Our Changing World for Thursday 14 June 2007
On This Programme
Part two of our interview with biologist Ken McNatty, specialist in mammalian egg development at Victoria University. His research employed vaccinations against an ovarian growth factor his team discovered. Using varying concentrations of the vaccine, he was able to reliably increase fertility in sheep, and in other experiments, to render the animals temporarily sterile. He talks about the implications his research has for our understanding of fertility issues in humans and other animals.
Last week, the latest funding round for New Zealand's Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE) concluded with the announcement that six existing centres will have their funding renewed, one centre will be cut, and one new centre will be created. Dean Williams speaks to Marston Condor - co-director of New Zealand's Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (NZIMA), which failed in its bid for renewed CoRE funding, Colin Webb - the Tertiary Education Commission's Deputy Chief Executive, and Paul Moughan from Massey University's new CoRE, the Riddet Centre.
Dean Williams revisits the Cambodian sustainable honey-harvesting project he will be volunteering for during his year on leave from Our Changing World. (This piece was first broadcast November 2006).
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic, life a threatening illness, which seriously compromises the function of the lungs and heart. There are few ways of treating this disorder, but at best, these can only delay the progress of the illness. Ken Whyte is a respiratory clinician at Auckland Hospital, who has established a national treatment centre for PAH. He told Louise Wallace that research is showing the condition to be thirty times more common than previously believed.
Coming Up in Our Next Programme
Tyrone Hayes, endocrinologist and frog specialist from the University of California Berkeley, discusses the effects of pesticides on amphibians around the globe, and the implications of these chemicals for human health.
Victoria University hosts the ninth annual Chemistry Quiz Night for regional secondary school students. Complete with costumes, spot prizes and an award for the "Least Dressed" competitors, it's a highlight of the school science year.
Justin Gregory explores the phenomenon known as the "methane mega-burp", when massive amounts of methane were released from beneath the sea, 55 million years ago. He speaks to James Crampton and Chris Hollis from GNS Science about the importance of this prehistoric belch.
They say laughter is the best medicine, but is it the best workout? Louise Wallace attends a laughter yoga session with instructor Malcolm Robertson.