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Health Sciences media releases 

 
 

Updated guidance urgently needed for antipsychotic drug clozapine

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:04am

Drug-safety regulators and manufacturers need to take urgent action over serious adverse effects of the valuable antipsychotic drug clozapine, a new study shows.

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‘Trojan’ females may hold key to pest control

Friday, 16 June 2017 1:54pm

Pests like mice and wasps may one day be eradicated using a new technique which scientists have just proven in the laboratory on fruit flies.

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Otago researchers find valuable new clues in fight against multi-drug resistance

Friday, 16 June 2017 9:34am

Research into yeast, the single-celled organism behind a range of human infections, has led to University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry researchers identifying a previously unknown piece of genetic sleight-of-hand which may enable multi-drug resistance, a major emerging global health problem.

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Researchers funded to investigate possible adverse effect of a common lung disease treatment

Thursday, 15 June 2017 9:23am

The University of Otago’s Dr Lianne Parkin and colleagues will receive a Health Research Council grant to investigate whether particular drugs used to treat a common lung disease put people at greater risk of heart attacks.

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Major funding for innovative University of Otago health research

Thursday, 15 June 2017 7:00am

University of Otago researchers have been awarded more than $24M in new health research funding to support their world-class studies aimed at improving New Zealanders’ health and well-being.

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Research finds flu is a major killer in New Zealand with Māori, Pasifika and low-income earners most vulnerable

Friday, 9 June 2017 12:27pm

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, shows that influenza kills about 500 New Zealanders each year, and the risk of premature death is much higher for Māori, Pasifika, men and those living in relative poverty.

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Pneumonia vaccine found to have major impact

Thursday, 8 June 2017 12:55pm

A leading international health researcher at the University of Otago is part of a team that has gained new insights into how much children in Africa can benefit from a vaccine against pneumonia.

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Way to make cancer treatment safer wins Otago innovation competition

Thursday, 8 June 2017 11:48am

A new technique to make modern cancer treatment safer was the winner at the University of Otago annual Proof of Concept competition.

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Teachers using own DNA for human evolution studies

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 12:38pm

School students who may have wondered where their teachers came from may not have to wonder much longer.

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Being overweight or obese in childhood closely linked to heart health risk in middle age: Otago research

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 8:47am

Being overweight or obese from as early as three years of age is associated with measures of cardiovascular risk in early midlife, according to new findings from the world-renowned Dunedin Study.

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Setting the world on a course toward sustainable development

Tuesday, 6 June 2017 12:26pm

Not all good policies, in isolation, lead to an overall good outcome. Interactions and linkages between policies are what will lead us towards a more sustainable world, according to a new International Council for Science (ICSU) report.

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Experts call for urgent changes to tobacco sales

Friday, 2 June 2017 4:48pm

Dramatically changing the way tobacco is sold will be a crucial step in achieving the Government’s 2025 smokefree goal, according to new University of Otago research that examined the views of smokefree experts throughout New Zealand.

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Cardiovascular killer protein probed by Otago researchers

Thursday, 1 June 2017 11:59am

Probing the molecular breakdown of a little-known “killer” lipoprotein, responsible for many cases of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions, has given University of Otago scientists new insights into how it is metabolised by the body.

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Christchurch Heart Institute and the Heart Foundation first to work with cardiovascular charity partnership

Thursday, 1 June 2017 8:36am

The Christchurch Heart Institute is working alongside the Heart Foundation as part of an innovative approach to cardiovascular disease (CVD) research, following a significant donation of $330,000 from Ryman Healthcare yesterday.

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HIV diagnoses in New Zealand in 2016 highest ever

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 9:28am

Figures released today by the AIDS Epidemiology Group at the University of Otago show that in 2016, 244 people were diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand – the highest number ever diagnosed in any one year since monitoring of the epidemic began in 1985.

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Smoking mothers more likely to have babies with teeth abnormalities

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 11:28am

Women who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day during pregnancy are much more likely to give birth to babies who will fail to grow all their teeth, new University of Otago research has found.

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Chlamydia more common in New Zealand than thought

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:46am

One in three New Zealand women have had the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia by the age of 38 as have one in five men, based on estimates from a new study.

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‘Missing DNA’ could hold clue to why some get breast cancer young

Monday, 29 May 2017 9:52am

A University of Otago, Christchurch, discovery of missing DNA in women who develop breast cancer at a young age could hold the key to helping them beat the disease.

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Māori obesity linked to various factors in study

Friday, 26 May 2017 11:05am

Spiritual beliefs, cultural practices and the impacts of colonisation may make it harder for Māori to stick to the typical diet and exercise advice for reducing weight, a University of Otago PhD candidate has found.

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Cannabidiol shown to be effective for a severe form of Epilepsy

Thursday, 25 May 2017 4:48pm

The first ever Class 1 clinical trial of the drug cannabidiol has shown it is effective at reducing convulsive seizures in a severe type of epilepsy in children.

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New insights gained into genetics of gout in Māori and Pacific people

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 11:31am

Newly identified gene variants contribute to explaining why Māori and Pacific people have the highest rates worldwide of gout, the painful and debilitating arthritic disease, an international collaboration led by University of Otago researchers has found.

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Do Community Treatment Orders violate human rights?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 9:54am

Researchers from New Zealand and Australia have claimed that a standard practice used in psychiatry may be ineffective and violate international human rights conventions.

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Up-and-coming Otago scientists gain Health Research Council funding

Monday, 22 May 2017 12:05pm

Two University of Otago staff have received emerging researcher first grants in the Health Research Council’s 2017 funding round announced today.

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New appointment for the University of Otago in Tairāwhiti

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 11:43am

Dr Diana Kopua (nee Rangihuna) has been appointed to the new part-time role of Associate Dean, Tairāwhiti, by the University of Otago, Wellington. She will be providing support for all Otago students in the Tairāwhiti (Gisborne) region, including Wairoa. 

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Improvements to healthcare system needed to manage multimorbidity

Friday, 12 May 2017 10:50am

Living with multiple health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, is a challenge for increasing numbers of New Zealanders. New research led by the University of Otago, Wellington, has identified issues and improvements needed in the health care system to help patients with multimorbidity (multiple health conditions), their supporters and health care providers.

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New funding for Otago immunotherapy breast cancer research

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 11:24am

A University of Otago biochemistry researcher has been awarded nearly $200,000 to study the potential of immunotherapy to treat breast cancer.

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Off-label prescription of proton pump inhibitors to New Zealand infants is common

Thursday, 4 May 2017 12:09pm

Off-label use of proton pump inhibitors is common among New Zealand infants, according to new University of Otago research.

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Study on tensions between street-based sex workers and their communities

Thursday, 4 May 2017 11:58am

Better understanding tensions between street-based sex workers and communities is part of a new study by a University of Otago, Christchurch, researcher into the impact of decriminalisation.

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New Zealand fish and chips hold human DNA clues

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 9:27am

Before you pop that piece of battered fish in your mouth, be aware it might just hold the key to understanding the origins of a form of DNA memory critical to human development.

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Turning healthcare around: Health professionals learning together makes for better healthcare

Thursday, 13 April 2017 11:14am

Poor communication between clinicians can turn health care into a bad experience. The University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) is turning this around through an interprofessional education (IPE) programme introduced in recent years for students across the disciplines – dietetics, medicine, physiotherapy, and radiation therapy.

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New Centre recognises Otago’s excellence in global-health research

Monday, 10 April 2017 4:07pm

The University of Otago has recently named the Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI) as one of its 12 flagship research centres.

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Study to develop faster way of detecting antibiotic resistance

Monday, 10 April 2017 3:17pm

New Zealand researchers are about to develop a radical new way of helping doctors detect antibiotic resistance faster that could save patients’ lives and change the way antibiotics are used around the world.

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Injured Māori face higher rates of long-term disability

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 2:36pm

Māori experience considerable longer-term disability after injury, new University of Otago analysis of patient-reported and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) data shows.

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Probiotics may reduce risk of gestational diabetes

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 2:06pm

Research led by the University of Otago, Wellington has found that a ‘home-grown’ naturally occurring probiotic reduces the risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and lowers fasting blood sugar.

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Health Research Council supports Otago researchers

Thursday, 30 March 2017 8:18am

Several University of Otago researchers have gained feasibility grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) in its latest funding round. The HRC yesterday announced a combined total of $2 million worth of these grants, up from $1.05 million in 2016.

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New research towards a Smokefree Wellington

Thursday, 30 March 2017 8:46am

Progress towards smokefree inner cities in New Zealand requires specific policies for places like building entrances, family areas, public seating, outdoor dining and for city events, say researchers.

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‘Quake brain’ affecting our memory and ability on simple tasks

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 9:55am

Cantabrians cognitive abilities – or their ability to do simple tasks – appear to have been significantly affected by exposure to earthquakes, new research from the University of Otago, Christchurch, has found.

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Evidence supports nationwide roll-out of home safety measures

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 2:28pm

New evidence from the University of Otago, Wellington shows that government social investment in safer housing would be justified to prevent falls.

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New national School of Rural Health proposed

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 12:04pm

The creation of a new national School of Rural Health (SRH) is being investigated by New Zealand’s two medical schools at the University of Otago and The University of Auckland, in association with the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network (NZRGPN) in a joint initiative which has the potential to begin to address the country’s chronic shortage of rural health professionals.

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Researchers developing next-generation sanitisers to control bovine mastitis in the dairy industry

Friday, 17 March 2017 11:10am

Researchers from the Universities of Otago and Auckland have teamed up with a leading New Zealand animal health innovator, Deosan, to develop new sanitisers for mastitis management. The development and implementation of new sanitisers will continue to enhance New Zealand’s position as a global leader in milk quality by improving performance in mastitis prevention and guard against the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.