Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Q&As

What is AMB-FUBINACA? – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 15th, 2017.

Yesterday, New Zealand Police confirmed 20 deaths linked to synthetic drugs since July. Most of the samples from people who had died, and those seized in raids by police, were found to contain the dangerous chemical AMB-FUBINACA. The SMC prepared this Q&A on what is known about AMB-FUBINACA. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Prof […]

Police confirm synthetic drug causing deaths – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 15th, 2017.

Police have confirmed the dangerous chemical AMB-FUBINACA is present in synthetic drugs linked to 20 deaths in the past few months. In a statement on Thursday, police and the Chief Coroner said the majority of ESR testing had found the chemical AMB-FUBINACA, which has been linked to users being in a ‘zombie-like’ state in the […]

Antimicrobial resistance – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 21st, 2016.

Growing rates of antimicrobial resistance could leave us without effective drugs to treat serious infections – “the end of modern medicine as we know it”, according to the WHO’s Margaret Chan. November 14-18 was World Antibiotic Awareness Week and Dr Siouxsie Wiles at Te Pūnaha Matatini planned an awareness campaign about antimicrobial resistance: InfectedNZ. It was […]

Expert Q&A: Aquifers, groundwater and how contaminations can occur

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 24th, 2016.

A campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North affected an estimated 4000 people, sent dozens to the emergency department and sparked an inquiry into what happened and how well the response was managed. We’ve worked with experts to answer some simple and frequently-asked questions about the water in our aquifers, how it’s linked to surface water, and […]

Influenza A H1N1 in New Zealand – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on March 26th, 2014.

A number of cases of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (commonly dubbed swine flu) have been recently reported in New Zealand. Most recently an outbreak of eight cases in Hawke’s Bay has received widespread coverage. While it is not unusual for the H1N1 strain to be detected in flu cases, experts have noted that it […]

‘Flu hospitalisations higher than expected

John Kerr posted in on November 7th, 2012.

The number of flu cases recorded in Auckland city are higher than would be expected, according to the latest data from an in depth study of influenza in New Zealand. The Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study started last year, and aims to provide closer monitoring of influenza cases in New […]

ESR’s future crime scene technology on Radio NZ

John Kerr posted in on April 13th, 2012.

For Morning Report, Radio New Zealand science reporter Will Hine talked with experts from Crown Research Institute ESR about the futuristic technologies are using for analysing and recording evidence at crime scenes. ESR was just one of the Crown Research Institutes highlighting their research at the Science in the City event at the Cloud in […]

New Zealand scientists to study flu deaths

John Kerr posted in on October 5th, 2011.

Why do some people die from the flu and others don’t? New Zealand researchers have been awarded a grant from the US government to find out. Researchers from Environment Science and research (ESR), the University of Auckland the University of Otago have won a $9 million grant from the Unites States Centers for Disease Control […]

Synthetic cannabis contains chemical cocktails

John Kerr posted in on July 13th, 2011.

Following  the revelation of new data from Environmental Science and Research (ESR) on Monday, the media  have reported widely on what is in synthetic cannabis brands like Kronic, and how this knowledge will change workplace drug testing. On Monday the Science Media Centre hosted a briefing with experts from ESR and the National Poisons Centre […]

Hair samples reveal P lab kids’ long term exposure to methamphetamine

Peter Griffin posted in on February 15th, 2011.

Scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research have been testing hair samples taken from children found in illegal drug laboratories and found 89 per cent of the samples tested positive for methamphetamine. The levels found in the children’s hair are very similar to the levels found in adult methamphetamine users. The age range […]

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