News

The critically endangered Māui dolphin is a conservation priority – we shouldn’t let uncertainty stop action to save it

Guest Author Oct 21, 2021

Rochelle Constantine, University of Auckland and Wendi Roe, Massey University   The world’s rarest marine dolphin, Māui, is found only along the west coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Based on our surveys over the last two summers, during which we collected small tissue samples for DNA analysis, we estimate there are currently only 54 … Read More

Humans are driving animals and plants to the edge. But are we really heading into a mass extinction?

Guest Author Oct 15, 2021

Michael Hannah, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   It is now common to refer to the current biodiversity crisis as the sixth mass extinction. But is this true? Are we in the middle of an event on the same scale as the five ancient mass extinctions Earth has experienced? Humans are indeed driving animals and plants to … Read More

Why it’s time to treat medicinal cannabis as an alternative therapy, not a pharmaceutical

Guest Author Oct 15, 2021

Marta Rychert, Massey University; Chris Wilkins, Massey University, and Vinuli Withanarachchie, Massey University   The recent approval of two domestically produced cannabidiol (CBD) oil products – non-intoxicating cannabis compounds – may have provided new optimism to patients on cannabis prescriptions. Slow progress with product approvals had meant some patients had feared they would need to turn to the … Read More

Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ screen time

Guest Author Oct 11, 2021

Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are only beginning to appreciate. Even before COVID, there were concerns … Read More

Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?

Guest Author Oct 11, 2021

Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in the world. For Māori, a name is intrinsic to, and … Read More

Why New Zealanders are vulnerable to genetic discrimination in health and life insurance

Guest Author Sep 28, 2021

Jane Tiller, Monash University and Andrew Shelling, University of Auckland   Genetic testing is increasingly used as part of routine healthcare to determine a patient’s risk for some conditions, including certain cancers. But insurers can use genetic test results to refuse cover or increase premiums. This is called genetic discrimination — the use of someone’s genetic information to treat them … Read More

The earthquake that rattled Melbourne was among Australia’s biggest in half a century, but rock records reveal far mightier ones

Guest Author Sep 23, 2021

Mark Quigley, The University of Melbourne and Januka Attanayake, The University of Melbourne   An earthquake that struck near Melbourne today is one of the largest in Australia since instrumental seismic records began. However, the geological record of ground-breaking fault ruptures tells us much larger earthquakes have occurred across the continent. Some of these earthquakes would have been witnessed … Read More

Undersea internet cables connect Pacific islands to the world. But geopolitical tension is tugging at the wires

Guest Author Sep 20, 2021

Amanda H A Watson, Australian National University   If you’ve ever emailed a resort in Fiji or Vanuatu about that long-awaited holiday, it’s likely your email travelled through an undersea internet cable. Such cables carry much of the internet traffic around the globe, in conjunction with underground fibre connections, satellites and microwave links. For Pacific Island countries, undersea internet cables … Read More

Bringing woolly mammoths back from extinction might not be such a bad idea — ethicists explain

Guest Author Sep 16, 2021

Julian Koplin, The University of Melbourne and Christopher Gyngell, The University of Melbourne   US startup Colossal Biosciences has announced plans to bring woolly mammoths, or animals like them, back from extinction and into the frosty landscape of the Siberian tundra. Colossal has received US$15 million in initial funds to support research conducted by Harvard geneticist George … Read More

Ngā āhuatanga ka akona mai ki a tātou e te ao Māori, mō te ao pakihi o āpōpō

Guest Author Sep 14, 2021

Ben Walker, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Erin Roxburgh-Makea, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Jesse Pirini, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Stephen Cummings, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Mai i te ētita: Nā Piripi Walker i whakamāori tēnei tuhinga mō Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Read More