Tag Archives: New Scientist

Long-legged Arachnids Go to Battle

Long-legged Arachnids Go to Battle

Entomologists from the University of Auckland have found that harvestmen, Pantopsalis cheliferoides, which live in the wet forests of the North Island, are the first animals found to have different types of weapon in…

Lords of Lightning Electrify Newcastle Skies

Lords of Lightning Electrify Newcastle Skies

New Zealand electrician Carlos Van Camp will brighten the skies over the River Tyne in Newcastle with man-made lightning strikes as part of the Great North Run event. The Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony…

Evidence of Genetic Basis to Sense of Smell

Evidence of Genetic Basis to Sense of Smell

After testing some 200 volunteers in Auckland, Richard Newcomb of the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research (PFR) and his colleagues have found the most convincing evidence yet of a…

World-first Drug Legislation in the Pipeline

World-first Drug Legislation in the Pipeline

Under proposed laws, New Zealand will permit the limited sale of some designer drugs for recreational purpose; the legislation is the first in the world to regulate new recreational drugs based on scientific evidence…

Fighting Flu In South Asia

Fighting Flu In South Asia

Massey University has received $5 million from the World Bank to develop an on-line project which will fight animal-borne diseases that can transmit to humans, such as bird flu and rabies, in South Asia….

Alien Disappearance

Alien Disappearance

Without any human intervention, the Argentine ant — the world’s most invasive species — is disappearing from New Zealand. The alien ant arrived in New Zealand in 1990 and has since marched across our…

Living Fossil Bewitches

Living Fossil Bewitches

Te Papa scientist Vincent Zintzen and colleagues have been studying the hunting behaviour of the hagfish — or snot-eel — a blind sea creature partway between fish and worm, with a spinal cord but…

Dealing to Manure

Dealing to Manure

New Zealand has approved the release of 11 Australian species to manage a massive heap of livestock dung. Manure accounts for around 14 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions of nitrous oxide, a powerful…

Who is the Typical Kiwi?

Who is the Typical Kiwi?

An international study on cultural stereotypes, led by the US National Institutes of Health, has concluded that there is no relation between supposed cultural characteristics and the actual traits identified in real…

Who is the Typical Kiwi?

Who is the Typical Kiwi?

An international study on cultural stereotypes, led by the US National Institutes of Health, has concluded that there is no relation between supposed cultural characteristics and the actual traits identified in real people. “People…

Surf’s Up

Surf’s Up

The powerful, curling waves that draw surfers to beaches will soon be breaking inland, thanks to a novel shape-shifting rubber reef that can be fitted to the floor of a swimming pool. The Versareef,…

A Step in the Right Direction

A Step in the Right Direction

Hamilton inventor and former chemical engineer, Brian Goggin, is seeking patents in NZ, the US, Japan, and Europe for a reinforced metal fuel tank which vents hydrogen gas safely in the event of an accident. The innovation…

Moa, Moa and More Moa

Moa, Moa and More Moa

New scientific evidence reveals that humans may not be entirely responsible for the extinction of the moa. According to research undertaken in NZ and the US, there were 3 to 12 million moa roaming the forests…

NZ has the Eco Edge

NZ has the Eco Edge

According to New Scientist, NZ is one of few countries actively promoting responsible eco-tourism. National Geographic clearly agrees, awarding NZ 78 points out of 100 in its annual eco-tourism survey. “The NZ Department of Conservation takes these…

Play it Safe with Silver

Play it Safe with Silver

According to research undertaken at Auckland University, silver cars are significantly less likely to be involved in a serious crash than vehicles of other colours. Sue Furness, who led the study, suggests that this “may be…

Shining Happy People

Shining Happy People

NZ was ranked 15th happiest nation overall in a World Values Survey of over 65 countries – ahead of the US (16th), Australia (20th) and the UK (24th). The study is a global examination of sociological…

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m … 35?!

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m … 35?!

Canterbury University psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa lumps men of scientific brilliance and criminals in the same psychological boat, claiming that both dwindle in the creative stakes post-35 – typically sapped by marriage! Kanazawa gathered the ages of 280 scientists…

On Father Figures and Wayward Teens

On Father Figures and Wayward Teens

New Scientist profiles the work of Canterbury University psychologist Bruce Ellis, who has recently published a study on the effects of absentee fathers on teenage girls. Ellis has monitored 700 girls from pre-school to high-school, in an…

Cheese Guaranteed to Please?

Cheese Guaranteed to Please?

NZ scientists have genetically modified cows to produce high-protein milk for the country’s cheese industry. The altered protein-levels would allow cheese-makers to produce more of their product from the same quantity of milk, and at a significantly…

Cheese to Please?

Cheese to Please?

NZ scientists at the Ruakura Research Centre in Hamilton in a radical innovation have genetically modified cows to produce high-protein milk for the country’s cheese industry. The altered protein-levels would allow cheese-makers to produce more from the…

Environmental Oxymoron

Environmental Oxymoron

NZ’s possum epidemic has made unlikely bed-fellows of environmentalists and fur-trappers. New Scientist looks at a globally unique situation, where groups such as WWF actively support the trapping of an animal for its fur and meat as…

The Mating Game

The Mating Game

Challenging the common assumption that reproduction is a random process, Auckland University’s Valerie Grant claims to be able to predict whether a woman is more likely to produce male or female offspring via a “personality test.” By…

No Dodo

No Dodo

New Scientist features the Kakapo’s claw-back from the brink of extinction: “What’s green, nocturnal, looks like an owl, smells sweet and fruity, and makes strange noises from growls and “skrarks” to metallic “chings” and deep resonant…

Vowels of Allegiance

Vowels of Allegiance

The Kiwi vowel slur might be a solidarity mechanism, adopted to make late-arriving, open-vowel enunciating Poms feel uncomfortable. Give us fush or give us duth.

Out Out Damn E-mail!

Out Out Damn E-mail!

Deleted files may come back to haunt you, says Peter Gutmann of Auckland University. “It is possible to install a computer that overwrites data when you hit the Delete key, making it much harder to recover….

Odious Vampire’s Kiss: NZ Researchers Investigate Garlic Mystery

Odious Vampire’s Kiss: NZ Researchers Investigate Garlic Mystery

Kiwi research team Rex and Christine Munday claimed in New Scientist magazine that eating half a clove of raw garlic a day could help protect against cancer. They believed the key ingredient was a substance called…

Mum’s the Word: Experience Counts

Mum’s the Word: Experience Counts

Ecologist Elissa Cameron at Massey University has found that older mothers make better mothers simply because they use their time more efficiently – or at least mares do. The discovery was made in a study of…

Bodytalk: It’s All in the Hands

Bodytalk: It’s All in the Hands

Do gestures help us find the right word, or is there a deeper meaning? Michael Corballis from the University of Auckland studied primates and children to find the answer to why we can’t keep our…

Great Balls of Fire

Great Balls of Fire

Making the cover of the April New Scientist, New Zealand researchers at the University of Canterbury believe they have solved the mystery of one of nature’s oldest puzzles – ball lightning – a mysterious floating light…