Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Cafe Scientifique is currently held at Wholly Bagels, 34 Knights Road, Lower Hutt, on the last Thursday of each month starting at 6pm.
Where do domestic cats fit in the complex hierarchy of good and bad predators? The domestic cat is New Zealand’s top carnivore. In the light of recent publicity and ill-informed debate, two critical points are:
New Zealand is known around the world for its nuclear-free stance – banning US nuclear ship visits, saying no to nuclear power, selling the country as clean, green, and nuclear free. But New Zealand was once as excited about the dawning atomic age as any other nation.
Toxic algal blooms (cyanobacteria) have become common in many New Zealand Rivers. Large mats of black-green algae can cover large areas in rivers. Some algae species produce powerful neurotoxins are a serious health risk to humans and animals. In the Hutt River, toxic algae has been responsible for numerous dog deaths and health warnings on large parts of the river.
Ecological restoration is an idea that is close to many New Zealanders’ hearts. Many of us feel strongly about our natural heritage and believe it important to preserve our environment for future generations as much as possible, and to at least try to restore it when things have not been preserved as we would have liked. Human values play a very significant role, as they help determine whether a landscape is allowed to degrade in the first pace, whether we will then think it worthwhile to invest in restoring it, and to what extent.
Our humble sheep are helping NZ to lead the world in novel solutions for healing! are helping NZ to lead the world in novel solutions for healing! We may take it for granted that our wounds will automatically heal. Though this is frequently the case, complicating factors sometimes intervene to hinder or even block healing, potentially leading to pain, disfigurement or life-threatening infection. So, there is huge demand for technologies which aid the regeneration of missing or damaged tissues, resulting, for example, from trauma, surgery or disease.
Deep below our feet, in the core of the planet churns a cauldron of molten iron – the source of the magnetic field that directs our compasses, guides numerous species on their annual migrations, and protects life on Earth from the deadly onslaught of the solar wind. As the core fluid churns, so the magnetic field lines rearrange themselves, the magnetic poles wander, and the direction of the compass needle changes imperceptibly – a few fractions of a degree each year.
There has been much excitement over at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) with scientists at CERN (in Switzerland) announcing that they had a ‘five sigma confirmation’ of a new elementary particle which matches the predictions made for the Higgs Boson. The Higgs Boson is associated with indirectly giving some particles mass.
The regulation of food (raw, primary and secondary processed) is very complex because, for most countries and NZ in particular, food is exported to many different countries each with their own different food laws which they expect to cover imported food.
Nanotechnology is the study of the very, very small. By definition a nanometre is one billionth of a metre, which is about 50 000 times thinner than the width of a human hair. Nanotechnology, as it is known today, has been an active field of scientific research for only around two decades.
Speakers Haritina Mogosanu and Elf Eldridge are both science communicators from the Carter Observatory and members of Kiwispace. Recently, mission commander Haritina Mogosanu organised and ran the first 'Kiwimars' expedition, where four kiwis travelled to a Mars analogue environment, maintained by NASA in the deserts of Utah. For two weeks, they simulated life on the orange desert planet that currently hangs low in our northern skies.