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Second study confirms moa’s rapid extinction caused by early settlers

Laura Goodall posted in on November 10th, 2014.

Even small human populations can wipe out big animal species, according to New Zealand research that suggests the moa extinction happened rapidly and at the hands of a small number of early settlers. The study – led by Canterbury University’s Professor Richard Holdaway and Otago University’s Chris Jacomb – found that there were fewer than 1500 Polynesian settlers in New […]

Looking at Lincoln’s genes

Laura Goodall posted in on October 6th, 2014.

Kim Knight at the Sunday Star Times chats to Kiwi scientist Ann Horsburgh about her role in National Geographic’s US documentary Lincoln’s Secret Killer, which screens on Sky’s History Channel on October 29. Excerpt (full article not available online): When pressed, Dr K. Ann Horsburgh will show you photographs of her Darwin cookies. Perfectly round, and […]

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Chemical warfare nothing new – Allan Blackman

John Kerr posted in on September 16th, 2013.

Associate Professor Allan Blackman, from the University of Otago Chemistry Department, writes about the history of chemical warfare in his regular Otago Daily Times column, ‘Chemistry Matters‘. An excerpt (read in full here): Long history of chemical use in warfare It’s an opportune time to revisit the subject of chemical weapons, something avid readers will […]

Feather DNA analysis unveils cloak origins

John Kerr posted in on May 27th, 2011.

DNA analysis of feather cloaks dating back to 1810 has revealed fascinating insights about historical Maori trade and movement. Scientists from Massey, Auckland and Griffiths Universities, in collaboration with a host of Museums , have carefully analysed the DNA of feathers used in traditional Maori cloaks. Their samples came from 113 cloaks sourced from museums […]

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