Science & Technology

How does one model a pandemic?

How does one model a pandemic?

With basic mathematical models, researchers can begin to forecast the progression of diseases and understand the effect of interventions on disease spread.

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What technologies can help clean up rivers? 🔊

What technologies can help clean up rivers? 🔊

New Zealand has a dirty rivers problem. In 2017, two-thirds of the country’s rivers were deemed too polluted to swim in. Given this, research is being carried out to find ways in which the country can attempt to clean up its rivers.

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How do your genes affect your mental health? ▶

How do your genes affect your mental health? ▶

In this lecture hosted by the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland researchers discuss how knowing what your genes do can guide the development of future personalised medicine for prevention and treatment of mental health conditions and type 1 diabetes.

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What is the future of food?

What is the future of food?

Gilbert Wong looks at the forces shaping the future of food and how research is contributing to what’s likely to be on our plates in 2030.

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What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis?

What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis?

On October 22, former MP and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who now leads Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand, delivered the 2019 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture at the University of Auckland, looking at institutional reform options for dealing with climate change, in light of Parliament’s recent passage of the Zero Carbon Bill.

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Q+A: Does food advertising push up obesity rates?

Q+A: Does food advertising push up obesity rates?

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world – but how much does advertising have to do with it? Jim Mann is calling for greater government regulations around how food is advertised, especially to children.

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Q+A: Why are the numbers of insects in fast decline?

Q+A: Why are the numbers of insects in fast decline?

Why are the numbers of insects in fast decline? What does it mean for our food supply and our long term survival? Scientists say climate change is not the only reason. Maria Armoudian speaks with Andrew Dopheide about the current plight of our insect population.

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Q+A: Could ditching cars make us healthier?

Q+A: Could ditching cars make us healthier?

A recent report has found that our use of cars is harming both our health and our environment. The report, titled Turning the Tide, claims that urgent steps are needed to encourage New Zealanders to walk, cycle, or use public transport.

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Q+A: Is it time to stop using cars?

Q+A: Is it time to stop using cars?

A recent report from a team of researchers based at the University of Otago has found that our use of cars is harming both our health and our environment. Is it time to give up our cars?

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Q+A: How does climate change impact our mental health?

Q+A: How does climate change impact our mental health?

We all know climate change is a problem. It is generally portrayed as an exclusively bio-physical issue that will impact things like our weather and oceans, agriculture and water availability. But climate change also has an impact on mental health.

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Who is leading the way to zero carbon?

Who is leading the way to zero carbon?

Eighteen countries from developed economies have had declining carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels for at least a decade. While every nation is unique, they share some common themes that can show Australia, and the world, a viable path to reducing emissions.

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What is love? 🔊

What is love? 🔊

Today is Valentine’s Day but what exactly is love? How have notions of love changed over time? Can love be consciously developed? And how does love for partners, friends, children, and countries differ?

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How will climate change impact Aotearoa? ▶

How will climate change impact Aotearoa? ▶

How will climate change affect our natural world, our society, and our culture? What can we do to halt the looming catastrophe? A panel of experts discusses how climate change will impact New Zealand.

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How does culture affect mental health? 🔊

How does culture affect mental health? 🔊

How does culture shape our understanding and treatment of mental illness? Maria Armoudian speaks with Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, Tanya Marie Luhrmann, and Andrew G. Ryder about culture and its impact on mental health.

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Do animals feel fear?

Do animals feel fear?

Afraid of lions by moonlight and raptors by day, animals will behave in dramatic ways as Cassie Fruend explains.

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Q+A: How do we know the earth is warming?

Q+A: How do we know the earth is warming?

All scientific indications are suggesting that the Earth is fast reaching a tipping point, a point of irreversible damage to life on the planet. Maria Armoudian spoke with world-renowned climate scientist James Hansen about the science and politics of climate change.

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Debate: Should we edit the genomes of human embryos?

Debate: Should we edit the genomes of human embryos?

The introduction of genome editing signals a dramatic departure from the usual pathway through reproductive care. However, the use of genetic technologies in reproduction is frequently criticised for harbouring eugenic undertones.

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How does climate change affect conception? 🔊

How does climate change affect conception? 🔊

We know there are higher death rates happening because of climate change but how is it affecting birth rates? Alan Barreca’s research has looked at the effects of climate on fertility rates. Maria Armoudian spoke with Barreca about his research. 

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Q+A: What are the hidden costs of civilisation?

Q+A: What are the hidden costs of civilisation?

What are the hidden costs of civilisation? Could civilisation be behind disease, mental illness, climate change, and religious fundamentalism? Spencer Wells thinks it might just be. Maria Armoudian speaks to Wells about his book Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilisation.

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Q+A: A silent epidemic: Why are suicide rates on the rise?

Q+A: A silent epidemic: Why are suicide rates on the rise?

Suicide rates have been steadily rising in the United States. So what explains the increase in the numbers of people taking their own lives, and what can be done to solve what amounts to a crisis in public health? Maria Armoudian speaks with Mark S. Kaplan. 

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Q+A: How does trauma affect people and society?

Q+A: How does trauma affect people and society?

Trauma has profound and lifelong physical and psychological effects on its survivors. It can damage the mind, the brain, and stunt development. What exactly is trauma? How does it affect us individually and as a society? And how can trauma survivors recover from these experiences? 

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Is inheritance about more than just genes?

Is inheritance about more than just genes?

Epigenetics has been hailed as the missing link between genes and environment. Nicola Shepheard explores this phenomenon in greater detail and seeks out whether inheritance is about more than just genes.

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Q+A: Can we avoid the looming climate wars?

Q+A: Can we avoid the looming climate wars?

Our options as a humanity may be dwindling in the face of climate change. The coming changes may completely alter the world as we know it with collapsed ecosystems, mass immigration of climate refugees, and more devastating wars over basic necessities such as food and water. Maria Armoudian speaks to Gwynne Dyer about the scenarios we face with climate change.

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Why are we killing our rivers?  ▶

Why are we killing our rivers? ▶

In the first video of our new “big question” series Daniel Hikuroa from Māori and Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland talks about his big question, “Why are we killing our rivers?”

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Q+A: How did Stephen Hawking change physics?

Q+A: How did Stephen Hawking change physics?

After the recent passing of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, Maria Armoudian talked with Peter Galison and Priya Natarajan about the work and legacy of Hawking within the context of physics.

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How bad is oxygen depletion for our oceans?

How bad is oxygen depletion for our oceans?

A major University of Otago-led study into an ancient climate change event that impacted a significant percentage of Earth’s oceans has brought into sharp focus a lesser-known villain in global warming: oxygen depletion.

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Q+A: What’s the cost of dissing science?

Q+A: What’s the cost of dissing science?

Science is no longer cool, according to Chris Mooney. This could have huge consequences for the world, which needs science to help resolve many crises facing us today. But people are paying less attention and giving less credence to science and scientists due in part to politics, mainstream media, religion, and anti-intellectualism.

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How is trauma, addiction and depression passed down through the generations? 🔊

How is trauma, addiction and depression passed down through the generations? 🔊

For many years geneticists and psychologists have in worked in separate labs on factors such as our genetic codes and our experiences that they each thought were affecting our physical and mental health respectively. But it may be that our experiences are affecting our epigenetics which can then get handed down for generations to come, contributing to diseases and behaviors such as cancer and depression.

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Are antibiotics to blame for some modern diseases? 🔊

Are antibiotics to blame for some modern diseases? 🔊

Sanitation and antibiotics have saved the lives of many, but are they also the culprits behind some modern diseases? Martin Blaser argues we might have gone overboard in killing our microbes and that may be causing some of today’s epidemics.

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What is the future of cities? 🔊

What is the future of cities? 🔊

What will the cities of the future look like? Steve Matthewman and Stephen Knight-Lenihan discuss the urban future, looking at ecological resilience, biodiversity, living buildings, and floating suburbs.

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Can we learn to stop worrying and love the machine? 🔊

Can we learn to stop worrying and love the machine? 🔊

What do we have to fear from the rise of robots, automation and artificial intelligence? Darl Kolb, a pioneering theorist on social and technical connectivity, argues that we should rethink the relationship between humans and machines as one of co-evolution and interdependence, rather than one of contest and competition.

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How do animals communicate? 🔊

How do animals communicate? 🔊

Scientists have made fascinating discoveries about animals and how they communicate. For instance, bird songs are more than music to the ears of the forest; it turns out they are speaking a language understood by many species.

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Is big money influencing science? 🔊

Is big money influencing science? 🔊

Raising big money is a relatively new phenomenon in academia. How did science, government, and industry become so entwined with one another and what has it meant for scholarly research?

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Can the bee colony collapse be stopped? 🔊

Can the bee colony collapse be stopped? 🔊

Throughout much of the world, bee populations have been declining, threatening food supplies that rely on the pollinators to reproduce. What is the latest research on the global health of bees and what are ways to prevent further collapses?

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Are our oceans under threat? 🔊

Are our oceans under threat? 🔊

In this roundtable discussion, top scholars reveal and explain the realities facing our seas and the strides we are making to protect, restore and recover our oceans.

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