Our Changing World for Thursday 13 September 2007
On This Programme
Giving up your car can be a difficult thing to consider, even for someone who mostly uses public transport. But an Australian company is working hard to change people's ideas about car ownership, by offering a twist on car-sharing. Members who join the scheme can access a fleet of cars, parked in designated locations throughout the city, paying by the hour when they need to go for a drive. Dacia Herbulock met the scheme's founder, Bruce Jeffries, and went for a test drive with a woman who's considering joining up.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) has been used for nearly three decades now, but there is little research on the long-term outcomes for IVF children. Now, a team of researchers in New Zealand found that there are indeed differences between children conceived naturally or through IVF. Veronika Meduna spoke to Wayne Cutfield, a professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Auckland, and Paul Hofman, the clinical director of endocrinology at the Starship Children's Hospital.
Out-sourcing is rampant - even in the bird world. Cuckoos and cowbirds are lazy parents and lay their eggs in other birds' nests. But why do these birds put up with it? Amelia Nurse spoke to Mark Hauber, a senior lecturer in animal behaviour at the University of Auckland. He's been researching this avian parental avoidance tactic - called brood parasitism. His findings, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, indicate that the behaviour which facilitates parasite attacks is inherited.
Male warbler at nest box. Courtesy of Jeffrey Hoover.
Warbler nest parasitised with cowbird eggs. Courtesy of Jeffrey Hoover.
An eastern phoebe nest with a parasitic brown-headed cowbird chick. Courtesy of Jeffrey Hoover.
KODE Biotech Limited is a biotechnology company which specializes in research into biomedical applications in the fields of embryology, transfusion, transplantation, immunology and disease diagnosis, in association with AUT University. They've patented a type of molecule which also has numerous applications. Louise Wallace met with Steve Henry, Chief Scientific Officer of KODE, and professor of biotechnology at AUT.