Pointing At Science

Testing the NASA drone

Steve Pointing Jan 16, 2015

Matt Reyes from NASA shows some budding young astrobiologists our GPS-linked drone at the Marae. It's ideal for flying over Rotorua's hot pools, and devices related to this are key to future planetary exploration and the search for traces of life on ot... Read More

Spaceward Bound “T minus 1 day”

Steve Pointing Jan 15, 2015

The excitement is mounting as participants begin to arrive in New Zealand for the inaugural New Zealand Spaceward Bound expedition.  My scientific collaborator and friend, NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay says: "New Zealand is a great place fo... Read More

Science Knight speaks out on politicians “dishonesty”

Steve Pointing Jan 15, 2015

I was lucky enough to spend a little time with Sir Paul Nurse at Scott Base in Antarctica a few years ago, and it was a genuine pleasure.  The charismatic president of the Royal Society and Nobel Laureate has now climbed even higher in my estimation for his latest public commentary on science and politics.  He branded UK politicians “cowardly” … Read More

Spaceward Bound “T minus 2 days”

Steve Pointing Jan 14, 2015

Astrobiology – the study of life in its broadest possible sense - is about to become BIG in New Zealand, with the first ever NASA Spaceward Bound outreach expedition commencing this Friday in Taupo (http://astrobiology.kiwi/spaceward-bound-new-zealand/).  This will bring together NASA scientists and overseas educators with kiwi scientists, teachers and students. Astrobiology is an ideal medium for learning in science and … Read More

Spaceward Bound “T minus 3 days”

Steve Pointing Jan 13, 2015

Our NASA and other overseas participants have started their launch sequence for arrival on Planet NZ this Friday, and the team in NZ is busy making plans to welcome our fellow “Taupo-nauts”.  A very well deserved acknowledgement goes here to event leader Haritina Mogosanu as she works tirelessly and as far as I can tell without sleep (vampire?) on the … Read More

Spaceward Bound “T minus 4 days”

Steve Pointing Jan 12, 2015

Spaceward Bound is coming to New Zealand for the first time – THIS WEEK!I am really excited to be part of this event to be held in the Taupo region from 16-21st January 2015.  A team of NASA astrobiologists will join a New Zealand science team comprising Haritina Mogosanu, Kathy Campbell and myself – all of us being passionate about … Read More

Bacterial ‘gardening’ to solve antibiotic resistance?

Steve Pointing Jan 08, 2015

Reckless over-use of antibiotics in livestock and humans is creating a healthcare time bomb where some super-bacteria are resistant to conventional antibiotic treatments.  The magnitude of this problem has been recognised by the several governments (see my earlier blog on this: http://pointingatscience.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/longitude-prize-to-focus-on-antibiotic.html).  This problem is also exacerbated by the fact that few truly novel antibiotics have been introduced in … Read More

Pussyfooting around land mines may help leopard conservation

Steve Pointing Jan 02, 2015

An intriguing conservation story has emerged in recent weeks from the mountainous region of Kurdistan on the Iran/Iraq border.  This area was disputed during the Iran/Iraq War of the 1980’s and was heavily populated with land mines.  These are an evil and indiscriminate weapon with a legacy that affects civilian populations long after any conflict has ceased.  In Kurdistan however, at … Read More


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