Our Changing World for Thursday 16 August 2007
On This Programme
Dacia Herbulock talks to University of Otago zoologist Alison Mercer about her new findings that queen bee pheromone lowers dopamine levels in young worker bees, and the effects this has on their behaviour. She explains why honeybees provide an excellent model for researching the human brain.
A BBC World Service report on Australia's increasing threat of bushfires takes us into the blaze with firemen who are fighting the flames, introduces us to families that have lost homes and loved ones, and talks to bushfire researchers about the connection to climate change.
The audio for this segment is not available due to copyright restrictions.
Sir Thomas Davis, the ex-premier of the Cook Islands, died last month. Although he was widely known for his long and sometimes controversial political career, he had a distinguished international record in the medical profession. At the time of his death, he was preparing to attend the 2007 Pacific Health Forum in Auckland. Louise Wallace begins a two part report from the forum, which began with a memorial for Sir Tom Davis.
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Coming Up In Our Next Programme
New research shows that New Caledonian crows are able to spontaneously solve a complicated problem involving the use of multiple tools to acquire food placed out of reach. Researcher Russell Gray of the University of Auckland explains how his team sees this as proof of the birds' ability to reason by analogy, providing further evidence of advanced cognitive skills in animals other than primates.
Did New Zealand drown in the ocean after breaking off from Gondwana? In a challenge to the "Moa's Ark" theory - that New Zealand preserved a precious cargo of unique flora and fauna when it drifted away from the supercontinent - GNS geologist Hamish Campbell and Massey University molecular biologist Steve Trewick put forward evidence that the landmass was completely submerged beneath the sea until around 23 million years ago.
For Conservation Week, we trade in some backyard nasties for New Zealand natives at a weed swap and visit a sculptural exhibition at TheNewDowse gallery in Lower Hutt about that most notorious of weeds: gorse.
Louise Wallace presents the second part of her report from the 2007 Pacific Health Forum, held in Auckland recently. Funded by the Health Research Council, the two-day conference covered a wide range of issues related to Pacific Island health concerns.