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.

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

Gravitational waves detected from two neutron stars colliding – Expert Reaction

For the first time, scientists have measured the violent death spiral of two dense neutron stars via gravitational waves. This new discovery from the LIGO-Virgo collaboration comes weeks after the detection of gravitational waves won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. The August 17 (US time) event was detected by about 70 ground- and space-based observatories, marking the first […]

October 17th, 2017 Read full Story

Neonicotinoid traces in honey – Expert Reaction

A global study of honey found 75 per cent of samples had traces of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been implicated in the global decline of pollinators, particularly bees. Published today in Science, the research found concentrations of the pesticide were below the amount authorised by the European Union for human consumption. Concentrations were highest in […]

October 6th, 2017 Read full Story

How can we reduce antibiotic use in animals? – Expert Reaction

With the global threat of anti-microbial resistant looming, a team of international agricultural experts are arguing for reduced antibiotic use in animals, as it can lead to drug-resistant infections in both animals and humans.  In a policy forum published today in Science, the researchers propose three actions to curb antibiotic use in animals. First, they […]

September 29th, 2017 Read full Story

Former rugby players suffer arthritis, joint replacements – Expert reaction

Former elite rugby players are at greater risk of osteoarthritis, joint replacement and osteoporosis compared to the rest of the population, according to data from the UK. Comparing 259 former elite male rugby players to other similarly-aged participants of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that the former rugby players were more likely to […]

September 29th, 2017 Read full Story

Volcanic activity in the Pacific Ring of Fire – Expert Reaction

A mass evacuation has been ordered from Vanuatu’s Ambae Island following a volcanic eruption. GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott is heading to Vanuatu on Friday to work with the local GeoHazards Group. He provided some background information on the Vanuatu, Bali and Mexico volcanoes that are currently active. Brad Scott, volcanologist, GNS Science, comments: “The Pacific Rim of […]

September 28th, 2017 Read full Story

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

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