Pointing At Science

Sweat powered batteries

Steve Pointing Aug 14, 2014

The idea of human-powered batteries has been with us for a while, and several piezoelectric devices are available (these use human motion to generate and store electricity). A radical new idea was unveiled by University of California researchers at the... Read More

New Zealand science goes naked !

Steve Pointing Aug 12, 2014

This weekend saw the hugely popular "Naked Scientists" team expose themselves to a New Zealand audience.  The BBC's Dr Chris Smith and Radio New Zealand's Simon Morton hosted a live radio show and webcast from AUT university in Auckland - featurin... Read More

Antarctic “quacking” mystery solved

Steve Pointing Aug 11, 2014

The most common sound in the southern ocean during the Austral winter is a bizarre repetitive quacking sound - recorded by submariners since the 1960's and nick-named "bio-duck".  Finally the mystery has been solved and the Minke Whale is the culp... Read More

World Science Week is here

Steve Pointing Aug 05, 2014

Button up your lab coat because the 24-30th August 2014 isWORLD SCIENCE WEEK in New Zealand!This is an initiative by the Royal Society New Zealand and Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.  Activities and events will be jointly hosted ... Read More

Mars Rover takes birthday “selfie”

Steve Pointing Aug 05, 2014

The awesome Curiosity rover celebrates it's second birthday on Mars this week.  The Mini Cooper-sized rover touched down on 6th August 2012 and represents a massive leap in ambition for NASA, dwarfing their earlier rovers in both size and technolo... Read More

Palau leads the way in marine stewardship

Steve Pointing Aug 02, 2014

Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. has recently been vociferous in calling on the UN to implement a Sustainable Development Goals programme.  The proposal has three parts:  Healthy oceans,  Restoration of fish stocks, Bringing equity to the resources being taken from the oceans.Mr Remengesau Jr. has put his presidency where his mouth is - … Read More

AENZ students run conservation workshop in Fiji

Steve Pointing Jul 29, 2014

Earlier this month, Rebecca Jarvis and Steph Borrelle were sponsored to attend the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Fiji 2014 conference, run by SCB's Oceania chapter at the University of South Pacific (www.scbo2014.usp.ac.fj).They ran a workshop called 'Bridging the research-implementation gap’ which brought together researchers and practitioners from across the Pacific region to identify and where they sit … Read More

Trees are lifesavers

Steve Pointing Jul 28, 2014

Most people are aware of the importance of trees to climate change - they fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and so mitigate the emissions of us evil humans.  Now a new study reveals that trees also directly save human lives.  The USDA ex... Read More

Plastic ocean killing marine life

Steve Pointing Jul 20, 2014

The inundation of our oceans with plastics is yielding more and more signs that catastrophic shifts in tolerance may be very close.  Floating plastic islands, tragic images of seabirds bloated with ingested plastic - and now the depressing news th... Read More

Could Planet of the Apes become a reality?

Steve Pointing Jul 15, 2014

The latest instalment of the Planet of the Apes franchise (Dawn of Planet of the Apes) has hit New Zealand's cinemas, and this prompted me to think of whether science could really envisage the rise of the apes over mankind.  A quick trawl through some recent science publications provides interesting insight on three big question related to this:Could apes become … Read More