Science Media Centre

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Expert Reactions:

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

HPV screening for cervical cancer – Expert Reaction

An Australian study has found that human papillomavirus (HPV) testing detects a higher number of precancerous cervical lesions than traditional Pap smears. Many countries are considering switching from the classic Pap smear to HPV testing for cervical cancer screening. From 2018, New Zealand’s National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) will change the first step in the screening […]

September 20th, 2017 Read full Story

Cassini’s grand finale nears – Expert Reaction

After a 20 year mission, NASA’s spacecraft Cassini will meet its demise this week by plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere and burning up. With propellant running low, NASA scientists are concerned that the probe might accidentally crash into one of Saturn’s nearby moons, which could contaminate it with Earthling bacteria stuck to the spacecraft. Instead, the […]

September 13th, 2017 Read full Story

Alcohol industry misleads public on cancer link – Expert Reaction

A UK study has found that alcohol industry groups misrepresent the alcohol-related risk of cancer in public information. By surveying websites and documents from 27 alcohol industry organisations, including Australia’s Drinkwise, the researchers found denial and misrepresentation of the cancer risk from consuming alcohol, and distraction from the effects of alcohol on common cancers like […]

September 8th, 2017 Read full Story

Hurricane Irma – Expert Reaction

With three hurricanes currently tracking through the Atlantic, experts are watching Hurricane Irma, which is being called one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record. The hurricane has reached the Caribbean islands and may track toward Florida by the weekend.   The UK SMC gathered expert commentary on Hurricane Irma. Please feel free to […]

September 7th, 2017 Read full Story

High carb diet linked to poorer health – Expert Reaction

People with high carb diets are more likely to have poor health than people with high fat diets, according to an international study of over 135,000 people from 18 countries. The study suggested that diets high in carbohydrates were associated with a higher risk of death, compared to a low-carb diet, while high fat intake […]

August 30th, 2017 Read full Story

Hurricane Harvey – Expert Reaction

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the USA on August 26 as a category 4 storm, and has caused extensive flooding across Texas, leaving at least 11 people dead. The UK SMC gathered expert reaction to the storm, the first major hurricane of the US hurricane season. Please feel free to use these comments in your […]

August 30th, 2017 Read full Story

Low Vitamin C speeds up leukaemia in mice – Expert Reaction

US researchers have uncovered a reason why low vitamin C may speed up the development of leukaemia in mice.  Unlike humans, mice can make vitamin C in their bodies, but the researchers genetically engineered mice so they couldn’t any longer — making them reliant on vitamin C from food. These mice had higher rates of […]

August 22nd, 2017 Read full Story

Seabed mining in Taranaki — Expert Reaction

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Authority released its decision to allow Trans Tasman Resources Limited (TTRL) to mine iron ore sand offshore in the Taranaki bight. The decision-making committee was split 2:2, with chairman Alick Shaw making the casting vote to approve the application which allows TTRL to extract 50 million tonnes from the seabed off Patea and […]

August 11th, 2017 Read full Story

Kauri dieback in the Waitakere Ranges — Expert Reaction

Auckland Council yesterday released a report stating that infection rates of kauri with dieback disease in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park have more than doubled in the last five years. The report shows that the number of kauri within the park has risen from 7.9% in 2011 (with a further 2.7% possibly infected) to 19.0% infected […]

August 10th, 2017 Read full Story

CRISPR used to edit embryos — Expert Reaction

After much speculation last week, US scientists have published a study in Nature in which they used CRISPR to edit human embryos, removing a mutation linked to a heritable heart condition. The researchers say more than 10,000 heritable disorders controlled by a single gene have been identified, and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing provides a potential method to […]

August 3rd, 2017 Read full Story

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