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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

Rat food contamination study questioned – Expert Reaction

Posted in Science Alert: Experts Respond on July 3rd, 2015.

A new study reports that the near-ubiquitous contamination of  ‘chow’ used to feed rats in experiments maybe causing spurious results in toxicology studies. However independent experts say the results may in fact show the opposite –  that there is no cause for concern. The study, published today in PLOS ONE, examined GMO content and the […]

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R&D funding doesn’t always equal innovation – Expert reaction

Does throwing more money into business R&D always create innovative new products and services? New research suggests the picture is more complex. Two separate papers, launched this week by economic and public policy institute Motu and the New Zealand Productivity Commission, examine the links between research and development (R&D) spending and the creation of new […]

June 30th, 2015 Read full Story

Sperm banking for young men – Expert reaction

A bioethicist’s call for young men to freeze their sperm for future use has received a chilly reception from independent experts. Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Dr Kevin Smith, from Abertay University in Dundee, suggested state-sponsored sperm-banking as way of avoiding the complications of older fatherhood. Younger men could freeze their healthier sperm […]

June 26th, 2015 Read full Story

Antarctic biodiversity needs protection – Expert reaction

Antarctica is teeming with life, but that life needs protection, say the authors of a new review published in Nature. Recent research has revealed that the variety of life in the seemingly inhospitable Antarctic is much greater than previously thought. However the review authors – including a New Zealander – warn that without adequate protection, […]

June 25th, 2015 Read full Story

NZ Sea Lion now ‘Endangered’ – Expert reaction

The status of the New Zealand Sea Lion has moved from ‘Vulnerable’ to the more serious ‘Endangered’ category in the latest update of the IUCN’s Red List. The Red List, maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is considered the definitive international standard for species extinction risk, covering 77,340 species. The latest […]

June 23rd, 2015 Read full Story

Climate change a ‘medical emergency’ – Expert reaction

Climate change threatens to unravel the last 50 years of health gains, but also presents an opportunity to boost global health, say the authors of a new report. The comments come from the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, a group formed to map out the impacts of climate change, and the necessary […]

June 23rd, 2015 Read full Story

The Pope on climate change – Expert reaction

Pope Francis has made clear his views on the environment in a new announcement, recognising human activity as driver of climate change and calling on the Earth’s citizens to change their lifestyles to save the planet. The Pope laid out his comments in an encyclical – a kind of papal open letter – addressing “every […]

June 19th, 2015 Read full Story

Parkinson’s treatment trial completed

New Zealand company Living Cell Technologies (LCT) have released the results of a small trial of a new Parkinson’s Disease treatment, indicating that their procedure is safe and may improve symptoms. The company’s NTCELL product is based the around implantation of cells derived from pig brain tissue, which help to support neurological function. The results […]

June 18th, 2015 Read full Story

UPDATED: Should pure ‘ecstasy’ be regulated? – Expert reaction

Wellington emergency medicine doctor Paul Quigley has made a public call for pure MDMA to be considered for legal sale. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is the active ingredient in ecstasy pills, although, as Dr Quigley notes, now such pills often contain other psychoactive drugs. Dr Quigley’s comments, initially reported in the New Zealand Drug Foundation magazine Matters […]

June 18th, 2015 Read full Story

Chocolate linked to lower heart attack and stroke risk – Expert reaction

A large new study has added weight to claims that there are cardiovascular benefits to eating chocolate. But – before you go on that chocolate binge – independent experts say more research is needed to clarify the link. Eating up to 100 g of chocolate every day is associated with lowered heart disease and stroke […]

June 16th, 2015 Read full Story


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