Science Digest

Science Digest

In each episode, Dr Michelle Dickinson – aka Nanogirl – will explore the scientific facts behind a story that’s been in the news in New Zealand or around the world, speaking with experts and those who need answers to clarify the facts and debunk the myths. We’ll sort through the academic jargon and go behind the headlines to break down complicated scientific data and terminology, and help the general public better understanding issues that could be misinterpreted or form the basis of debate.


November 21, 2022 36 mins

So many things are made from plastic these days, and while plastics are cheap and can make life convenient, they have been getting some pretty bad publicity recently as we come to terms not only with how they are made, but what happens to them afterwards.

Luckily we are living in a world where recycling bins are easy to find, and many of us now consciously wash and sort our plastic waste, but where does it go from here and how muc...

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Genetic modification is a scientific term that can conjure up fear as scientists are let loose tampering with nature.  

But putting genetic engineering is actively being used all over the world today, most commonly in crops to help them to become more resilient to a changing climate, but also in clinical trials and medical treatment to help cure human diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and diabetes.

While the world moves fo...

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Over the last decade, we’ve seen a number of policies put in place in New Zealand that have made smoking a very expensive habit, while more and more evidence-based data has confirmed the health risks of the practice.

However, as smoking has declined, e-cigarettes or vaping has drastically risen in popularity marketed as a supposedly healthier alternative to tobacco-based products. 

Initially e-cigarettes were seen as a way to hel...

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After a long-fought battle from LGBT+ campaigners, this week New Zealand criminalised practices such as conversion therapy that aim to try and alter or suppress someone's sexuality or gender identity.

But was there ever any scientific basis for these practices in the first place? What exactly is the science behind sexuality, and is it something that can ever be changed? For this episode of Science Digest, Dr Michelle Dickin...

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After months of lockdown and two years of closed borders, New Zealand is preparing to open up and live with Covid-19 - but, just as the Government announced plans for the future, a new variant called Omicron has emerged, and appears to be the most infectious yet. What does this variant mean for the future of the pandemic and New Zealand's fight against Covid? In this episode of Science Digest, Dr Michelle Dickinson talks to Cambrid...

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The COP26 Climate Change summit is happening in Glasgow to discuss ways to combat climate change - but it doesn't have to be left to politicians to make a change. In this episode of Science Digest, Dr Michelle Dickinson is joined by the University of Auckland's Dr Daniel Hikuroa, Ethique founder Brianne West, cricket farmer John Hart, and MOTU's Dr Lynn Riggs to discuss the many, simple ways that New Zealanders can make a differenc...

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In this episode of Science Digest, Dr Michelle Dickinson is joined by Auckland University vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis-Harris and Auckland Councillor Efeso Collins to debunk some of the myths people have about the Covid-19 vaccine, and what officials and science can do to communicate the safety of the vaccine clearer.

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September 2, 2021 50 secs

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