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.

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

Media coverage of HPV vaccine increased reports of adverse events – Expert Reaction

Some of the adverse events reported after the rollout of the HPV vaccine in New Zealand are likely to have been related to news coverage rather than the vaccine itself, according to a new Australian study.  Looking at the past seven years, the researchers found that whenever news coverage spiked, the following month saw the […]

November 15th, 2017 Read full Story

2017 set to be another scorcher – Expert reaction

2017 is set to be in the top three hottest years on record, with record-breaking extreme weather, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) provisional statement on the state of the climate. Released to coincide with the start of the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, the statement said 2017 was set to be […]

November 7th, 2017 Read full Story

$84.6m awarded by Marsden Fund – Expert Reaction

A total of 133 research projects have been funded in the latest round of the Marsden Fund, for a total of $84.6 million – an increase over last year’s $65m. The Fund received a boost in the 2016 Budget of an additional $66m over four years, which allowed more proposals to be funded and increased the success […]

November 2nd, 2017 Read full Story

Research raises question over pesticide residues and IVF success – Expert Reaction

In a study of 325 couples going through fertility treatment, women who ate fruits and veggies with higher pesticide residues tended to have fewer pregnancies and live births after IVF, according to a US study. The authors say their study is the first of its kind in humans and needs to be confirmed by further […]

October 31st, 2017 Read full Story

Human health impacts of climate change – Expert reaction

Climate change will impact human health, both directly – through heat waves and weather events – and indirectly by challenging our mental health, according to a new report from Royal Society Te Apārangi. The third in a series looking at climate change from New Zealand’s perspective, the report also found that climate change would likely […]

October 26th, 2017 Read full Story

Ten year target to boost research & development – Expert reaction

The Labour-New Zealand First coalition will undertake to increase spending on research & development to 2% of GDP over ten years, according to the agreement released yesterday. New Zealand’s level of gross spending on R&D is currently 1.3%, according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), lagging the OECD average of 2.4%. Labour’s own R&D […]

October 25th, 2017 Read full Story

Our atmosphere and climate 2017 – Expert Reaction

The Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ have released an updated report on the state of New Zealand’s atmosphere and climate. The report documents trends in global and local conditions, including a 1°C temperature increase in New Zealand since 1909. Sea levels have risen between 14 and 22 centimetres at four main New Zealand ports […]

October 19th, 2017 Read full Story


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