Infectious Thoughts

Question it! Science in Queenstown

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 27, 2015

From the 29th of August to the 4th of September, over 1,000 scientists will be descending on Queenstown for the annual Queenstown Research Week. And this year the public are invited! In addition to the conferences the scientists will be attending comes a fantastic array of events for the public. Hands on science Otago University’s chemistry, physics, geology, microbiology, food … Read More

Meet Arachnocampa luminosa, New Zealand’s amazing glowing ‘maggot’

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 20, 2015

The bioluminescent larvae of Arachnocampa luminosa are a magical sight, lighting up caves around New Zealand with their beautiful blue light. If you don’t believe me, watch the video put together by photographer Jordan, from  Stoked for Saturday. He spent 60 hours in the caves at Waitomo, taking time-lapse photographs. The result is absolutely spellbinding. You can read his blog about … Read More

Monday Micro: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Korea

Siouxsie Wiles Jun 08, 2015

“MERS-CoV electron micrograph1” by Maureen Metcalfe/Cynthia Goldsmith/Azaibi Tamin – http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/photos.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. In 2012 a new virus emerged in the Middle East. Causing severe respiratory and flu-like, the disease was called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)* or “Saudi-SARS”. The virus responsible was found to be a … Read More

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Monday Micro – Glowing Superbugs at TEDxChristchurch

Siouxsie Wiles May 18, 2015

Last November I talked about my research at TEDxChristchurch. It was my first experience of a TEDx event and I was blown away by how amazing and inspirational the day was. It was very humbling to have been given the opportunity to enthuse about bioluminescence and bacteria. Here’s the video of my talk, also featuring glowing caterpillars and … Read More

Those “illegal” school science kits and our illogical Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 08, 2015

The Dominion Post recently ran an article about “Glowing GE bacteria” which were “produced illegally in New Zealand using mail-order kits from America”. Perhaps unsurprisingly given that the phrase ‘genetically engineered’ was mentioned, Green MP Stefan Browning and GE Free New Zealand spokesperson Jon Carapiet chimed in to share their dismay that people/kids were fiddling with complex natural … Read More

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