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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 report criticises e-cigarettes – experts respond

Posted in Science Alert: Experts Respond on August 27th, 2014.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report looking at electronic cigarettes and how they should be globally regulated. The report recommended restrictions should be placed on the marketing of the devices, their sale to minors and indoor use. In addition, it points out that there is evidence showing that e-cigarette aerosol is not merely “water […]

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Bárðarbunga volcano – experts respond

Locals and holidaymakers have been evacuated from areas near the Icelandic volcano Bárðarbunga, which has been threatening to erupt for the last few days. Although Bárðarbunga (Bardarbunga) isn’t spewing magma or ash yet, scientists are concerned about what Iceland’s Meteorological Office describes as an ‘intense seismic swarm’, where they recorded some 2,600 earthquakes over the weekend and detected the strongest earthquake since 1996 on Monday morning. Previously, […]

August 21st, 2014 Read full Story

Superbug control measures questioned

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbug control policies in hospitals, according to leading infectious disease experts in a Viewpoint published in The Lancet. In particular, screening and isolating infected patients—which have long been regarded as the gold standard MRSA prevention strategy and are required by law in […]

August 21st, 2014 Read full Story

Antibiotics and heart deaths – experts respond

One of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics – clarithromycin – is linked with an increased risk of heart deaths, suggests a new study published in the BMJ. The researchers looked at over 5 million treatment courses among Danish adults aged 40-74 years from 1997 to 2011 and found that clarithromycin is linked with a 76 per cent […]

August 20th, 2014 Read full Story

Ebola screening at NZ airports – experts respond

Screening of at-risk passengers will begin at airports as part of increased efforts to prevent Ebola reaching New Zealand undetected, the Ministry of Health has announced. The Ministry of Health website cautions: “The risk of a traveller arriving in New Zealand with Ebola virus disease (EVD) remains very low. “However, travellers arriving in New Zealand […]

August 11th, 2014 Read full Story

Experimental Ebola treatments – experts respond

The recent treatment of  two Ebola-infected US aid workers with experimental medicine has raised questions about whether medicines not proven to be safe in people should be used in the outbreak and who should be given priority for treatment. Currently there are no registered medicines or vaccines against the virus, only several experimental options that are still under development. Next week, […]

August 7th, 2014 Read full Story

Oral contraceptive and breast cancer – experts respond

Women taking contemporary high-oestrogen birth control pills, and a few other formulations, are at an increased risk of breast cancer, suggests new research. The study also found that oral contraceptives with low doses of oestrogen did not increase users’ risk of developing breast cancer. While previous studies have already found a link between birth control pills and breast cancer risk, […]

August 1st, 2014 Read full Story

UPDATED: Increasing concern over Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Is New Zealand prepared for Ebola? The growing number of Ebola virus disease cases in West Africa has made the current outbreak the largest ever recorded, and the risk of infection spreading by air travel has never been higher. The latest update from World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that as of 27 July 2014, the […]

July 31st, 2014 Read full Story

Beef a costly meat – experts respond

The environmental burdens imposed by beef production far exceed the burdens imposed by other types of livestock and plant staples, according to a US study. Comparing how much feed and therefore land, water and fertiliser was required in US production, dairy, poultry, pork and eggs were quite similar, but beef required 28 times more land, […]

July 22nd, 2014 Read full Story

Leading HIV researchers among plane crash victims – experts respond

As many as 108 HIV/AIDs researchers, scientists, health officials and activists are feared to be among the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which crashed in east Ukraine earlier this week after allegedly being shot down by pro-Russian separatist rebels. The AIDs researchers were on their way to the 2014 International Aids Conference being held in […]

July 19th, 2014 Read full Story


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