Kiwi ingenuity helps save lives of endangered elephants in Malaysia

The group of orphaned Borneo pygmy elephants have been getting healthy on New Zealand milk powder. Source: 1 NEWS

MOST
POPULAR STORIES


Record number of asylum seekers in NZ last year

More asylum seekers claimed refuge once they were in New Zealand last year than in any year on record.

China had the highest number of approvals, followed by Russia and Turkey.

Asylum claims grew to 438, but a higher number were rejected compared to previous years.

China has been in the top three countries for asylum approvals for the past 10 years.

Asylum seekers either apply to the Refugee Status Branch once they arrive in New Zealand, or UNHCR-mandated refugees are brought in under the Government refugee quota.

Among refugees who entered through the quota, Syria, Myanmar, Colombia and Afghanistan accounted for three quarters of last year's 1000-strong intake.

The quota will rise to 1500 refugees in 2020.

The most common settlement areas last year were Wellington with 246 refugees and Otago with 182.

Southland had its first 43 Colombian arrivals through the new settlement scheme there.

More than half of Wellington's quota refugees came from Syria and Iran.

No refugees were placed in Canterbury.

Christchurch needed more infrastructure rebuilding before it could become a suitable refugee settlement location again, Immigration New Zealand said last year.

About 20 quota refugees from Afghanistan and Eritrea will be resettled in the city in March next year, with 40 more in the rest of 2019.

There are now seven places where refugees are settled long-term in New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, Manawatū, Wellington, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill.

The government pulled back the number of quota refugees settling in Auckland in 2016, due to the lack of affordable housing.

Almost 300 were settled there in 2008 compared to 86 last year.

The Government is considering setting up additional settlement locations to accommodate the increase in refugees.

rnz.co.nz

New Zealand had a record number of asylum seekers last year. Source: rnz.co.nz

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Scientists in China breed healthy mice from two females

Researchers in China say they’ve bred healthy mice with two mothers using a new type of gene editing technology.

The finding may help researchers better understand mammalian reproduction but it carries significant safety and ethical questions.

A total of 29 bimaternal mice were produced using 210 embryos in the study.

Not all the mice pups survived the experiment. Mice produced from two fathers only survived a couple of days after being born.

According to 9NEWS, Wei Li, one of the study’s co-authors said in a news release, “This research shows us what’s possible.”

"We saw that the defects in bimaternal mice can be eliminated and that bipaternal reproduction barriers in mammals can also be crossed through imprinting modification.”

In the journal Cell Stem Cell Thursday, the scientists conducting the study said they were interested in answering why some reptiles, fish and amphibians can reproduce with one parent of the same sex but others cannot.

The gene were removed by a controversial tool CRISPR Cas9, that experts say has the potential to save countless lives and billions of dollars but has raised serious ethical questions.

The idea of "designer babies" where parents can choose genetic traits is one example, but some have warned that editing individual human genes could affect the gene pool in future generations.

Scientists say that despite the potential of the latest study, the technology isn’t ready for practical application.

Mice being used in scientific research.
Mice being used in scientific research. Source: istock.com


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Police name man killed in fatal Rotorua motorcycle crash

Police have released the name of the person who died in a motorcycle crash in Rotorua earlier this week.

Police car
Police car Source: 1 NEWS

The man was 47-year-old Thomas Hunuhunu of Rotorua.

Police were called to a crash on Deven Street West around 2am on Thursday morning after a motorcycle collided with a tree.

The motorcycle was the only vehicle involved in the crash and the driver died at the scene.

The Serious Crash Unit is still investigating the fatal accident.


Drug testing legalisation at NZ festivals on the cards

The Government is considering legalising drug-testing services at festivals.

A community organisation, Know Your Stuff, said the law hindered people's access to pill testing at events, which put users at risk.

Its managing director Wendy Allison said section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act made it a criminal offence to permit a venue to be used for drug consumption, so the presence of pill testing would demonstrate that the event organisers knew that people use drugs.

"Section 12 was never intended to prevent harm reduction services from happening at events."

"An unintended consequence of the Section has been to deter event organisers from providing harm reduction services such as pill testing, removing this barrier is an obvious step towards keeping people safe."

Health Minister David Clark said the coalition Government was dealing with drug use as a health and harm reduction issue.

"In light of this, I've had initial discussions with the Justice Minister about 'drug checking' services.

"Through him, I've asked for advice on the legislative and criminal justice issues around such services."

rnz.co.nz- Chris Bramwell

Johann Hari, who spent several years researching drug use, addiction and treatment for his book, says we’ve misunderstood addiction.
Source: 1 NEWS