuka honey is different, as there are serious questions about what … Read More

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Digging Deep into Geosciences with Minecraft

Guest Author Nov 06, 2018

Laura Hobbs, Carly Stevens, and Jackie Hartley, Science Hunters Building volcanoes, caves, and other features in an “open-world” computer game is an engaging way to teach the next generation about Earth. Imagine yourself in a world where everything is made up of cubes. Colorful blocks represent rocks, trees, water, and animals. An erupting volcano produces blocks … Read More

Explainer: What any country can and can’t do in Antarctica, in the name of science

Guest Author Nov 04, 2018

Julia Jabour, University of Tasmania Antarctica is owned by no one, but there are plenty of countries interested in this frozen island continent at the bottom of the Earth. While there are some regulations on who can do what there, scientific research has no definition in Antarctic law. So any research by a country conducted in or about … Read More

Is It Ethical for Nutrition Scientists to Accept Industry Money?

Guest Author Nov 02, 2018

Ingfei Chen Numerous studies suggest conflicts of interest are damaging nutrition science. But with federal funding in short supply, what’s a researcher to do? For nutrition scientists in academia, career advancement hinges on winning grant money to do research and publishing the results in prestigious journals. There’s stiff competition, however, for limited federal funding. Though the numbers … Read More

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Why New Zealand needs alternatives to 1080

Guest Author Oct 26, 2018

Andrea Byrom Predictably, the public debate about the pest control toxin 1080 has ramped up a notch in recent weeks and months. I say predictably, because it is no surprise to anyone involved in conservation that pest control methods – whatever they might be – are controversial. Such controversy is a global phenomenon, often with polarised debates. Why does such … Read More

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TB or not TB: origin and antiquity of tuberculosis in New Zealand

Guest Author Oct 25, 2018

Dr Michael Knapp Recently, our team at the University of Otago embarked on a quest to identify how and when Tuberculosis (TB) reached New Zealand, by looking for the genetic signature of Tuberculosis bacteria in ancient human and animal remains from across the country. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease which has been called a “global health emergency” by the World … Read More