Guest Work

New Zealand’s zero carbon bill: much ado about methane

Guest Author Jul 14, 2018

Robert McLachlan, Massey University New Zealand could become the first country in the world to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Leading up to the 2017 election, the now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern famously described climate change as “my generation’s nuclear-free moment”. The promised zero carbon bill is now underway, but in an unusual … Read More

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Are New Zealand’s big sharks in big trouble?

Guest Author Jul 13, 2018

Tyler Northern Last month, Minister for Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, released the news that great white and basking sharks have been reclassified from ‘at risk’ to ‘threatened’. Sounds bad, right? But what does this actually mean? The statuses are based on the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – a system administered by the Department of Conservation. Read More

Eradicating cattle disease M. bovis in New Zealand may be costly, even impossible, but we must try

Guest Author Jul 13, 2018

Richard Laven, Massey University In May this year, the New Zealand government decided that it would attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial disease that affects cattle. A phased eradication means that an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled, at an estimated cost of NZ$886 million. Here’s what we know, what we don’t know and … Read More

Compostable packaging

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

Coldplay conundrum: how to reduce the risk of failure for environmental projects

Guest Author Jul 11, 2018

David Hall, Auckland University of Technology New Zealand’s government has committed to planting one billion trees as part of a transition to a low-emission economy, in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The One Billion Trees Programme promises to deliver combined benefits, not only by offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, but also reducing erosion … Read More

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Out of the Cave: Now What?

Guest Author Jul 11, 2018

Karen Nimmo So the psychological recovery begins. With the physical ordeal behind them, the 12 Thai footballers and their coach who survived underground terror and a high-risk rescue must now re-engage with life. Physical injuries will heal; hopefully any infections will too. But the invisible wounds will bear tending for the rest of their lives. It is not possible to … Read More

Another day, another data breach – what to do when it happens to you

Guest Author Jul 04, 2018

Cassandra Cross, Queensland University of Technology Reports of data breaches are an increasingly common occurrence. In recent weeks, Ticketmaster, HealthEngine, PageUp and the Tasmanian Electoral Commission have all reported breaches. It is easy to tune out to what is happening, particularly if it’s not your fault it happened in the first place. But there … Read More

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New gene transfer rules could help prevent spread of antibiotic resistance

Guest Author Jul 04, 2018

Heather Hendrickson, Massey University Unlike other organisms, bacteria can take up genetic material from their environment. This ability to exchange genes enables them to pick up new traits such as different metabolic pathways, virulence genes and antibiotic resistance. Better understanding of the complex mechanisms of gene transfer may be the key for holding the line against the global … Read More

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Are Google and Facebook Responsible for the Medical Quackery They Host?

Guest Author Jun 30, 2018

Michael Schulson Social media algorithms help charlatans spread autism cures, vaccine disinformation, and AIDS denialism through online videos. Who’s really to blame? Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury is an Indian engineer with, he says, an honorary Ph.D. in diabetes science from Alliance International University, a school in Zambia that bears many of the hallmarks of an online scam. He … Read More