‘It’s scary’: wildlife selfies harming animals, experts warn

Concern in New Zealand that trend of taking photographs with penguins and other creatures is having impact on feeding, breeding and birth rates At the International Penguin Conference in New Zealand, the experts were worried. Among sobering discussions about the perils of the climate crisis and habitat loss, the unlikely issue of wildlife selfies photobombed the agenda, with increasing concern that the celebrity-fuelled search for that perfect shot is affecting animal behaviour. Professor Philip Seddon, the director of Otago Universitys wildlife management programme, said: Were losing respect for wildlife, we dont understand the wild at all. Seddon told the global convention held in Dunedin last week that the normalisation of wildlife selfies was scary and was harming animals, including causing …

Scientists discover way to grow tooth enamel

Experts produce clusters of enamel-like calcium phosphate to crack age-old problem Scientists say they have finally cracked the problem of repairing tooth enamel. Though enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it cannot self-repair. Now scientists have discovered a method by which its complex structure can be reproduced and the enamel essentially grown back. The team behind the research say the materials are cheap and can be prepared on a large scale. After intensive discussion with dentists, we believe that this new method can be widely used in future, said Dr Zhaoming Liu, co-author of the research from Zhejiang University in China. Tooth decay is extremely common: according to journal Science Advances, say they got around this problem by …

The new drug highway: Pacific islands at centre of cocaine trafficking boom

Explosion in number of boats carrying cocaine and meth from Latin America to Australia is causing havoc for islands on the way It is the drug route youve never heard of: a multibillion-dollar operation involving cocaine and methamphetamines being packed into the hulls of sailing boats in the US and Latin America and transported to Australia via New Caledonia, whose waters and beaches are being used as storage grounds for billions of dollars worth of illicit drugs. Hundreds of kilograms of cocaine have washed up on remote Pacific beaches, ships laden with drugs have run aground on far-flung coral reefs, and locals have discovered huge caches of drugs stored in underwater nets attached to GPS beacons. Draw a direct line …

New Zealand’s world-first wellbeing budget to focus on poverty and mental health

Country claims to be the first to measure success by peoples wellbeing Child poverty, domestic violence and mental health will be the priorities in New Zealands wellbeing budget, the finance minister has announced, with the nation declaring itself the first in the world to measure success by its peoples wellbeing. On Tuesday Grant Robertson said that despite New Zealands rockstar economy many New Zealanders were being left behind, with home ownership at a 60-year low, the suicide rate climbing and homelessness and food aid grants on the rise. According to predictions by the International Monetary Fund, the New Zealand economy is expected to grow at around 2.5 % in 2019 and 2.9% in 2020. But Robertson emphasised many New Zealanders …

China ‘failing trans people’ as young attempt surgery on themselves study

Stigma and ignorance drive young people to undertake high-risk treatment without telling families, Amnesty researchers say Young transgender people in China are risking their lives and health by taking unsafe hormones and attempting surgery on themselves, according to researchers at Amnesty International. An alarming lack of knowledge and expertise within the countrys public health system, as well as restrictive eligibility requirements, has made it almost impossible for trans people to access safe hormone therapy or other gender-affirming treatment, said the human rights group in a report published on Friday. In China, trans people are classified as having a mental illness and require the consent of their families for sex reassignment surgery, the researchers found. The prevalence of discrimination and stigma …