News

Cults, leaky houses and a belated obituary – great journalism from July and August

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Aug 31, 2018

Spring is just around the corner which means the Science Media Centre team have been enjoying late winter vacations. Here’s a double-issue instalment of the great science journalism we’ve enjoyed during July and August. Seen, read or listened to anything you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. High Hopes: Who Will Benefit From NZ’s Legal … Read More

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Funding science journalism in Aotearoa

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jul 23, 2018

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund is now in its third round, with applications closing this week, which seems like a good time to celebrate some of the great journalism that’s been enabled by the fund. It’s the first independent journalism fund dedicated to furthering coverage of the science-related issues that impact New Zealanders. Dr Rebecca Priestley, winner … Read More

Pruitt Resigns Amid Perpetual Scandal. Science Still Likely to Suffer at EPA

Guest Author Jul 07, 2018

Tom Zeller Jr. The latest weekly news roundup from Undark: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns, hybrid rhino embryos spark hope, and more. It was a Tweet from President Trump that environmental organizations, many scientists, and no shortage of flabbergasted citizens had actually been yearning for: “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator … Read More

Flat Earthers, data breaches and the human cost of meth testing – June journalism

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jun 29, 2018

From human stories about the impacts of meth testing, to whether or not to debate scientific facts, here are some of the stories that caught our eye at the Science Media Centre this month. Seen, read, listened to anything great? Let us know in the comments. NZ’s natural born killer: Inside our war on stoats Jamie Morton, NZ Herald … Read More

Is your genome really your own? The public and forensic value of DNA

Guest Author May 02, 2018

Nathan Scudder, University of Canberra and Dennis McNevin, University of Technology Sydney This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Technologies for amplifying, sequencing and matching DNA have created new opportunities in genomic science. In this series When DNA Talks we look at the ethical and social implications. When Joseph … Read More

Thanks Mum and Dad! Reef fish inherit tolerance to warming oceans

Jean Balchin May 02, 2018

Recent research published in Nature Climate Change has found that reef fish can inherit from their parents the genetic tools to adjust to warming oceans. Obviously, given that our climate is rapidly changing, the decline of animal populations – particularly marine populations – is a distinct concern. For the first time, researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral … Read More

Moderate to severe mid-life anxiety may be linked to later life dementia

Jean Balchin May 02, 2018

An analysis of the available published evidence in the online journal BMJ Open suggests that moderate to severe mid-life anxiety may be linked to dementia in later life. However, it remains unclear as to whether active treatment could curb this risk. Moreover, the degree to which non-drug therapies such as meditation and mindfulness that reduce anxiety might help is unknown also. Read More

Is it ethical to grow brain tissue?

Jean Balchin Apr 27, 2018

In this week’s Nature, there is an intriguing op-ed about the ethics of growing or sustaining human brain tissue. We must consider the fact that researchers one day might be able to create a model in the laboratory that may be capable of what might appear to be conscious experiences. If this were to happen, it would raise a number of … Read More

Many healthcare attacks in Syria are being missed by the media

Jean Balchin Apr 27, 2018

A new study published this week in PLOS Medicine has found that attacks on health facilities and health workers in Syria are likely more common than previously reported. Moreover, local data collectors can help researchers more accurately measure the extent and frequency of these attacks. International humanitarian law is violated when violent acts on hospitals, ambulances, health workers, and patients in conflict areas occur. Read More