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Health Sciences media releases 

 
 

Provide more water fountains at playgrounds, say researchers

Thursday, 19 October 2017 12:11pm

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington, has found that only six per cent of Wellington City children’s playgrounds have drinking water fountains.

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Many NZ mums not getting message about boosting iodine and folic acid: Otago research

Monday, 16 October 2017 11:41am

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health (MOH) rarely recommends using supplements, but does urge mothers to take in additional iodine and folic acid before and during pregnancy, and iodine when breastfeeding, to help avoid neurodevelopmental problems in their babies.

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NZ kids can’t escape alcohol marketing next to bread and milk

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 4:19pm

New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing on nearly every visit to the supermarket, innovative camera research from Otago and Auckland Universities reveals.

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New research shows NZ children are surrounded by junk food ads

Monday, 9 October 2017 5:25pm

New Zealand children are exposed to around 27 unhealthy food advertisements per day, innovative camera research from Otago and Auckland Universities reveals.

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Improving assessment of acute abdominal pain

Friday, 6 October 2017 3:08pm

Surgical admissions for people with abdominal pain to Wellington Hospital’s department of general surgery have nearly doubled over the past decade, a University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) study has found.

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Shoddy sunbeds on the second-hand market in New Zealand: Otago findings

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 2:26pm

New Zealand regulations around commercial sunbeds have been tightened in recent years, but they can be purchased on TradeMe where no regulations apply at all, according on to ongoing University of Otago research.

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New Zealand teens’ risky behaviour rates reduced since the 1990s

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 11:38am

Overall today’s adolescents are ‘better behaved’ than teens in the 1990s, says a University of Otago, Wellington researcher.

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World-leading cancer geneticist to receive Otago’s highest honour

Tuesday, 3 October 2017 9:43am

Professor Parry Guilford, an internationally renowned cancer genetics and biology expert, has been selected as the University’s latest recipient of the Distinguished Research Medal, the University of Otago’s highest distinction.

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Internationally pioneering Otago microbiology group honoured

Thursday, 28 September 2017 4:06pm

A world-leading team of microbiologists, whose work on a novel new way to fight TB infections shows great promise, has been selected as the recipient of the University of Otago’s latest Research Group Award.

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Undeclared steroids found in products sold in NZ

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 12:25pm

Athletes and the body-conscious beware – at least six sports supplements on sale in Australia and New Zealand contain anabolic steroids not declared on their labels.

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Lactation hormone also helps a mother’s brain: Otago research

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:11pm

The same hormone that stimulates milk production for lactation, also acts in the brain to help establish the nurturing link between mother and baby, University of Otago researchers have revealed for the first time.

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US video shines light on Otago research into the mystery of how glowworms glow

Monday, 25 September 2017 5:40pm

Otago Department of Biochemistry glowworm bioluminescence research was recently showcased internationally on a US public radio website.

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New study shows General Practices at health training capacity

Friday, 22 September 2017 10:17am

A comprehensive survey in the lower North Island and South Island has revealed that general practices, although crucial for teaching our future health professionals, are at training capacity.

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New research shows surge in outdoor smokefree action around NZ

Friday, 22 September 2017 9:42am

Local outdoor smokefree action is rapidly growing around New Zealand, according to new research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Book shines spotlight on our cities

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:02pm

A new book sets out important ideas for helping New Zealand cities resolve the challenges of providing quality, affordable housing, designing healthy transport systems and dealing with climate change.

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New medical device for brain monitoring at the bedside

Monday, 18 September 2017 10:26am

A University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) team has been awarded an MBIE Endeavour grant this week to develop a non-invasive and cost-effective device to diagnose and treat stroke and other brain injuries.

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Dawn of agriculture linked with poor start to life in ancient Atacama, Chile

Monday, 11 September 2017 9:29am

Learning to cultivate crops and other agricultural food – rather than relying on hunter-gathering – is often thought of as a key milestone in the history of humanity.

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Canterbury quake damage increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Friday, 8 September 2017 4:38pm

A Healthier Lives National Science Challenge study using New Zealand linked datasets  reveals the impact of residential housing damage from the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes on hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease.

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Otago researchers investigate new stroke treatment

Friday, 8 September 2017 1:56pm

New Zealand stroke survivors are being sought by University of Otago researchers for an innovative study that holds promise for restoring their arm and hand function.

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Study shows mould in bedrooms causes asthma in young children

Thursday, 7 September 2017 11:02am

Researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) have shown that leaking and mouldy homes may lead to the development of a first attack of asthma in young children living in them.

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Traditional pregnancy a thing of the past

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 12:12pm

Having a baby may never be the same again as increasingly sophisticated genetic testing is likely to raise thorny ethical issues, according to a new report.

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Otago researchers makes "natural born killer" cell discovery

Friday, 1 September 2017 11:29am

An unexpected role for a white blood cell called the Natural Killer (NK) cell – a critical cell for ridding the body of infection and cancer, has been discovered by University of Otago researchers.

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Positive outlook for couples with fertility difficulties

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 11:01am

Young couples who fear they are infertile may just need more time rather than costly treatments, University of Otago research shows.

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Helping healthcare practitioners to work with language interpreters

Monday, 28 August 2017 11:44am

A team of researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington has just launched a unique on-line eLearning module to provide realistic and practical guidance for clinicians working with spoken language interpreters in primary health care.

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Otago brain health researchers delve into dopamine

Friday, 25 August 2017 4:03pm

University of Otago researchers studying learning processes affected in brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have made new discoveries about how nerve impulses form memories, findings which have implications for developing new therapies for these conditions.

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Study shows most NZ playgrounds lack smokefree signs

Thursday, 24 August 2017 3:48pm

A new study of the smokefree signs at 63 New Zealand playgrounds has found that less than half of the playgrounds (44 per cent) had any such signs. Even when present, many of the signs were small and poorly designed, with some being only postcard sized.

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Quitline is good value-for-money - new study

Monday, 21 August 2017 10:52am

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington has found New Zealand’s Quitline service is a highly cost-effective way to improve health and even saves the health system money.

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Otago to lead $35m new advanced genomics platform

Friday, 18 August 2017 2:58pm

The University of Otago is to lead a $35 million project known as Genomics Aotearoa, a new science platform supporting advanced genomics research.

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Studying a new treatment for a common men’s condition

Thursday, 17 August 2017 1:12pm

A New Zealand-first research study happening in Canterbury could make treatment of a common male condition easier and less painful.

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Rental Warrant of Fitness for Wellington

Thursday, 17 August 2017 9:15am

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced.

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Otago University Press book wins two top awards

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 4:54pm

Dunedin author and illustrator David Elliot wins 2017 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award

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Otago honours physiotherapy leader

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 11:53am

Internationally renowned physiotherapist Dr Stanley Paris will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Otago this weekend.

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New discovery could help prevent preterm birth in at-risk pregnant women

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 12:58pm

Otago University researchers have discovered a new trigger that stimulates the release of oxytocin from the brain in pregnancy – the hormone responsible for contracting the uterus during birth.

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'Big data' study shows high impact of childhood respiratory illnesses on primary care practices

Friday, 11 August 2017 2:14pm

A study using ‘big data’ has found that childhood respiratory illnesses, especially during the first two years of life, have a big impact on New Zealand primary care general practice (GP) workloads.

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National excellence of Otago University teachers recognised

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 4:05pm

The sustained contributions of three leading University of Otago staff were recognised in the annual national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards held last night.

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Obstetric providers need greater support for new prenatal screening test

Friday, 4 August 2017 2:47pm

A new study shows most New Zealand obstetric providers need more support when providing a revolutionary genetic prenatal screening test because of its complexity and because it is not publicly funded.

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Secrets of ancient Irish funeral practices revealed

Friday, 4 August 2017 12:17pm

New insights into the lifeways – and death rites – of the ancient people of Ireland are being provided through funerary studies led by a researcher at the University of Otago’s Department of Anatomy.

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New Zealand is falling far short of its Smokefree 2025 goal

Wednesday, 2 August 2017 9:14am

Smokefree 2025 will be Smokefree 2065 unless urgent government action is taken.

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No evidence higher doses of cholesterol-lowering drug increase risk of acute kidney damage

Monday, 31 July 2017 3:37pm

New Zealanders taking a higher dose of simvastatin, one of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, do not appear to have a higher risk of acute kidney damage than those taking a lower dose, according to University of Otago researchers from the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Network.

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New Centre for Translational Physiology launched in Wellington

Monday, 31 July 2017 4:08pm

A unique centre that will forge new links between health researchers and clinicians, working on solutions for complex diseases such as diabetes, obesity and stroke, is being launched at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) this week.