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Shaky start for Copenhagen

Week one of the COP15 climate change talks passed in a blur of press conference and closed door meetings while the airing of the Danish text revealed the extent of the work ahead of diplomatics in coming up with a Kyoto successor that will appeal to developing countries.

Meanwhile, the tiny island nation of Tuvalu came to symbolise the plight of those countries that will be hit first and worst by the effects of climate change and New Zealand collected a dubious honour.

New Zealand’s presence at COP15 has been low-key so far. That will change slightly next week as the New Zealand delegation gets an opportunity to address the conference and Prime Minister John Key arrives.

The SMC is providing daily updates on events at Copenhagen. Contact the SMC to be put on the distribution list.

NZ media on the case

The Press reporter David Williams is filing stories across the Fairfax network and featuring on Radio new Zealand s Morning Report. He’s also blogging here. TV3’s Samantha Hayes is en route to Copenhagen and TV3 has set up a COP15 coverage centre with links to a blog and Twitter feed from Hayes. The New Zealand Herald’s Eloise Gibson is also on her way to COP15 and the Herald has a climate change section set up here.

Animal-human transplants OKed

Auckland-based Pig cell therapy pioneer Living Cell Technologies looks set to expand its trials across the Tasman in the near future, following a move by the Australian Government to lift a ban on animal to human tissue transplants.

LCT’s Professor Bob Elliot told NZPA last night that “…some trials of its implants for type-1 diabetics may be tested in Australia when the company needs multi-site clinical trials. And eventually, the company might establish a quarantine colony of the pigs it breeds to slaughter for tissues that can be implanted in human patients.”

The AusSMC wrapped up reaction from scientists in Australia to the news of the five year ban being lifted.

A snapshot of the science system

graphThe Ministry of Research, Science and Technology has published its “scorecard” for science in New Zealand.

A plethora of graphs chart our progress in everything from spending on R&D to migration patterns among scientists to spending in the science system by research category.

Sciblogger Dr Shaun Hendy has analysed some of the data here.