Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre
Expert Reactions:

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

Havelock North Inquiry reports back – Expert reaction

The Havelock North drinking water inquiry has made a number of recommendations to ensure safe drinking water for New Zealanders. The Hawke’s Bay town was struck by a campylobacter outbreak in August 2016, caused by a contaminated drinking water supply, and more than 5000 people became ill. Among its recommendations, the Inquiry suggested universal treatment of […]

December 7th, 2017 Read full Story

Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area – Expert reaction

Sweeping new protections for Antarctica’s Ross Sea will come into effect on Friday 1 December.  After five years of debate, the marine protected area (MPA) was agreed in 2016 after a joint proposal by New Zealand and the United States was unanimously voted in by the 25 members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Over 1.5 […]

November 30th, 2017 Read full Story

Mt Agung eruption – Expert reaction

After months of unrest, Mt Agung on the Indonesian island of Bali is finally erupting. The island was elevated to the highest level of volcanic alert on Monday morning.   Mt Agung has been spewing gas and ash since last week, and over 100,000 residents living near the volcano have been ordered to evacuate from a […]

November 29th, 2017 Read full Story

EU glyphosate licence renewed for five years – Expert Reaction

After 18 months of stalled votes, the EU has voted to renew the license for weedkiller glyphosate for another five years. The current license was due to expire on December 15th. Glyphosate — most commonly known by the Monsanto brand Roundup — is the most commonly used herbicide worldwide. European farmers have argued throughout the […]

November 28th, 2017 Read full Story

Emergency Mobile Alert Test – Expert reaction

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) sent out a nationwide test of their new Emergency Mobile Alert last night at staggered times between 6pm and 7pm. Accompanied by a unique warning sound, the mobile alert was sent to all mobile phones that were on, within target areas, and capable of receiving the alert. In […]

November 27th, 2017 Read full Story

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles – Expert Reaction

New Zealand researchers say older men need more than the recommended daily intake of protein in order to maintain muscle size and strength. A study led by Dr Cameron Mitchell at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute tracked 30 men aged over 70 for ten weeks. They were randomly assigned to two groups – the […]

November 21st, 2017 Read full Story

Media reports of increased earthquakes in 2018 – Expert reaction

A media report from the weekend suggests a link between the Earth’s rotation and an increase in intense earthquakes. The report follows a conference presentation last month by two US researchers who suggest a slowing of Earth’s rotation is correlated with an increase in earthquakes of magnitude 7 or higher. The SMC asked experts to comment on […]

November 20th, 2017 Read full Story

Herbicides linked to antibiotic resistance – Expert reaction

New Zealand researchers have found the active ingredients in commonly-used weed killers can cause bacteria to be less susceptible to antibiotics.  The study builds upon research published in 2015 that found three common herbicides, including Round-up, caused E.coli and Salmonella to become less sensitive to antibiotics. The new research, published in Microbiology, investigated which ingredients were responsible and found it was the […]

November 18th, 2017 Read full Story

Caution urged over gene drives for conservation – Expert reaction

To reach New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 goal, researchers have been considering gene-editing techniques to rid the country of invasive stoats, rats and possums. In a perspective article, published today in PLOS Biology, researchers from New Zealand and the USA explore the repercussions if these pests were inadvertently spread outside our borders. They say that […]

November 17th, 2017 Read full Story

Australia votes ‘yes’ in same-sex marriage poll – Expert Reaction

After months of speculation, the results of the ABS poll on whether Australia should legalise same-sex marriage are in, and the yes vote won. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the results from the postal survey on Wednesday, which showed an overall result of 61.6 per cent ‘yes’ with 79.5 per cent voter turnout. The […]

November 15th, 2017 Read full Story


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