The child deficit and the changing value of children in Asia

In most Asian countries, average family size has more than halved over the past six decades.

Since the 1960s, Asia has experienced a dramatic decline in fertility rates. Philip Morrison, Professor Emeritus at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, asks whether this shift has been accompanied by a reduction in the value of children as inferred from the European experience. If so, one might expect a convergence of the ideal and actual family size and a […]

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Cow genetics could reduce the environmental impact of pastoral livestock production

Cow genetics could reduce the environmental impact of pastoral livestock production

Dairy farming can have negative effects on the environment, polluting waterways with an excess of nitrogen that can have long-term impacts. Research to date has addressed this problem by looking at ways to reduce the cow’s urinary urea nitrogen concentration, but this has involved mitigation techniques that paint the cow as the problem rather than the solution. Cameron Marshall, a […]

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Tumorigenesis: Revealing cancer’s origins

Tumorigenesis: Revealing cancer’s origins

Despite huge amounts of research, many aspects of cancer remain mysterious. One of these is the process of tumorigenesis – the very earliest stages of tumour development. John Evans, Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand, has drawn together a wealth of evidence to suggest that the extracellular matrix, the network of proteins and carbohydrates that surrounds cells, […]

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De-mythologizing and re-branding the traditional drink kava

Teachers drinking kava

What do you call journalism, or more importantly research, that is supported by repetitive misinformation, resulting in an accepted but incorrect, narrative? This is the case with the kava plant, named Piper methysticum or ‘intoxicating pepper’ by a naturalist who accompanied Captain James Cook on his voyage to the Pacific some 250 years ago. That name, which inferred that kava […]

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Earthquake forecasting: Small earthquakes show when big ones are more likely

Research-Outreach-Rhoades-Christophersen

Accurate earthquake forecasting is still a major challenge for geophysicists. The sudden and intense shaking of major earthquakes can cause severe damage to infrastructure and loss of life. Dr David Rhoades and Dr Annemarie Christophersen at GNS Science in New Zealand have developed a forecasting model using the seismicity patterns of earthquake precursors. They hope to make earthquake forecasts more […]

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