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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

Who to kill? The dilemma of driverless cars – Expert reaction

Posted in Science Alert: Experts Respond on June 24th, 2016.

Driverless cars hold the promise of safer transport. But how should they react when loss of life appears inevitable? Should a car swerve to miss a pedestrian on the road, even if doing so would kill the passenger? What if it was two people on the road? Or ten people? New US research, published in […]

Continue reading “Who to kill? The dilemma of driverless cars – Expert reaction

Little impact from 90-day hiring law – Expert reaction

Laws introducing a 90-day trial period for newly hired employees have had little impact on the labour market, finds new research. An economic analysis of employee and hiring data from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust has shown that the policy has led to little change in employment rates or employee mobility. The trial […]

June 17th, 2016 Read full Story

‘Very hot’ drinks probably cause cancer, coffee redeemed – Expert reaction

The World Health Organization’s cancer agency has found no conclusive evidence that coffee causes cancer but that drinking very hot drinks (65 °C or above) probably causes cancer of the oesophagus. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said the finding suggests that it is the temperature of drinks rather than the drinks themselves […]

June 16th, 2016 Read full Story

Unstable countries a biosecurity threat – Expert reaction

New Zealand could dramatically reduce outbreaks of invasive species if it selectively chose its international trade partners, suggests new research. Reviewing almost 50,000 exotic species border interceptions from the last 10 years, Victoria University researchers have identified the types of countries most likely to be a source of imported exotic invaders. Read more about the […]

June 15th, 2016 Read full Story

Lifestyle factors drive global stroke cost – Expert reaction

Over 90 percent of the death and disability caused by stroke is linked to modifiable risk factors, finds a new global study lead by a Kiwi. The authors of the new research, published in The Lancet Neurology, say that taxation could be the key to lowering these risk factors and decreasing the global burden of […]

June 10th, 2016 Read full Story

Increasing deceased organ donation rates – Expert reaction

The government has released a discussion document outlining plans to boost New Zealand’s comparatively low rate of deceased organ donation. According to the Ministry of Health, demand for transplants in New Zealand, particularly kidneys, continues to rise while our rate of deceased organ donation remains low at 11.8 donors per million population in 2015. The […]

June 10th, 2016 Read full Story

Nanotechnology in food reports – Expert reaction

Nanomaterials currently used in food additives and packaging do not appear to pose a health risk but we will need to keep an eye on newer materials in the pipeline, reports Trans-tasman food regulator. FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) has released two reports reviewing the evidence for the safety of nanotechnologies in food packaging and […]

June 2nd, 2016 Read full Story

Smoking on NZ television – Expert reaction

It might be time to consider an ‘R’ rating for TV shows that depict smoking, say the authors of research showing there has been little change in smoking on our screens over the past decade A new study reports the total number of scenes featuring tobacco on prime-time, free-to-air NZ television across one week and […]

June 1st, 2016 Read full Story

Cell phone radiation and cancer in rats – Experts reaction

A new report detailing an increase in tumours in male rats exposed to cell phone radiation has been widely reported in international media. The study, undertaken by the US National Toxicology Program, reports ‘low incidence’ of two types of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats exposed to cell phone radiation. The research […]

May 30th, 2016 Read full Story

WHO backs Olympics despite Zika letter – Expert reaction

An open letter signed by almost 200 health researchers calls on the International Olympic Committee and World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on account of the risk posed by the Zika virus. The authors write: “WHO’s declaration of Zika as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” coupled with new […]

May 30th, 2016 Read full Story


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