Hot off the press

Why we should take a women-centred approach to diagnosing and treating iron deficiency

Guest Author May 07, 2021

Claire Badenhorst, Massey University Iron deficiency is a common nutritional disorder worldwide, and pre-menopausal women are most at risk of being diagnosed with it. New Zealand’s most recent nutritional survey (from 2008/09) shows 12% of women may suffer from iron deficiency. But more recent research in New Zealand suggests up to 55% of women of a similar … Read More

Is ‘Spot’ a good dog? Why we’re right to worry about unleashing robot quadrupeds

Guest Author May 05, 2021

Jeremy Moses, University of Canterbury and Geoffrey Ford, University of Canterbury   When it comes to dancing, pulling a sled, climbing stairs or doing tricks, “Spot” is definitely a good dog. It can navigate the built environment and perform a range of tasks, clearly demonstrating its flexibility as a software and hardware platform for commercial use. Viral videos of Boston … Read More

How crowdfunding campaigners market illness to capture the attention of potential donors

Guest Author Apr 28, 2021

Tom Baker, University of Auckland; Ann E. Bartos, University of Auckland; Caitlin Neuwelt-Kearns, University of Auckland; Octavia Calder-Dawe, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Susan E Wardell Liam’s* crowdfunding campaign page is direct: his “sole purpose is to survive”. Before his diagnosis with inoperable brain cancer, Liam was a “healthy, fitness and sports minded 44-year-old, [who gave] … Read More

More people die in winter than summer, but climate change may see this reverse

Guest Author Apr 27, 2021

Ivan Charles Hanigan, University of Sydney; Alistair Woodward, University of Auckland, and Keith Dear Climate change not only poses enormous dangers to the planet, but also harms human health. In our study published today, we show some of the first evidence climate change has had observable impacts on Australians’ health between 1968 and 2018. We found long-term heating is … Read More

NZ’s next large Alpine Fault quake is likely coming sooner than we thought, study shows

Guest Author Apr 20, 2021

Jamie Howarth, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Rupert Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington The Alpine Fault marks the boundary between the Pacific and Australian plates in the South Island of New Zealand. Author provided The chances of New Zealand’s Alpine Fault rupturing in a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years are … Read More

Forensics and ship logs solve a 200-year mystery about where the first kiwi specimen was collected

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Paul Scofield, University of Canterbury and Vanesa De Pietri, University of Canterbury The flightless kiwi is an iconic bird for New Zealanders, but all five species are threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators. Recent genomic analysis focused on one species, the South Island brown kiwi or tokoeka, suggests several as yet undescribed lineages. Before these can be fully … Read More

Horses can recognise themselves in a mirror — new study

Guest Author Apr 08, 2021

Ali Boyle, University of Cambridge If you ask people to list the most intelligent animals, they’ll name a few usual suspects. Chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants are often mentioned, as are crows, dogs and occasionally pigs. Horses don’t usually get a look in. So it might come as a surprise that horses possess an unusual skill, widely considered an indicator of … Read More

Ancient leaves preserved under a mile of Greenland’s ice – and lost in a freezer for years – hold lessons about climate change

Guest Author Mar 17, 2021

Andrew Christ, University of Vermont and Paul Bierman, University of Vermont In 1963, inside a covert U.S. military base in northern Greenland, a team of scientists began drilling down through the Greenland ice sheet. Piece by piece, they extracted an ice core 4 inches across and nearly a mile long. At the very end, they pulled up something else … Read More

Scientists used ‘fake news’ to stop predators killing endangered birds — and the result was remarkable

Guest Author Mar 11, 2021

Peter Banks, University of Sydney and Catherine Price, University of Sydney Animals, including humans, depend on accurate information to navigate the world. But we can easily succumb to deliberate misinformation or “fake news”, fooling us into making a poor choice. The concept of fake news came to the fore during the term of former US president Donald Trump. It … Read More

Earth’s magnetic field broke down 42,000 years ago and caused massive sudden climate change

Guest Author Feb 19, 2021

Chris Fogwill, Keele University; Alan Hogg, University of Waikato; Chris Turney, UNSW, and Zoë Thomas, UNSW The world experienced a few centuries of apocalyptic conditions 42,000 years ago, triggered by a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles combined with changes in the Sun’s behaviour. That’s the key finding of our new multidisciplinary study, published in Science. This last major … Read More