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Science Alert: Experts Respond:

A round-up of comment from experts on breaking stories and ongoing issues in science and technology.

Science Alert: Experts Respond

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Science Alert: Experts Respond

Earth-like planet around the Sun’s closest neighbour – Expert reaction

Posted in Science Alert: Experts Respond on August 25th, 2016.

UPDATED: A small rocky planet has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the Sun’s closest stellar neighbour, and it may sustain an atmosphere and liquid water that could support life. The discovery of the planet, which is named Proxima b, has a mass about 1.3 times that of the Earth and is just over four light years away, is […]

Continue reading “Earth-like planet around the Sun’s closest neighbour – Expert reaction

Italy quake: comparisons and contrasts with Christchurch – Expert reaction

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck the central Italian town of Amatrice, badly damaging the town and trapping people under rubble. At least six people are reported to have lost their lives so far. Dr Mark Quigley was a researcher and lecturer at the University of Canterbury when the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes struck Christchurch. […]

August 25th, 2016 Read full Story

Havelock North water contamination inquiry – Expert Reaction

A Government Inquiry will examine the water contamination that left an estimated 4000 Havelock North residents ill with gastroenteritis. The draft terms of reference, released yesterday, specify that the inquiry will look at the cause of contamination and response, but also consider practices and recommendations to prevent future occurrences. The SMC gathered comment on the […]

August 23rd, 2016 Read full Story

Keytruda decision hasn’t addressed drug-funding problems – Expert reaction

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world but lags in funding novel drugs that show promise in treating the disease, according to a new study. The study, published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, outlines the clinical information on new melanoma treatments and compares the funding programmes in […]

August 19th, 2016 Read full Story

Price effect of breaking away from Kyoto Protocol – Expert reaction

A new report says the Government would have got better bang for its buck if it had de-linked the emissions trading scheme promptly after announcing it would not sign up to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research released the paper today, outlining the financial consequences of leaving […]

August 16th, 2016 Read full Story

UPDATED: Report points finger at ‘climate cheats’ – Expert Reaction

In its second ‘Climate Cheats’ report, the Morgan Foundation names 12 New Zealand companies that traded in ‘hot air’ carbon credits. The report follows on from Climate Cheats, released in April, which outlined the rise of questionable carbon credits from Russia and Ukraine that New Zealand used to meet climate commitments. The report is available […]

August 15th, 2016 Read full Story

UPDATED: Hawke’s Bay campylobacter outbreak – Expert Reaction

An outbreak of gastroenteritis – likely caused by Campylobacter – has sent at least 20 people to hospital in Hawke’s Bay. Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones has said the majority of people presenting with the illness were affected by Campylobacter, a water-borne bacteria. Dr Jones has told media that animal faeces […]

August 15th, 2016 Read full Story

Expert Q&A: Zika virus and the Rio Olympics

With the Rio Olympics kicking off, the SMC gathered background information on the Zika virus to aid in any reporting during the Games. Here is a Q&A with local experts, please feel free to use any of these comments in your reporting. Professor Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health, University of Otago What are the […]

August 5th, 2016 Read full Story

Assessing prostate cancer risk of death – Experts Respond

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer can be given a more accurate estimate of their risk of death from the disease, according to new research. A UK-based study, published in PLOS Medicine, used routine measurements – including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing – to group men diagnosed with prostate cancer into five levels of risk. The researchers first […]

August 3rd, 2016 Read full Story

Wider access and protection with HPV vaccine funding – Expert reaction

Pharmac will extend funding for HPV vaccine Gardasil to also cover boys and will change the vaccine type to cover more varieties of HPV. Following public consultation, Pharmac announced several changes to the vaccination schedule, including funding the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for boys. HPV can cause several types of cancer, including cervical and throat […]

July 28th, 2016 Read full Story


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