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Your chance to help shine a light on important science-related issues

Peter Griffin Aug 31, 2017

Sciblogs has joined the PressPatron platform, a crowdfunding service that makes it easy for people to make one-off or monthly payments to support content they are passionate about. We know that Sciblogs readers and those of you that comment here and in our Facebook group and on Twitter, are passionate about quality, evidence-based coverage of science-related issues. Read More

New ‘fat vs. carbs’ study could be misleading for Kiwi diet

John Kerr Aug 30, 2017

Chowing down on a high-carb diet could be worse for your overall health than eating a high-fat diet – if you believe the media coverage of a new international study. But a New Zealand expert warns the dietary implications of the findings aren’t that simple, especially for Kiwis. The study The new research, published yesterday in the Lancet, comes … Read More

Gene drives could wipe out island pest populations – study

John Kerr Aug 10, 2017

An entire island population of invasive mice could be eradicated by the single release of 100 engineered mice carrying ‘gene drives’ which spread infertility throughout a population. The finding comes from a new study which used computer simulations to investigate how gene drives – essentially sets of ‘selfish genes’ which are more likely to pass on to the next … Read More

Rockstar physicist Brian Cox coming to New Zealand

John Kerr Jul 31, 2017

Professor Brian Cox, one of the world’s most famous physicists and science communicators, is coming to New Zealand with a blockbuster live show.  The softly-spoken British scientist is bringing his record breaking live science show to New Zealand in November, for the first time. It will play at the ASB Theatre in Auckland on Tuesday 7 November. Lateral Events, the … Read More

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DNA shows tiny tardigrades are just as cool as we thought

Jean Balchin Jul 28, 2017

New genome sequences have revealed exciting new information about the origins of tardigrades as well as the genes that underlie their extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.  A team of researchers led by Mark Blaxter and Kazuharu Arakawa from the universities of Edinburgh, Scotland and Keio, Japan respectively, have carefully stitched together the DNA code for two … Read More

Rise in e-cigarettes linked to rise in smokers quitting

Jean Balchin Jul 27, 2017

The recent rise in e-cigarette use among US adult smokers is associated with a significant increase in smoking cessation, finds a study published today in The BMJ (The British Medical Journal).  Based on the largest representative sample of e-cigarette users to date, this study emphatically argues that e-cigarettes have helped to increase smoking cessation at the population level. Read More

Is it time to drop “complete the course” message for antibiotics?

Jean Balchin Jul 27, 2017

The commonly held belief that patients should “complete the course” of antibiotics to avoid antibiotic resistance is not backed by evidence and should be dropped, argue experts in The BMJ (The British Medical Journal) today. According to Professor Martin Llewelyn at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and colleagues, patients are actually put at unnecessary risk from antibiotic resistance when treatment is given … Read More

What happens to our health records when we die?

Jean Balchin Jul 21, 2017

Leaps and strides in digital data acquisition and storage has lead to the phenomenon of electronic mortality, where digital data — from medical records to genomic information — can exist, and be accessed, for a potentially infinite period. Consequently, there are major ramifications in a variety of different areas. In particular, health research relies of large data sets. All over the … Read More

The dramatic decrease in life-saving tobacco control policies

Jean Balchin Jul 20, 2017

4.7 billion people – 63% of world’s population – are covered by polices such as strong graphic warnings, smoke-free public places or other measures. According to the latest World Health Organisation report, more countries have implemented tobacco control policies, ranging from graphic pack warnings and advertising bans to no smoking areas. Roughly 4.7 billion people, or 63% of the world’s … Read More

Natural Mutations and Sickle Cell Anaemia

Jean Balchin Jul 19, 2017

Using the gene-editing technique CRISPR, a UNSW Sydney-led team of scientists has introduced a beneficial natural mutation into blood cells, switching on production of foetal haemoglobin. This advance could eventually lead to a cure for sickle cell anaemia and other blood disorders. Sickle Cell Anaemia Cells in tissues need a constant, steady supply of oxygen to function properly. Normally, … Read More

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