Hot off the press

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

How big companies are targeting middle income countries to boost ultra-processed food sales

Guest Author Sep 14, 2021

Edwin Kwong, The University of Melbourne; Joanna Williams, Swinburne University of Technology; Phillip Baker, Deakin University; Rob Moodie, The University of Melbourne, and Thiago M Santos, Federal University of Pelotas   Ultra-processed foods might not be a familiar term to many people. But it is an emerging, and increasingly dominant type of food in the world. They are foods … Read More

The world is desperate for new antibiotics, and New Zealand’s unique fungi are a source of promising compounds

Guest Author Sep 10, 2021

Siouxsie Wiles, University of Auckland   While we’re all rightly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, the SARS-CoV-2 virus isn’t the only microbial threat we face. Back in 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that within a decade, antibiotic-resistant bacteria could make routine surgery, organ transplantation and cancer treatment life-threateningly risky — and spell the … Read More

New Zealand’s fossil record suggests more species lived in warmer waters. But the current rate of warming may break this pattern

Guest Author Sep 01, 2021

Tom Womack, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Marine organisms found in New Zealand’s past and present coastal waters. Tom Womack, CC BY-ND New Zealand may be relatively small, but its fossil record reveals a globally important ecological relationship between the number of species, their role in the ecosystem and ocean temperatures. We used New Zealand’s exemplary fossil … Read More

Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research, raising concerns over scientific rigour

Guest Author Aug 27, 2021

Mark Ziemann, Deakin University and Mandhri Abeysooriya, Deakin University   Autocorrection, or predictive text, is a common feature of many modern tech tools, from internet searches to messaging apps and word processors. Autocorrection can be a blessing, but when the algorithm makes mistakes it can change the message in dramatic and sometimes hilarious ways. Our research shows autocorrect errors, particularly … Read More

Communication is changing — and most universities haven’t kept up

Guest Author Aug 25, 2021

T.J. Thomson, Queensland University of Technology; Glen Thomas, Queensland University of Technology, and Lesley Irvine, Queensland University of Technology   Almost everyone can agree communication is important. There is much less agreement about what, exactly, communication is or how best to develop skills in it. Communication today is more multi-modal than ever, but we still tend to give and … Read More

Appetite for convenience: how the surge in online food delivery could be harming our health

Guest Author Aug 17, 2021

Stephanie Partridge, University of Sydney; Alice A Gibson; Julie Redfern, University of Sydney; Rajshri Roy, University of Auckland; Rebecca Raeside, University of Sydney, and Sisi Jia, University of Sydney   With the simple touch of a smartphone, online food delivery services conveniently offer takeaway food straight to your door. Contact-free delivery has surged in popularity as lockdowns have limited … Read More

Taking the circus to school: How kids benefit from learning trapeze, juggling and unicycle in gym class

Guest Author Aug 06, 2021

Marion Cossin, Université de Montréal   Twelve public schools in Winnipeg are currently operating circus programs in physical education. Circus arts have been gaining popularity in schools around the world. Added to physical education programs, circus arts instruction not only seems to motivate children to exercise, but also has the potential to develop other abilities beyond the physical. My … Read More

When faces are partially covered, neither people nor algorithms are good at reading emotions

Guest Author Aug 06, 2021

Harisu Abdullahi Shehu, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Hedwig Eisenbarth, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Will Browne, Queensland University of Technology   Artificial systems such as homecare robots or driver-assistance technology are becoming more common, and it’s timely to investigate whether people or algorithms are better at reading emotions, particularly given the added … Read More

Tuatara are ancient, slow and endangered. But their super speedy sperm could boost conservation efforts

Guest Author Aug 04, 2021

Sarah Lamar, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Dr Diane Ormsby, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Jennifer Moore, Grand Valley State University ; Nicola Jane Nelson, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Susan N. Keall, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   New Zealand’s endemic tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) are the … Read More