News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Evolutionary Edge

Evolutionary Edge

Soil-analysis undertaken in a NZ cave has uncovered a rich and previously unknown evolutionary heritage. A team of scientists have found DNA traces of an extinct animal and from plants alive 3,000 years before the first human…

Belated Acclaim for Unsung Edge Hero

Belated Acclaim for Unsung Edge Hero

“The Wright Brothers get all the credit, but a little-known NZ farmer and self-taught aviation pioneer deserves some recognition too.” Richard Pearse featured in LA Times as both NZ and America approach the centennial celebrations of their…

Icarus Down-under

Icarus Down-under

Richard – “Bamboo Dick” – Pearse profiled in China Daily as New Zealand celebrates the centenary of his (world?) first flight. Says biographer Gordon Ogilvie; “He was an inventive phenomenon in a small community where farming was…

Gattaca Genetics

Gattaca Genetics

Ground-breaking research into congenital birth abnormalities by Otago University professor Stephen Robertson has been published in leading scientific journal, Nature Genetics. Robertson has identified a previously unknown gene responsible for severe malformations in infants. His success makes…

Bee Conga Line

Bee Conga Line

Canterbrian entymologist Barry Donovan has won the prestigious Khwarizmi International Award, in recognition of his ground-breaking theory on how bees forage. The award – named after the 9th century Iranian scientist – was presented to Donovan by…

A Life Story

A Life Story

NZ scientist Maurice Wilkins is the least recognised of the three discoverers of DNA; a fact which is finally being rectified by this year’s 50th anniversary celebrations. 2003 will also see the release of Wilkins’ long-awaited autobiography,…

Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution

“New Zealand is leading the mobile revolution in Australasia,” says BIZ IT managing director John Kennett. Telecom’s recent launch of Mobile JetStream has paved the way for radical innovations in the very near future; including high-speed mobile…

Hart Food

Hart Food

Graeme Hart, edge entrepreneur and controlling stakeholder at Burns Philip, has completed his $2 billion takeover of Australian food group Goodman Fielder. Burns Philip is now a certified trans-Tasman superpower, with such iconic Aussie brands as Uncle…

Believe the Hype

Believe the Hype

The Hyperfactory continue their good work at the forefront of SMS technology. Australian and British buyers are showing great interest in the company’s SMSJukeBox application, which has already gained over 70,000 members in New Zealand through ClubZM.

From Trash to Flash

From Trash to Flash

A NZ company – Waste Solutions – has provided part of the technology behind a radical new energy-producing venture in western Sydney. The project in question is an $AUS36 million power plant which converts organic waste…

Kuala Tarlton

Kuala Tarlton

NZ-based company Aquawalk is developing a state-of-the-art aquarium for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. An innovative blend of natural and digital, the “discovery zone” will contain a computerised replica of the entire life-support system within the aquarium….

Wireless Oscars

Wireless Oscars

Auckland based company, The Hyperfactory, were commended at the 2003 GSM Awards in Cannes this month for their TXTDJ innovation. This was The Hyperfactory’s second consecutive nomination for what is essentially the wireless industry’s Oscar equivalent.

Tea-total

Tea-total

Auckland University researcher, Joy Hsu, has confirmed the belief of generations: a strong, hot cuppa works wonders. Hsu measured the antioxidant levels of 33 types of green, black and oolong teas to discover that the stronger and…

“It’s Life James, but Not as We Know It”

“It’s Life James, but Not as We Know It”

Time devotes a special issue to DNA and its discoverers, including NZ born scientist Maurice Wilkins. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize winning and paradigm shifting findings of Crick, Watson, and Wilkins: “The…

From Dreams to (Augmented) Reality

From Dreams to (Augmented) Reality

SMH interviews “augmented reality” guru Mark Billinghurst, director of NZ’s Human Interface Technology Lab. HIT works in conjunction with Seattle’s University of Washington designing cutting-edge communications technology reminiscent of Star Wars’ virtual projections. Billinghurst: “Twenty years later, we…

Perils of Modern Life

Perils of Modern Life

Who says desk-jobs are easy? NZ medical researchers have discovered a potentially deadly threat to frequent computer users. Dubbed “e-thrombosis,” the blood-clotting disorder has similar effects to those sometimes suffered by long-distance air travellers. The methods of prevention…

Brain-gain

Brain-gain

The findings of a team of Auckland University researchers have created hope for sufferers of degenerative brain disease. According to Professor Richard Faull, diseased brains produce new cells to replace dying ones at a previously unknown rate….

Destruction and Creation

Destruction and Creation

Newsday feature on Nobel-winning NZ scientist Maurice Wilkins documents his epoch-breaking career shift from researching weapons of mass destruction to unearthing the secrets of life itself. Horrified at the results of Hiroshima, Wilkins became (and remains)…

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…

Telecom Top Performer

Telecom Top Performer

Trans-Tasman rivalry entered the field of telecommunication last month, as Australian Telstra and NZ Telecom battled for recognition as the best performer in their field for 2001-02. British consultants, IR Group, awarded top honours to NZ Telecom…

Science Cynics and Bad News

Science Cynics and Bad News

Denis Dutton plays scientific advisor to the president in Edge.org‘s hypothetical survey on issues facing governments in 2003. His counsel? Do away with the scare-mongering and cynicism typifying science (and its media coverage) today in favour of “…

Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Canterbury University’s Andy Cockburn is leading a team of computer scientists in redesigning the back button function on computers. In a bid to up the popular button’s efficiency, Cockburn and co. have reprogrammed web browsers so that…

‘Queen of Literature’

‘Queen of Literature’

Easy Jet In-Flight profiles Liz Calder, co-founder of Britain’s most successful independent publishing house, Bloomsbury Plc. Dubbed the ‘Queen of Literature,’ Calder is credited with discovering the likes of Salman Rushdie, Anita Brookner and Julian Barnes. The…

Corporate Edge Makes Global Player

Corporate Edge Makes Global Player

Businessman Graeme Hart – “the New Zealander with aspirations to take on the world” – has joined the bidding war for Australia’s major food group, Goodman Fielder. If successful, he will helm a $4.3 billion combined…

Cleaner Greener NZ

Cleaner Greener NZ

The Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions came one step closer to enforcement after its ratification by the NZ and Canadian governments. Although both countries are relatively minor industrial polluters their signatures are vital in making up the…

Kiwi Geeks Take a Stand

Kiwi Geeks Take a Stand

In a bid to be “taken seriously,” members of NZ’s IT community have requested permission to use geek.nz as a second-level domain in the country. The office of the NZ Domain Name Commissioner plans to stage…

Kiwi Gets Top Job

Kiwi Gets Top Job

NZ-born businessman John Buchanan has been appointed senior independent director of BHP Billiton, effective 1 February 2003. Buchanan was formerly chief financial officer at Britain’s BP.

Tribute to Edge-geneticist

Tribute to Edge-geneticist

NZ’s “third man of the double helix” Maurice Wilkins has been honoured in the lead-up to next year’s 50th anniversary of DNA. In 1962, Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with fellow discoverers…

Team NZ’s High-tech Edge

Team NZ’s High-tech Edge

NZ bioengineering group, Christian Cook, have developed a radical method of keeping Team NZ one step ahead of their rivals. Health levels of the 36 sailors are monitored via a daily “blood reading.” The low-frequency ultrasound delivers…

Well-oiled

Well-oiled

Tauranga-based company, Avocado Oil New Zealand, has won a lucrative contract to supply Tesco –Britain’s leading supermarket chain. Avocado Oil New Zealand is a world-innovator in cold-pressing and refining extra virgin avocado oil – which is…

Kiwi Scientists Search for Merrick’s Ma

Kiwi Scientists Search for Merrick’s Ma

Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man) is still drawing crowds. This time round, Merrick’s deformities are attracting genealogists and scientists, rather than circus-goers. A team of NZ researchers wants to find living descendents of Merrick and take samples…

Edge Medicine

Edge Medicine

Gene therapist Matt During and his team of trans-pacific researchers have announced a “significant advance” in their search for a potentially revolutionary treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Published in the prestigious journal Science the findings derive from a technique…

Ideas From the Edge

Ideas From the Edge

Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Kevin Roberts talks to The Times about his work guiding MBA students at Cambridge and to The Independent about the age of the idea: “He preaches love but hates management;…

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…

A Model Diet

A Model Diet

British scientists have developed a type of pet food aimed at helping arthritic dogs. The “joint support” food contains NZ green-lipped mussels, which have an ideal combination of fatty acids and antioxidants for reducing pain caused by…

Lolita, Letters and the Language Instinct

Lolita, Letters and the Language Instinct

Influential scientist Steven (The Language Instinct) Pinker names New Zealanders Brian Boyd and Denis Dutton amongst his exemplary practitoners contributing towards a third culture “convergence” of art and science. To Pinker, the Nabakov scholar and founder of…

Dick Hubbard: “Messiah of Muesli”

Dick Hubbard: “Messiah of Muesli”

Kiwi entrepreneur, Dick Hubbard, profiled in Independent. “A highly unconventional capitalist,” Cereal evangelist Hubbard is NZ’s chief advocate of social responsibility in business, joining international brands such as Benetton and The Body Shop in his claim to…

Bamboo Dick: First Flyer

Bamboo Dick: First Flyer

“What’s all the fuss about the Wright Bros? All good Kiwis know New Zealand’s Richard Pearse got there first.” With the centenary of his flight looming, Debbi Gardiner, writes in Salon about his place in history and…

Hi-fi Goes Hi-tech

Hi-fi Goes Hi-tech

More Hyperfactory innovation. Popular NZ dance music radio station – GeorgeFM – has introduced a streaming SMS system to interact with their audience. Listeners can now text their requests, queries, and feedback directly to the…

Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture

The argument over whether environment or genetics plays the bigger part in creating violent dispositions is moving towards a tentative reconciliation. London-based research has proposed that the level of a particular gene – MAOA, which regulates an…

Cell Growth

Cell Growth

London-based NZ biochemist Dr Peter Shepherd was honoured for his groundbreaking work on the causes of type-2 diabetes at the London Biotechnology Network (London, Oxford and Cambridge) biotechnology excellence event in London. Shepherd was joint winner of…

Celebrations on Ice

Celebrations on Ice

NZ and US scientists in Antarctica recently celebrated the centenary of the first midwinter stopover by British explorers. Fun and games included swimming naked in an ice hole and hurling a (frozen) turkey in Scottish Highland-style games….

To Ge or Not to Ge?

To Ge or Not to Ge?

As the ethical, economic and emotional problem of how to approach GE shapes to be a central issue in the upcoming NZ election a high profile group has formed to argue for caution and the extension…

Gondwanaland Farming Co.

Gondwanaland Farming Co.

Trans-Tasman dairy giants Bonlac Foods (AUS) and Fonterra (NZ) have merged consumer food lines to create a new company – Australasian Food Holdings Pty Ltd (AFHL). AFHL will incorporate leading brands including Tip Top, Mainland, Ferndale, and…

iEdge

iEdge

The SMH tries to find the code behind the icon-making, convention busting, award winning (but secretive) Apple design team after, for the fourth year running, Apple takes out the British Design and Art Direction Association’s top award…

Do You Remember?

Do You Remember?

Why are our early years a blur? Otago University’s Gabrielle Simcock and Harlene Hayne have found a clue. According to their research, so-called “childhood amnesia” is ultimately informed by language development. After conducting controlled memory experiments, the…

Louder Than Words?

Louder Than Words?

Michael C. Corballis, Auckland University psychologist, is “the latest proponent of a controversial idea known among language experts as ‘gestural theory.'” His most provocative idea: the inception of speech was a “cultural invention, like writing” rather than…

Bus-class High Flyer

Bus-class High Flyer

Kiwi Ray Webster is Chief Executive of pioneering no-frills airline Easy Jet. Touching down in the market in a big way Webster works by the mantra that, “Airlines are about people, not about airplanes and airports.”…

IT – NZ Untapped

IT – NZ Untapped

Columnist for leading US IT Industry zine InfoWorld raves after visiting NZ, “New Zealand is a marvelous country populated with some of the most talented people in computing. Part of the irrational exuberance [of the dot…

Zespri Patriotism

Zespri Patriotism

In a fascinating 2-part feature the LATimes slices open the Kiwifruit and looks at the history of NZ’s No.1 horticultural product, from poor crop protection: “Even without a patent, the trademark “kiwifruit,” if copyrighted, could have become the…

Model Animal Behaviour

Model Animal Behaviour

An economic model developed by Massey University-based resource economist Dr Robert Alexander and postgraduate researcher Chris Fleming, could improve our understanding of how to help endangered species.  By determining how much money particular how much money particular…

Windbreakers

Windbreakers

NZ’s belching animals: Kiwi scientists have worked out how to reduce greenhouse emissions from cow emissions. “Lowering New Zealand’s methane emissions is necessary if the antipodean country is to meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol,…

Superyacht Supremos

Superyacht Supremos

“New Zealand is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest centres for superyacht construction, with its low-cost high-tech designs.” Alloy Yachts is the world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of superyachts: advantages that make the sailing smooth include…

Business Class Destination

Business Class Destination

New Zealand is ranked the fourth best place to do business in Asia, according to prominent think tank – the Economist Intelligence Unit. The rankings took into account 70 factors, including political risk and corruption, key…

Nanotech NZ – Solutions from the Small?

Nanotech NZ – Solutions from the Small?

Front-running nanotechnology expert, NZ-born Michael Kelly, (technology professor, University of Surrey), recently visited Wellington’s MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. Kelly is optimistic of edge innovation in the field, “There are a whole range of problems which…