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Expert Reactions

Glaciers drove kiwi diversity – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 30th, 2016.

A new study suggests kiwi are more diverse than previously thought, thanks to ice age glaciations driving evolution into multiple lineages. Researchers based in Canada, in collaboration with Department of Conservation scientists, examined a database of kiwi DNA across the geographic range of the five known kiwi species. They found the five kiwi species divided […]

Cell phone radiation and cancer in rats – Experts reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 30th, 2016.

A new report detailing an increase in tumours in male rats exposed to cell phone radiation has been widely reported in international media. The study, undertaken by the US National Toxicology Program, reports ‘low incidence’ of two types of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats exposed to cell phone radiation. The research […]

Fukushima and NZ: Five years later – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 10th, 2016.

Five years on from the Fukushima meltdown, the SMC asks if we have seen any effects in New Zealand. And have our attitudes towards nuclear power changed? It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world […]

No link found between brain cancer and mobile use

Laura Goodall posted in on February 26th, 2015.

Despite a dramatic increase in the use of mobile phones, there hasn’t been a matching rise in the incidence of brain cancer, reports a new study by scientists at the University of Auckland. The research, which looked at trends in primary brain cancer incidence in New Zealand between 1995 and 2010 from New Zealand’s national cancer […]

WiFi in schools safe – report

John Kerr posted in on March 21st, 2014.

Wifi radiofrequency fields in schools do not pose a health risk to children or staff, with exposures many thousands of times lower than the relevant standard, according to a new report from the Ministry of Health. The report, Snapshot Study: WiFi in Schools, was released by the Ministry on Thursday, and presents the results of […]

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Fukushima water leak – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on August 22nd, 2013.

Radioactive water is leaking from holding tanks at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan . Minor earlier leaks have been reported but this latest breach is believed to be the worst so far, with an estimated 300 metric tons of contaminated water escaping. Our colleagues at the UK SMC collected the following expert […]

Dental x-rays linked to brain cancer – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on April 11th, 2012.

New research has drawn a link between a history dental x-ray imaging and incidence of meningioma, a type of brain tumor — but experts note that advances in x-ray equipment, regulations and the low actual incidence of the disease mean that people should not be worried about the health risks. The new study, published in […]

Fukushima plutonium ‘presents no significant health risk’ – experts

John Kerr posted in on March 9th, 2012.

A new study of contamination at the Fukushima power plant has identified increased amounts of radioactive plutonium in the environment, but experts are stressing that the resulting levels of radiation are very low and pose little risk to human health. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, has identified small amounts of the radioactive […]

Japan’s quake, tsunami one year on – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on March 7th, 2012.

On March 11 last year a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit off the coast of Japan triggering a powerful tsunami. Resulting waves reached heights of 40 metres and pushed a wall of seawater inland as far as 10 km in some regions. The human toll was immense, with over 15,000 people confirmed dead and an additional […]

Explosion at French nuclear reactor – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on September 13th, 2011.

An explosion at a French nuclear reactor has killed one person and injured others, but experts say there is no need for concern regarding radiation leakage. The explosion occurred at the Marcoule nuclear site, in a part of the facility used to melt down metals. No increases in radiation levels have been detected. More information can […]

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