Hot off the press

Studies suggest no causal link between young children’s screen time and later symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity

Guest Author Nov 15, 2021

Maria Corkin, University of Auckland   The possibility that screen time during early childhood could cause poorer attention later in a child’s life is a major concern for both parents and researchers. Earlier studies have suggested links between preschoolers’ screen time and difficulties with attention. But there is by no means consensus among the research community that such a relationship … Read More

Cervical cancer screening in New Zealand: self-testing at home will improve equity of outcomes for non-European women

Guest Author Nov 09, 2021

John Donne Potter, Massey University and Naomi Brewer, Massey University   Despite New Zealand’s national cervical screening programme (NCSP), Māori women are more than twice as likely as European women to be diagnosed with, and die from, cervical cancer. Similarly, the screening programme has not been equitable for Pasifika and Asian women. Like Māori women, Pasifika women have … Read More

Many of New Zealand’s most popular websites use ‘dark patterns’ to manipulate users – is it time to regulate?

Guest Author Oct 19, 2021

Cherie Lacey, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Alex Beattie, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   More than half of the most popular New Zealand websites may be unfairly manipulating visitors, according to our latest research into the use of “dark patterns” in sites with a “co.nz” domain name. While legal, dark patterns … Read More

Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research

Guest Author Oct 13, 2021

Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping is increasing in popularity in Australia, particularly among … Read More

Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study

Guest Author Oct 12, 2021

Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing the disease. A recent study my colleagues and … Read More

Strontium isotopes can map monarch butterfly migrations and help conservation efforts

Guest Author Oct 01, 2021

Megan Reich, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa   The eastern North American population of monarch butterflies are famous for their annual, multi-generational, round-trip migration from the oyamel fir forests of Central Mexico through the United States to Canada and back. Sadly, the population of monarch butterflies is declining, and the future of the monarch migratory phenomenon is uncertain. Scientists can … Read More

What is dust? And where does it all come from?

Guest Author Sep 27, 2021

Mark Patrick Taylor, Macquarie University; Cynthia Faye Isley, Macquarie University; Kara Fry, Macquarie University, and Max M Gillings, Macquarie University   Everything in our homes gathers dust. But what exactly is it? Where does it come from, and why does it keep coming back? Is it from outside? Is it fibres from our clothes and cells from our skin? Yes, … Read More

Beyond Zoom, Teams and video lectures — what do university students really want from online learning?

Guest Author Sep 24, 2021

Dilani Gedera, Auckland University of Technology; Ashwini Datt, University of Auckland; Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury; Dianne Forbes, University of Waikato, and Maggie Hartnett, Massey University   As any university student, lecturer or tutor can attest, the pandemic has turned learning and teaching upside down. So it’s important we understand what happens for students when their learning shifts online with … Read More

Calling the latest gene technologies ‘natural’ is a semantic distraction — they must still be regulated

Guest Author Sep 24, 2021

Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury; Brigitta Kurenbach, University of Canterbury; Deborah Paull, University of Canterbury, and Sophie Walker, University of Canterbury   Legislators around the world are being asked to reconsider how to regulate the latest developments in gene technology, genome editing and gene silencing. Both the European Court of Justice and the New Zealand High Court have … Read More

We managed to toilet train cows (and they learned faster than a toddler). It could help combat climate change

Guest Author Sep 14, 2021

Douglas Elliffe, University of Auckland and Lindsay Matthews, University of Auckland   Can we toilet train cattle? Would we want to? The answer to both of these questions is yes — and doing so could help us address issues of water contamination and climate change. Cattle urine is high in nitrogen, and this contributes to a range of environmental problems. Read More