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Latest News

Check out a range of science news stories from New Zealand.

Note due to changes in our funding, as of December 2014, we are no longer able to provide news stories.

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  • Quantum clocks


    An international team of physicists is proposing a network of atomic clocks linked at the quantum level, which they say would be more accurate and stable than any individual atomic clock on Earth.

  • NZ’s fish-eating spider


    Intrigued by anecdotal evidence of fish hunting by spiders, two arachnologists have discovered a New Zealand spider that is capable of catching little fish.

  • NZ student to Mars?


    Victoria University of Wellington student Merlijn Führhop is in serious consideration for astronaut selection for a one-way trip to Mars.

  • Mobile phones and sperm


    If you’re a bloke and carry your mobile phone in your trouser pocket, you might inadvertently be affecting your chances of becoming a father according to new research led by the University of Exeter in the UK.

  • Creating new cycle helmets


    Researchers at Canterbury University and CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology) are using 3D printers to test new helmet designs to help cyclists improve their performance.

  • Hi tech drones copy nature’s design


    Animals from bees to bats are inspiring the new generation of drones or flying robots, and large military strike drones aside, the robots themselves are getting smaller, with microdrones the size of a bug on a flower to eagle-inspired quadcopters with the ability to snatch up objects at speed.

  • Small islands breed big seeds


    Island gigantism is a phenomenon sometimes seen in animal evolution. Researchers from Victoria University of Wellington wanted to see whether the same type of gigantism could also be seen in plants and were able to show that plants that have evolved in island settings grow larger seeds than their mainland relatives.

  • Ice-loving sea anemone in top 10 new species


    A sea anemone that lives under an Antarctic ice shelf is one of the top 10 new species, described in 2013 and announced in May 2014 by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE).

  • Ruffling ancient feathers: kiwi’s Malagasy cousin


    A DNA study of extinct elephant bird specimens held at Wellington’s Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa have revealed the birds to be the kiwi’s closest relative – overturning thinking that the kiwi’s nearest relatives were the Australian emu and cassowary.

  • Facebook feelings


    Recent controversial research carried out on unsuspecting Facebook users has found that seeing fewer positive posts via newsfeeds than usual meant users were more likely to post negative updates themselves, while exposure to fewer negative posts via newsfeeds increased their positive output.

  • Whangarei fruit fly find a worry


    A solitary male Queensland fruit fly, found in a trap in Whangarei, is a reminder of the biosecurity risk New Zealand faces on a regular basis.

  • How to raise a willing helper


    Subtle language choices make all the difference when it comes to getting preschoolers to pick up their toys, according to a new study by US social science researchers.

  • Mobile phones a useful tool for tracking epidemics


    Research by an international team of scientists and computer modellers has revealed how mobile phones can help limit human error or omission and be used to track the spread of a disease outbreak during an epidemic.

  • Oceans of rubbish


    Human litter has worked its way into remote and inaccessible parts of the ocean where even humans haven’t managed to penetrate. A large-scale European seafloor survey highlights the extent of the problem of litter in marine environments.

  • Ripples in the universe from the Big Bang


    It might have all started with a big bang some 13.8 billion years ago, but what happened immediately afterwards has been perplexing our greatest minds for decades.

  • Planet Labs launching world’s largest satellite fleet


    Flocks of tiny satellites are being released throughout 2014 by Californian space-information company Planet Labs in collaboration with the International Space Station and other space organisations in Russia and the US.

  • Orange light helps thinking


    A team of European scientists has shown that exposure to an orange light improves alertness and cognitive brain function.

  • Spinsolve making nuclear magnetic resonance accessible


    A New Zealand-designed benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer called Spinsolve is making material analysis easier for a variety of industries.

  • Are all goals equal?


    A recent paper by two New Zealand sports scientists from AUT’s Sport Performance Research Institute argues that goal scoring success is more than just hit or miss.

  • Seismic fitness of NZ’s historic buildings


    An international team of seismologists and engineers have embarked upon a 2-year project to develop a seismic vulnerability index for unreinforced masonry churches and historic buildings in New Zealand.

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