News

Mountains spawned diverse fish

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 15, 2015

The diverse range of native fish in the South Island are thanks to the uplift of the Southern Alps, new research suggests. Research published today in Nature Geoscience, and led by the University of Otago, has drawn a link between rapid mountain-building in the South Island and the diversification of native fish.  Changes in geography have long been … Read More

A better understanding of Auckland volcanoes

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 14, 2015

Tracking the source of volcanic ash has given a New Zealand researcher a better understanding of Auckland volcanoes and when they erupted. Jenni Hopkins reconstructed the volcanic history of Auckland as part of her PhD research at Victoria University in the hope of better understanding the risk posed by new eruptions in our biggest city. Auckland’s volcanic field … Read More

Bone of contention: Osteoporosis supplements under scrutiny

Erica Mather Dec 11, 2015

Popping pills for ‘better bone health’?  Think again.  There is blind enthusiasm to take calcium and vitamin D for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, despite mounting evidence that contradicts their effectiveness.  You are not alone if your last family photograph left you wondering if you are shrinking, particularly if you are over 60. Read More

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Getting ahead of a potentially deadly salamander disease

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 11, 2015

A fungal pathogen with the potential to devastate salamander populations has yet to arrive in North America, but scientists are ready and waiting should it appear. New Zealand researchers are among a group calling for global action against the emerging disease before it spreads. Scientists in Europe discovered the fungal pathogen, Salamander chytrid disease – Batrachocytrium … Read More

Paracetamol has no effect on the flu

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 07, 2015

It’s included in numerous over-the-counter cold and flu medicines, but according to New Zealand researchers paracetamol has no effect on the flu. Research published today in Respirology found no difference in the severity or duration of influenza symptoms, temperature or viral load in patients taking paracetamol – indicating no benefits from taking the medicine while sick with the flu. The … Read More

Heavy burden caused by contaminated food

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 04, 2015

Following a week of cacophony over contaminated frozen fruit, New Zealand and Australian scientists have been part of a global project examining how sick food makes us. The first ever World Health Organisation estimate of global food disease burden found that one in ten people fall ill every year from contaminated food and 420,000 die as a result. Children under … Read More

Maori cancer divide highlighted in global study

Guest Work Oct 15, 2015

by Hunter Calder Cancer Researchers have found Māori in New Zealand have a higher chance of getting preventable cancerous diseases such as lung or cervical cancer than their non-indigenous peers. And they are also suffering higher cancer rates than indigenous people in other countries, where rates are similar to or lower than to those in non indigenous populations. Māori women were among the largest group … Read More

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Argentine ants harbour novel virus

Erica Mather Sep 15, 2015

A New Zealand study confirms that Argentine ants are hosts of a virus that is associated with honeybee deaths.  The ants were discovered to also carry a previously undescribed virus, one that could trigger their own demise. Argentine ants (Linepthema humile) are considered one of the six most invasive and damaging ant species in the world.  Large colonies can … Read More

Plastic oceans, plastic diets: The unsavoury reality for seabirds

Erica Mather Sep 02, 2015

A new study predicts that 99 per cent of the world’s seabirds will consume plastic by 2050.  Seabirds easily mistake brightly coloured plastics for food or accidentally swallow pieces such as bottle caps, bags and fibres from synthetic clothing that have washed out to sea from waste deposits, sewers and rivers. Scientists from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial … Read More

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