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Division of Sciences News

Bioethics Seminar: The emergence of public health ethics

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 2:17pm

James C. Thomas, PhD, University of North Carolina
Monday 12th March 2018, 1.00 - 2.00 pm
Bioethics Seminar Room, Level One, 71 Frederick Street (entry on Frederick Street)

Ethics are often about imbalances of power. In public health, the power imbalances are principally between a population and its government, rather than between a patient and a clinician. But only recently has public health ethics distinguished itself from medical ethics. The emergence of public health ethics has been driven in part by global phenomena, such as the threat of pandemics. Dr Thomas will describe this emergence and its expression in different cultures.
Jim Thomas is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the MEASURE Evaluation project at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Unique chemistry - which one day might help fight serious disease - found in the New Zealand glowworm

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 3:26pm

University of Otago researchers have helped uncover how New Zealand glowworms produce their glow.

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Prize-winning Otago scientist credits collaboration with her success

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 9:52pm

Her work may be in nano-scale, but it is certainly making a big impact for Dr Carla Meledandri. The Otago Chemistry lecturer is the 2017 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize recipient and was presented with her award today.

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Molecular installation provides gateway to Division of Sciences

Monday, 12 February 2018 11:29am

A 12.5 tonne, three-storey tall steel representation of a molecular network has become the “gateway” to the University of Otago’s Division of Sciences.

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Otago researchers uncover New Zealand's first fossils preserved in amber

Thursday, 8 February 2018 11:31am

The discovery of fossil insects, nematodes and fungi preserved in amber from sites in Otago is shedding new light on New Zealand’s geological and biological history.

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Centre staff go the distance for Agri-food conference

Friday, 26 January 2018 12:13pm

The Centre for Sustainability was well represented at the recent 24th International Conference of Agri-food Research Network held in Bandung, Indonesia.

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Otago researchers reveal sexual prowess of older males not to be underestimated

Thursday, 25 January 2018 11:03am

Quality sperm, good genes, and courtship knowledge are just a few reasons why females might benefit from mating with older males.

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Otago reveals concerning prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Southern New Zealand women

Monday, 22 January 2018 12:07pm

New Zealand women and their babies are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency and current health guidelines fall short of curbing this detrimental trend, new University of Otago research shows.

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Talking about diabetes – improving health, one sentence at a time

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 9:53am

Primary care physicians can improve their communication to newly-diagnosed diabetes patients by offering more information specific to the patient’s experience, new research from Otago, Auckland and Victoria universities shows.

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Predator Free 2050 has major benefits for human health

Monday, 15 January 2018 9:12am

The Predator Free 2050 campaign to rid New Zealand of rats and possums will have major benefits for human health as well as for native plants and animals, says University of Otago, Wellington public health researcher Dr Mary McIntyre.

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University academics receive Fulbright Scholar awards 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 11:19am

Two University of Otago academics have received Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Awards to undertake research in the United States.

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Otago breakthrough in diabetic heart disease

Friday, 5 January 2018 11:26am

The molecule responsible for heart disease in diabetics has been identified by University of Otago researchers, greatly improving chances of survival.

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Chronic lung disease treatment in New Zealand often not consistent with international guidelines

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:53am

University of Otago researchers have found that the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in New Zealand frequently does not conform to international guidelines.

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Going full-cycle to a PhD

Saturday, 16 December 2017 11:52am

Graduating with a PhD in Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Matt Jenkins reflects on his time, so far, in New Zealand.

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Graduating into retirement… drumroll please

Saturday, 16 December 2017 11:26am

It should be special enough that Brian Coutts is retiring from working at the School of Surveying, after over 25 years’ service, at the end of December. But that’s not the half of it. Today he graduates with a PhD in Surveying – 48 years since starting here as a fledgling 1st year student – and as acting Senior Drum Major of the City of Dunedin, will lead the graduands parade.

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Otago offers free water survival skills programme

Thursday, 14 December 2017 10:24pm

In a bid to curb New Zealand's horrific drowning rates, an Otago researcher is aiming to fill the gap in children's open water survival skills.

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Why Fish?

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 2:50pm

Freshwater scientist and Catchment Otago Co-director, Professor Gerry Closs is ranked in the top 50 researchers worldwide for the number of citations produced in his field. During his expansive career, he has supervised over 40 PhD candidates and close to 90 student projects. Read more about Professor Closs' IPL.

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Sneaky males adopt ‘female-like’ brains to fool big brutes

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 2:13pm

In the ever-competitive mating scene, new University of Otago research has revealed how males of some species revert to deception and disguise in order to lure females.

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Flourishing in an interconnected world: Hands-on science for Māori youth

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 2:06pm

The 3rd Science Wānanga recently hosted at Ōtākou Marae in Dunedin had an overarching theme that all components of the world we live in are interconnected and must remain healthy in order for us all to flourish.

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Giving cash without strings attached can improve health

Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:05pm

New research has shown governments can help improve health in low and middle income countries, simply by providing cash to people living in poverty.

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Marsden success for Sciences

Monday, 20 November 2017 9:59am

Division of Sciences researchers have gained over $7.2m for 12 world-class research projects as Principal Investigators and a further $6m as Assistant Investigators working in collaboration with researchers both across Otago and in external organisations.

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Elimination of mosquito-borne diseases in the Pacific possible with collaboration

Thursday, 16 November 2017 5:00pm

The importance of working together to prevent mosquito-borne diseases will be highlighted during an upcoming University of Otago-organised event.

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New spectrometer puts Otago ahead

Monday, 6 November 2017 9:11pm

A new spectrometer, recently purchased by the University’s Department of Chemistry, is allowing Otago researchers to work at the cutting edge of their field.

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Seven-year-old donates savings to Otago cancer research

Friday, 27 October 2017 2:07pm

A seven-year-old girl from the United States has generously donated some of the money she made running a summer cat sitting business to an Otago cancer research group.

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Solar storms and Auckland’s damaged fuel pipeline

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:17am

Physicists at the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington suggest geomagnetic storms can cause corrosion in New Zealand’s pipelines, and some areas, including Northland, are more vulnerable.

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Halving the University of Otago’s greenhouse gas emissions

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 11:12am

The University of Otago is living its commitment to being a good global citizen by sparking a change that will halve the greenhouse gas emissions created by its energy use, while simultaneously reducing its total carbon footprint by a third.

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2017 Otago Global Health Institute Conference

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 10:58am

2017 Otago Global Health Institute Conference is being held in Dunedin, New Zealand 15-16 November at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The conference includes the McAuley Oration, an open lecture, and will run back -to-back with the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases NZ Annual Meeting.

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Climate change and extreme weather driving migration

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 1:46pm

For the first time, a University of Otago researcher has shown that not only are the effects of climate change influencing people’s decision to migrate, it is actually a more important driver than income and political freedom at the origin country.

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Otago researchers’ achievements recognised at 2017 NZ Research Honours Dinner

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 12:31pm

The outstanding achievements of three University of Otago researchers were recognised through the bestowing of prestigious national awards at the 2017 New Zealand Research Honours Dinner earlier this week. The trio were among New Zealand researchers to be presented with 21 medals in total at the Royal Society Te Apārangi-hosted event in Auckland.

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Summer Scholarships available

Monday, 25 September 2017 2:29pm

If you are planning on returning to Otago University next year and would like to carry out an interesting research project over the summer break one of our summer scholarships might appeal to you. Both will be based at our Centre and would run for the standard 10-week period.

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PhD Scholarship available - QuakeCoRE project

Saturday, 23 September 2017 11:27am

The Centre is calling for applications for a 3 year doctoral scholarship commencing early 2018.
It will contribute to the QuakeCoRE programme (Flagship 3 – Addressing earthquake-vulnerable buildings – a multi-disciplinary approach). This three-year project will focus on learning lessons from both domestic and international cordoning experiences to inform the planning and implementation of cordons in urban New Zealand.
Applications for the scholarship close January 20th 2018. More information and full application details available

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$1 million MBIE "Smart Idea" grant to advance augmented reality

Friday, 22 September 2017 3:45pm

A $1 million MBIE Endeavour "Smart Ideas" grant has been awarded to Department of Computer Science’s Dr Stefanie Zollmann and her team from Computer Science, Information Science and Physical Education for their research titled “Situated visualisation to enrich sports experience for on-site spectators”.

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2018 Zonta Science Award

Thursday, 21 September 2017 3:04pm

The Zonta Club of Wellington is calling for applications for the 2018 Zonta Science Award. Applications must be received by 5 February 2018.

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Dunedin whizz kid wins iconic maths comp

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 4:16pm

About 6,500 Year 9 to 11 pupils from around 150 schools throughout New Zealand took part in the 2017 University of Otago Junior Maths Competition now into its 32nd year, attempting to answer up to five questions, requiring them to apply their mathematical skills to unknown situations. The winner of the Year 9 section was Tobias Devereux from Kavanagh College in Dunedin.

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2017 International Young Scientist Award for Physics

Monday, 18 September 2017 1:04pm

Physics PhD candidate Emma Douma is the recipient of one-of-three prestigious International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) Young Scientist Awards for 2017.

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Centre director joins Science Leadership Team for Sustainable Seas

Monday, 18 September 2017 10:22am

Centre for Sustainability Director Janet Stephenson will be joining the Science Leadership Team (SLT) for the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge.

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Kiwi Apathy Towards Cholesterol Concerning

Friday, 15 September 2017 11:42am

A new study which found Kiwis do not consider the potential impact of their food choices on their cholesterol levels is worrying according to a leading academic expert.

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Election cycle not helping transport sustainability

Thursday, 14 September 2017 2:32pm

Keeping New Zealanders on the move in an increasingly sustainable way is being hamstrung by our three-year election cycle and policy U-turns.

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RoboCup Nationals in town this weekend

Thursday, 14 September 2017 11:24am

Regional competitions of Robocup Junior New Zealand were held up and down the country between July and September this year, with the nationals taking place in Dunedin on Saturday. Robocup is a unique event that excites and motivates school students, and allows them to choose between Robot Theatre, Rescue or Soccer. Any brand of robot may be used, provided they can be programmed and are not remote controlled. Students are also encouraged to build their own robots. Now played in over 30 countries around the world it is a regular feature of the annual university run RoboCup World Finals, where it is the largest league. Come along and see what all the fuss is about!

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Concerns about language skills of young New Zealanders

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:48am

A new study published in the Journal of Child Language has taken a selfie of the language skills of more than 6000 New Zealand two-year-olds and found some concerning gaps.