Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 5 days ago

New blog articles detected

  • Will NZ’s future energy be clean? – Expert Q&A

    Approximately 80 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources. But is this the full picture behind NZ’s clean and green reputation?  This week the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability releases ten policy briefs from its Energy Cultures research. The SMC asked experts how New Zealand’s energy usage compares to the […]

  • Invasive species on the march – In the News

    Somewhere out in the world, there are two new pest incursions a day, according to new research showing that efforts to prevent pests, weeds and diseases have not kept up with the pace of globalisation.  An international team of scientists, whose findings were published overnight in Nature Communications, found that the number of invasive species […]

  • Get Science Media SAVVY with our video workshops and webinar

    The Science Media Centre will in March offer workshops in Auckland and Wellington and an open-access webinar on making short videos to communicate research. These Science Media SAVVY workshops focus on giving scientists the tools and skills to communicate their research in 90 second videos aimed at an online audience and leveraging platforms like Youtube […]

  • Dads can get postnatal depression too – In the News

    Dads can get pre- and post-natal depression too, according to data from a New Zealand longitudinal study. Research from the University of Auckland’s Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study, published today in JAMA Psychiatry, found about one in 25 of the men studied reported symptoms of postnatal depression and on in 50 reported antenatal […]

  • Highly flammable vegetation helps fuel Port Hills fire – Expert Reaction

    Firefighters have been battling fires on Christchurch’s Port Hills since Monday evening. Hundreds of hectares of scrub and vegetation have been burnt and nearby residents have been evacuated. The Science Media Centre asked experts about the conditions fuelling the fire. Feel free to use the comments below in your reports. Professor George Perry, Professor of […]

  • Pharmacists to provide over-the-counter contraceptive pill – In the News

    Medsafe has approved a change of classification to some oral contraceptives which will allow pharmacists to provide the pill to women under certain circumstances. Under the change, trained pharmacists will be able to dispense up to a six-month supply of certain oral contraceptives to women who have had them prescribed by their doctor in the […]

  • Rabbit virus might be released in Otago – In the News

    The Otago Regional Council has approved funding for the potential release of a virus to target the region’s rabbits. Update: The EPA has decided that the new product does not require regulation under the HSNO Act. The K5 virus is a variant of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHFV1) strain already in New Zealand. The virus […]

  • Why NZ’s glaciers had unusual growth – Expert Reaction

    An unusual period where some of New Zealand’s glaciers grew bigger, despite a trend of shrinking glaciers worldwide, was due to a series of unusually cold years, according to new research. At least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, with Franz Josef Glacier advancing almost continuously during this time. It has been […]

  • Scramble following mass whale stranding – In the News

    Rescuers were out at first light this morning attempting to rescue pilot whales after a mass stranding of over 400 animals on Farewell Spit. Department of Conservation (DOC) Golden Bay operations manager Andrew Lamason told media that whales were reported to be “milling about” the spit on Thursday night. The mass stranding, estimated as 416 animals, […]

  • Science in crises – some communications dos and don’ts

    This week I had the pleasure of attending part of a University of Otago symposium on infectious diseases and gave a short talk on the role the media can play in communicating risk and uncertainty in times of crisis. It was a fascinating afternoon, capped off with an excellent public lecture by visiting expert Professor […]

Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 1 week ago

New blog articles detected

  • No more minister approval for medicinal cannabis – In the News

    Patients seeking medicinal cannabis for pain relief will no longer need the approval of a minister, but instead will go to the Ministry of Health. The announcement was made this morning by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne following a heavy hint yesterday by Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman that a relaxation of the protocol was imminent. The […]

  • Little exercise but lots of screen time for kids with weight issues – In the News

    A new study from the University of Auckland-based Liggins Institute has found that children and teenagers struggling with weight issues had low physical activity levels but high screen time. The collaboration with Taranaki District Health Board and Sport Taranaki studied 239 children aged 4-16 who were enrolled in a 12-month intervention programme. All participants had body […]

  • UPDATED: Change to approval for medicinal cannabis – Expert Reaction

    UPDATED with new comments. Patients seeking medicinal cannabis will no longer need the approval of a minister, but instead will go to the Ministry of Health. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced the change this morning, saying he was confident the ministry could take over now that firmer guidelines are in place for making decisions on […]

Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 2 weeks ago

New blog articles detected

  • Australian ban on nicotine e-cigarettes to remain – Expert Reaction

    Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced it will keep its current ban on the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. The reasons for the decision [see pages 71-84] include the risk that any change could re-normalise smoking and concern about a lack of evidence regarding the safety of long-term nicotine exposure through e-cigarettes. The Australian Science Media […]

  • Tests reveal possible source of water contamination – In the News

    As the inquiry into last year’s Havelock North water contamination continues, attention has turned to a defective bore as a possible culprit of the contamination. A campylobacter outbreak in August 2016 struck a third of the Hawke’s Bay town following contamination of the water supply. A Government inquiry is underway, with hearings in Hastings kicking […]

  • HPV vaccine now funded for boys – Expert Q&A

    As students head back to school this week, boys, as well as girls, will have funded access to the HPV vaccine Gardasil. The rollout follows Pharmac’s decision last year to extend the vaccine programme. Though Gardasil is commonly known to protect against cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) also causes other cancers in both men and women. […]

  • Why scientists need to go to the barricades against Trump – and for the humanities – Nicola Gaston

    University of Auckland’s Associate Professor Nicola Gaston writes on The Spinoff about why scientists need to stand against anti-science agendas and for the humanities. An excerpt (read in full): Very few of the Trump regime’s attacks on science have not been previously signalled – I spoke about one example, the proposal to prevent scientists from […]

  • Water inquiry resumes – In the News

    An inquiry examining the Havelock North water contamination that left more than 5000 people ill will begin hearing from witnesses today. The campylobacter outbreak in August 2016 affected a third of the Hawke’s Bay town when the water supply was contaminated with suspected animal faeces. Twenty people were hospitalised and two people died during the […]

  • Wanted: proof of life for South Island kōkako – In the News

    Whether the South Island kōkako is extinct or still lingering in remote South Island forests has been a fierce debate among bird enthusiasts. Now a charity is offering a $5000 reward for anyone who can deliver proof that the bird still exists. The South Island kōkako, Callaeas cinerea, used to occupy South Island forests but […]

  • 12-month deadline to strengthen earthquake-prone buildings -In the News

    The Government will put up $3 million to strengthen unreinforced masonry on earthquake-prone buildings in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Marlborough following the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake. Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced the fund on Wednesday, which would force the owners of about 300 buildings to strengthen unreinforced facades and parapets within 12 months. At […]

  • NZ science’s own ‘Hidden Figures’ – In the News

    With the release of the film Hidden Figures – recounting the story of a team of African-American women who helped NASA launch its first successful space missions – NZ Herald science reporter Jamie Morton talked to Pauline Harris and Nicola Gaston about diversity in science. Victoria University of Wellington astrophysicist Dr Pauline Harris said while […]

  • Micro-response to major problem – Michelle Dickinson

    A proposal to ban microbeads from cosmetics is a positive step, but the problem pales in comparison to the harm caused by plastics from bags, bottles and food packaging, writes Dr Michelle Dickinson in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): Our proposed law change is a positive step. It is important to note […]

  • Can Bill English pick up the pace on scientific investment? – Jeff Tallon

    Science was ignited as the fuel of economic growth, but the fame has gone out, writes Professor Jeff Tallon, physicist with The MacDiarmid Institute, in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): And it is inescapable, the Government needs to invest here much more heavily. We need to fund strategies, not projects. Where is […]

Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 4 months ago

New blog articles detected

  • Study finds more adverse outcomes for midwife-led pregnancies – In the News

    New research from the University of Otago has found an excess of adverse outcomes for midwife-led compared to medically-led deliveries. The five-year study, published in PLOS Medicine, found mothers with medical-led care had lower odds of some adverse outcomes for their children, including oxygen deprivation, neonatal encephalopathy and a low Apgar score. New Zealand College […]

  • UPDATED: World’s first ‘three-parent’ baby – Expert Reaction

    News broke overnight that a baby born in April was the result of a new technique using DNA from three people. The Jordanian parents contacted researchers at New York’s New Hope Fertility Center after discovering the mother had a rare mitochondrial disease – Leigh syndrome – which she had passed on to two children, both […]

  • Prepare for takeoff: rocket launch site opens – In the News

    New Zealand’s first orbital launch site has been opened on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. Los Angeles company Rocket Lab plans to start launching from Mahia later this year, with commercial payloads added from next year. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce hoped Rocket Lab would be the catalyst for other space-related […]

  • Hikurangi ‘Megathrust’ potential to be studied – In the News

    GNS Science will lead a multi-million dollar study investigating the Hikurangi subduction zone and what danger it might pose to New Zealand. NZ Herald science reporter Jamie Morton highlighted the study, which has received $6.5 million in funding from the Government’s Endeavour Fund. The scientists will examine the Hikurangi subduction zone, where the Pacific tectonic plate […]

  • Welcome to the age of the Anthropocene – Tim Naish

    Is the “Anthropocene” an exercise in geological bureaucracy or something socially more significant – Victoria University’s Professor Tim Naish writes in Fairfax’s science page – Catalyst. An excerpt (read in full): Welcome to the age of the “Anthropocene”. This is to be known as the period of geological history in which human activities left an […]

  • 120 rats with 25 traps – In the News

    A New Zealand-made self-resetting rat and possum trap has garnered more praise after a student’s research project tested its efficiency against traditional traps. Bay of Plenty Polytechnic student Chantal Lilas tested out Wellington-based company Goodnature’s self-resetting trap over a 10-day period in Taneatua Forest, Bay of Plenty. She set up 25 of the self-resetting traps […]

  • UN brings the battle to superbugs – Expert Reaction

    After a high-level meeting yesterday, all 193 United Nations member states have pledged to work together to tackle superbugs – disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that have developed resistance to drugs. It was only the fourth time the UN held a high-level meeting on infectious diseases. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined the number of […]

Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 5 months ago

New blog articles detected

  • UPDATED: National cat management strategy launches – Expert reaction

    Animal welfare and conservation groups will jointly launch a plan for cats, addressing impacts on wildlife and cat owners. The National Cat Management Strategy calls for nationwide mandatory microchipping and desexing of domestic cats when ownership is transferred as part of an increased focus on responsible pet ownership. It also proposes ways to manage stray […]

  • Flu project reveals “large invisible iceberg” of disease

    Preliminary findings from a multi-million dollar, five-year international flu study reveal the extent to which people are infected by influenza viruses. The new data, generated from the Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study shows that about one in five people were infected with influenza, with even higher numbers for young […]

  • Stronger regulations needed for loose tobacco – In the News

    University of Otago public health researchers are calling on policy makers to develop stronger regulation of loose tobacco to curb the growing popularity of the cheaper option among New Zealand’s young adults. Their research, published in Tobacco Control, found young adults who used roll-your-own tobacco associated the product with being more natural and less harmful. ASPIRE2025 co-director […]

  • Obese children at risk of serious illness – In the News

    Researchers at the University of Auckland studying obese Kiwi kids have found early warning signs that the children are at risk of developing serious problems like type-2 diabetes, heart and liver disease. Over 200 Taranaki children and teenagers took part in a 12-month intervention programme involving home visits from a health professional. At the start […]

  • Conservation in the Anthropocene Age – David Hall

    There are shadows hanging over Conservation Week, writes policy researcher David Hall, the biggest one caused by the scale of humanity’s effect on the natural world. An excerpt (read in full): Last month the Anthropocene Working Group voted to acknowledge that a new geological epoch began around the time of ‘the Great Acceleration’ in the […]

Science Media Centre of New Zealand

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 5 months ago

New blog articles detected

  • Excess sugar harmful and hard to avoid – In the News

    It is difficult to work out how much sugar is added to food and drinks, and therefore excess sugar is difficult to avoid despite being harmful to health, according to a report from the Royal Society. Released today, the factsheet summarises evidence on the role of sugar in health, especially in relation to diseases such […]

  • Changes to cervical cancer screening – Expert Reaction

    From 2018, women will begin cervical screening at age 25 – instead of 20 – based on evidence that suggests screening younger women does more harm than good. The Ministry of Health announced the change today, with clinical director of the National Screening Unit Dr Jane O’Hallahan saying the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes more than 90 […]

  • Do e-cigs help smokers quit? – Expert Reaction

    Two new reports suggest using e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, including a Cochrane Collaboration review that included a New Zealand study. A study published in the British Medical Journal this morning suggests the growth in the use of e-cigarettes in England has been associated with a higher rate of successful attempts to quit smoking. A […]

  • What’s the future of recreational fishing? – In the News

    A new report from the New Zealand Initiative – the first of three – suggests recreational fishers might face greater restrictions unless fisheries are better managed. Report author Dr Randall Bess said with a growing population, the relaxed fishing rights Kiwis currently enjoy might not be sustainable in the future. More information about the report […]

  • Link between earthquakes and tides? – Expert reaction

    Japanese researchers say they have found a link between high tide and large earthquakes, which could indicate a greater likelihood of earthquakes following the new or full moon. The researchers reconstructed the size of tidal stress from the two weeks prior to earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 or higher over the past 20 years and say large […]

  • Call to arms to avert climate change losses – In the News

    A group of international scientists – including a New Zealander – is calling for a global effort to help predict how climate change will affect species. While sophisticated mathematical models can help scientists forecast outcomes under climate change, they’re only as good as the data that goes into the models, the researchers wrote in Science. […]

  • Myths no help to struggling sea lions – Jim Roberts

    Myths about sea lions, sparked by a consultation paper out for public comment, are counterproductive to the conservation of the species, writes Niwa fisheries scientist Dr Jim Roberts. An excerpt (read in full…) Myth – NZ sea lions mainly eat squid Southern arrow squid make up less than one-fifth of their diet. Furthermore, survival and […]

  • Promising steps toward gonorrhoea vaccine – In the News

    Researchers at the University of Auckland have found a vaccine used to protect Kiwis against Meningococcal B also provides some protection against gonorrhoea. Lead researcher Dr Helen Petousis-Harris presented the findings at a conference in England over the weekend. Though gonorrhoea is a major public health challenge, there has been little progress in developing a vaccine. […]

  • Science shines at awards

    Four scientists were honoured on Thursday at an awards ceremony that also recognised one of New Zealand’s historic science stars.  The New Zealand Association of Scientists held its awards ceremony in Wellington on Thursday night, recognising long-term fundamental science with significant value for New Zealand. The awards this year included the Beatrice Hill Tinsley Medal, […]

  • Call for tighter rules on advertising food to kids – In the News

    Researchers at the University of Auckland say New Zealand should adopt stricter criteria to stop the advertising of unhealthy foods to children. Writing in the New Zealand Medical Journal, published today, the Auckland researchers compared three accepted nutrient profiling systems and found the World Health Organization Europe’s model was the most effective at protecting children […]

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