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Preview: Radio NZ - This Way Up with Simon Morton

RNZ: This Way Up

This Way Up - slices of life for curious minds


Science news: Bird maps and genes that heal

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 12:50:00 +1200

We're one step closer to understanding birds' amazing powers of navigation thanks to new research, and a DNA editing tool helps to identify the genes responsible for successful cancer therapy.

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The Science of... Virtual Reality

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 12:15:00 +1200

We go beyond gaming to explore how VR works, what it's being used for (from treating a fear of spiders, to training young doctors) and ask if it's yet making any compelling case to be in every home.

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This Way Up for Saturday 19 August 2017

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 12:01:00 +1200

The science of...Virtual Reality, bird navigation, and how goldfish survive in icy ponds over winter.

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Carbon offsets: (how) do they work?

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 12:50:00 +1200

Carbon offsets are mainly sold to travellers as a way to offset the carbon associated with their journey But what actually happens with your money? George Block of weighs up NZ's carbon offset schemes.

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Insuring nature against damage

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 12:40:00 +1200

Could insurance policies offer a new way to protect nature? Mexico's just launched a plan to insure coral reefs at the popular tourism destination of Cancun.

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The Science of... Sweat

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 12:15:00 +1200

Simon Morton and Alison Ballance present a three-part series exploring the science of sweat, virtual reality and Vitamin C. This week, the function of a much-maligned bodily fluid that plays a vital role in keeping us humans healthy and alive.

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This Way Up for Saturday 12 August 2017

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 12:01:00 +1200

The science of sweat, insuring nature against damage, and voluntary carbon offset schemes: (how) do they work?

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Artificial light = pollination peril

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:55:00 +1200

A study measures the huge impact artificial light is having on our pollinators, and the effect this is having on our crops and plant productivity.

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An embryonic heart defect was fixed with gene editing – so what now?

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:45:00 +1200

A genetic heart disorder has been fixed using gene editing in human embryos. We assess how this week's big science story could impact New Zealand.

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A rough ride for UBER in Asia

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +1200

The ridesharing app UBER is struggling to make much of an impact in Asia; QR codes spur a cashless revolution in China; and why the field of asteroid mining is so attractive for investors today.

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A headset to measure earthquake damage

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:15:00 +1200

Building inspectors can assess earthquake-affected buildings quickly and safely thanks to a new augmented reality headset.

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This Way Up for Saturday 5 August 2017

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 12:01:00 +1200

A headset measuring quake damage, rough ride for UBER, editing human life, and how artificial light is a pollination peril.

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Is our sense of smell making us fatter?

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:55:00 +1200

Could our sense of smell be an important factor behind the fact that so many of us are overweight? Andy Dillin at the University of California, Berkeley, was involved in a study on mice that found that those that had their sense of smell neutralised would lose weight even though they were eating exactly the same number of calories and doing the same amount of exercise as mice with their sense of smell intact.

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Flush-free toilet: saving water and lives

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:45:00 +1200

A water-free toilet that can turn human waste into fuel, power and fertiliser. Could this be the toilet of the future?

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Tech news: Amazon Down Under & more Facebook ads

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:35:00 +1200

Facebook tries to bolster its ad revenues to meet Wall Street's expectations.Also Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos has just overtaken Bill Gates to become the world's richest person. It's all down to Amazon's share price and we look at why this online retail giant just keeps on growing, and is now making a concerted effort to boost its business Down Under.

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Beyond binary: storing data in DNA

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:25:00 +1200

The cloud may soon blow over, as scientists investigate storing information in the densest known storage medium in the universe – DNA. Luis Ceze has been exploring the possibilities.

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Turning DNA into music

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:15:00 +1200

Mark Temple of Western Sydney University is a molecular biologist and a musician who's developed a way to turn DNA into music, so now you can 'hear' a genetic mutation.

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This Way Up for Saturday 29 July 2017

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:01:00 +1200

Turning DNA into music, DNA data storage, Amazon Down Under, more Facebook ads, a flush-free toilet and could our sense of smell be making us fatter?

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Social cooling: toning down online behaviour

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:40:00 +1200

When the world wide web spread its tendrils into our homes a few decades ago, observers and sociologists noticed people becoming disinhibited in these virtual spaces: you could say and do what you wanted, stuff you would probably never dream of doing in 'real life'. Fast forward to today, and technology critic Tijmen Schep reckons we're seeing another online behavioural phonomenon he calls 'social cooling'. This happens when we tend to sanitise and self-censor our views, and avoid saying the wrong thing or offending anyone in case this jeopardises our online reputation and those all-important ratings!

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The massive business of scientific publishing

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:25:00 +1200

While mainstream media and the publishing industry are grappling with the challenges of the digital age, the hugely profitable business of scientific publishing seems to be going from strength to strength. With more than more than 28,000 science journals published today, the industry brings in total global revenues of more than $30 billion. That puts the industry between the music and film industries in total size, but what is the real cost to science? Stephen Buranyi has written about the business of science publishing for The Guardian, amid questions over the current commercial model.

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Directional highs: the future of marijuana?

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:15:00 +1200

Recreational marijuana use has been legalised in 8 US states and there's a boom in consumer pot products. Now you can choose exactly how you want to feel in advance: directional highs allow you to select the specific effects of what you're inhaling. Sold under names like Sleep, Bliss, Relief and Passion, producers are selling precisely measured dosages in carefully calibrated formulas inhaled through a vape pen, giving you control over how alert, active, and sociable you want to be. Mary H. K. Choi has been sampling the products of one producer.

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This Way Up for Saturday 22 July 2017

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:01:00 +1200

Directional highs: the future of marijuana? The scientific publishing business, social cooling, and an inflatable balloon to help the world lose weight.

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The best way to wash your hands

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:55:00 +1200

Don't bother turning on the hot tap next time you wash your hands. According to new research, warm water doesn't do the job any better. Professor Donald Schaffner of Rutgers University tells us why.

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How a balloon could help the world lose weight

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:50:00 +1200

Surgeries designed to promote weight loss by restricting the stomach's capacity, like the gastric bypass or gastric banding, have become a common treatment to help chronically obese patients lose weight fast. They seem to work really well, but as with any surgery there are some risks and they cost around $20,000 apiece. With an increasing number of these surgeries funded under the public health system (the Ministry of Health has spent more than $30 million on bariatric surgery on around 2000 patients over the past 5 years) could there be a cheaper option? Shantanu Gaur is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Allurion Technologies, makers of a temporary balloon that you can swallow and then fill with water before excreting it some 16 weeks later.

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Anti-virus: could computers kill real life viruses?

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:45:00 +1200

We know that computers can defeat virtual viruses with antivirus software, but could they also be used to kill the viruses that affect our bodies? Some scientists are doing just that, says biochemist Ian Haydon.

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How 3D printing can transform surfing

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:35:00 +1200

Surfing is a massive global business estimated to be worth close to NZ$10 billion annually. Serious surfers are prepared to spend up large on boards, wetsuits, and living the surfing lifestyle. Professor Marc in het Panhuis of the University of Wollongong in Australia is a materials scientist, and he's also a keen surfer. He thinks 3D printing could be a transformative technology for surfing, and foresees a world where local surf shops have 3D printers that can quickly and cheaply customise your board and how it's set up while you wait.

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Seaweed: can it boost health?

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:25:00 +1200

Eating seaweed can help people suffering from metabolic disorders, pre-diabetes and skin diseases, says Australian seaweed scientist and entrepreneur Pia Winberg.

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Swab and Send: discovering new antibiotics

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:15:00 +1200

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide, and microbiologist Adam Roberts is one of the scientists getting creative on the hunt for the next penicillin. He's put a call out for people to send him swabs from the grubby surfaces we encounter every day.

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This Way Up for Saturday 15 July 2017

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 12:01:00 +1200

Finding new antibiotics, seaweed diet, how 3D printing can transform surfing, anti virus software, and the best way to wash your hands.

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