Science and environment

The ancient origins of the beloved guinea pig

Biological anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith, from the University of Otago has spent many years tracing the DNA from plants and animals that Pacific settlers carried in their canoes, and using that as a proxy for identifying human population origins and tracking their movement around the Pacific. Her latest research sheds light on guinea pig domestication and how the small, furry animals had different roles through time and in different parts of the world. Meanwhile, a just published study showing some Polynesians carry DNA of ancient South Americans from present-day Colombia, is re-fueling debate about whether Polynesian canoes made it all the way to the Americas. Lisa Matisoo-Smith, was not involved in the new study but has warned that the history of Polynesia is so complex that the new results might not reflect it accurately.

The ancient origins of the beloved guinea pig
0:00 / 10:24
Science and environment

Encouraging future leaders – Obama’s younger sister, Maya

Passionate advocate for peace and youth leadership Dr Maya Soetoro-Ng has been a social studies teacher, Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, heads her own non-profit in the same field, is co-founder of the Institute for Climate and Peace, a consultant at the Obama Foundation, and is the maternal half sister of US President Barack Obama.

Encouraging future leaders – Obama’s younger sister, Maya
0:00 / 29:08
Science and environment

Africa correspondent Debora Patta

South Africa hard hit by Covid-19 amid fears of other infectious diseases spreading, and inquiries into the deaths of more than 300 elephants in Botswana.

Africa correspondent Debora Patta
0:00 / 9:01
Science and environment

Regenerative agriculture road show

Natural Performance duo, Jono Few together with Peter Barrett has been touring the country talking about changing the way people are using their land. Jono explains to Jesse why there is so much enthusiasm for the regenerative approach he and his partner are encouraging with their seminars. You can find out where they are going to be here.

Regenerative agriculture road show
0:00 / 12:16
Science and environment

New technology developed for waste wood to replace oil

A pine wood bio-refinery is being planned for Tairawhiti, Gisborne to produce a material that can replace oil using largely low grade timber and waste wood. Co-founder of Futurity, Jacob Kohn, explains to Jesse what they are hoping to develop with their venture.

New technology developed for waste wood to replace oil
0:00 / 12:06
Science and environment

Tiwai Point: Concerns over tonnes of potentially toxic waste

The closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter has raised concerns over what it will mean for the thousands of tonnes of potentially toxic waste stored in the small Southland town of Mataura. The so-called ouvea premix in the town's papermill came under threat from floodwaters in February and the uncertainty about its future is worrying those who live there. Our Otago-Southland reporter, Timothy Brown, visited Mataura today and filed this story.

Tiwai Point: Concerns over tonnes of potentially toxic waste
0:00 / 4:53

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