Guest Work

Flu plane: are we really ready for a global pandemic?

Guest Author Sep 10, 2018

Mark Eccleston-Turner, Keele University An Emirates airliner was quarantined at John F Kennedy International Airport on September 5 after several passengers reported flu-like symptoms. Oxiris Barbot, New York City’s acting health commissioner, said the cause of the illness was “probably influenza”. The following day, two more flights, arriving from the Middle East were quarantined at … Read More

Dead as the moa: oral traditions show that early Māori recognised extinction

Guest Author Sep 07, 2018

Priscilla Wehi, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; Hēmi Whaanga, University of Waikato, and Murray Cox, Massey University Museums throughout Aotearoa New Zealand feature displays of enormous articulated skeletons and giant eggs. The eggs are bigger than two hands put together. This is all that remains of the moa. Tracing extinctions that happened centuries ago … Read More

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Genetic solutions to pest control

Guest Author Sep 05, 2018

Neil Gemmell New Zealand stunned the world in 2016 announcing a goal to eradicate mammalian predators by 2050. The key targets are possums, rats and stoats; species that cause enormous damage to our flora and fauna and in some cases are an economic burden to our productive sectors. As all of these species were introduced to New Zealand from elsewhere … Read More

Why synthetic marijuana is so risky

Guest Author Sep 04, 2018

C. Michael White, University of Connecticut The Green, a gathering place in New Haven, Connecticut, near Yale University looked like a mass casualty zone, with 70 serious drug overdoses over a period spanning Aug. 15-16, 2018. The cause: synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2, Spice, or AK47, which induced retching, vomiting, loss of consciousness and trouble breathing. Read More

Gender quotas and targets would speed up progress on gender equity in academia

Guest Author Aug 30, 2018

Joanne Pyke, Victoria University and Kate White, Federation University Australia Recently, the University of Adelaide used a special exemption under the Equal Opportunity Act to advertise eight academic positions in the faculty of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences for women only. This raises questions about why a university might take this approach. While Australia … Read More

Science, PR and dirty tactics: Q&A with Nicky Hager

Guest Author Aug 24, 2018

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager is no stranger to personal attacks for his work, and has written about some of the tactics used by PR professionals in his book Dirty Politics. In April he told the Public Communication or Science and Technology conference about where these tactics can cross paths with science – he spoke further to journalism student Zahra Shahtahmasebi. Read More

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Ancient teenager the first known person with parents of two different species

Guest Author Aug 23, 2018

Michelle Langley, Griffith University A new ancient DNA study published in Nature today reports the first known person to have had parents of two different species. The studied remains belonged to a girl who had a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) lived throughout Europe and Western Asia until around 30,000 years … Read More

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Lombok earthquakes: different building designs could lessen future damage

Guest Author Aug 21, 2018

Graeme MacRae, Massey University The series of earthquakes in North Lombok and others further east goes on. But hopefully the worst is over and the intensity will recede from now. Hundreds of people have been killed and a lot more injured, many of them seriously. Nearly all this human suffering was caused by collapsing buildings. The subsequent … Read More

Understanding and Improving the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

Guest Author Aug 14, 2018

Catherine Leining, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research To chart a successful future for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), we need to understand its present and its past. Researchers from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research have published a new Guide to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. This guide covers the basics of how … Read More