Otago bioarchaeologist’s 1,000-year-old discovery unravels clues about use of psychoactive plants for ritual purposes
Tuesday, 7 May 2019 12:17pm
An Otago bioarchaeologist was among a group of international archaeologists who made an exciting discovery of a “ritual bundle” in Bolivia and using chemical analysis helped unravel clues about the use of psychoactive plants for ritual purposes in the South American country a thousand years ago.
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 11:24am
An international team of researchers including scientists from the University of Otago and Canterbury Museum has brought new knowledge around how the world’s largest eagle came to live in New Zealand. The study published this week in “Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution” traces the Haast’s eagle back to Australia, but it was only after more than two million years of evolution in New Zealand that the bird became a global giant.
Monday, 18 February 2019 9:54am
University of Otago researchers have discovered a clue as to why there are changes in the way babies’ brains are formed in mothers who are obese during pregnancy, which can potentially lead to an elevated risk of mental illness, including autism spectrum disorders.
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:25am
Two women, both from the University of Otago, have been appointed to lead the Ageing Well National Science Challenge (AWNSC) in a year when it moves into the second phase of its allocation of funding.
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 9:30am
Research undertaken by Professor John Reynolds and colleagues at the University of Otago has found an exciting new treatment to help people recover from the effects of a stroke.
Monday, 28 January 2019 11:11am
The Department recent hosted ten budding young anatomists as part of the University's Hands-On at Otago programme for Year 12 and 13 students. The students completed a research project on the knee, as well as other organised programme activities throughout the week.
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 2:03pm
A passion and drive to enhance the student learning experience in the W.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum and transform the Museum into a world class teaching facility has seen Mr Chris Smith receive the School of Biomedical Sciences Teaching Support Sustained Contribution award for 2018.
Thursday, 6 December 2018 11:17am
Otago researchers have discovered a rare case of genetic population discontinuity on the Mediterranean Island of Ibiza. Essentially, the original genetic signature of the founding female population, handed down through centuries on Ibiza has been replaced, prompting a change in understanding of the island’s genetic history.
Monday, 3 December 2018 11:29am
The death from cancer of a fellow student was a big motivation behind the group Monatomy which has been raising money to improve men’s health.
Friday, 16 November 2018 11:52am
A journal article published by postgraduate student Ashim Maharjan on the potential effects of different frequencies of non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation in humans, has seen him awarded the Department of Anatomy Postgraduate Paper Prize.
Tuesday, 6 November 2018 3:24pm
Two Anatomy researchers have been honoured by the Royal Society Te Apārangi of New Zealand for their work in advancing science communication and relationships in their chosen fields of research.
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 8:05pm
This year’s winner of the University’s Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Research Medal, Associate Professor Siân Halcrow, says she was drawn into her research area through her experience as a third-year student taking Biological Anthropology at Otago.
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 9:16am
Irish Famine victims were heavy smokers which caused badly rotten teeth, researchers from the University of Otago and Queen’s University Belfast, in Ireland, have discovered.
Friday, 19 October 2018 12:18pm
Dr Rosie Brown and Dr Michael Pankhurst have been awarded University of Otago Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research. They are two of just six rising researchers in the University to receive this award in 2018.
Thursday, 18 October 2018 11:13am
This years Poster Day was a huge occasion for all our students who presented the results of their 400-level research to staff and fellow students of the department. Ten students took part in the event, which also doubled as an assessment component for those taking the ANAT 458 paper.
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 2:40pm
An Otago PhD student is putting her weight behind a campaign to make the one of the rarest birds in the world, the Kakī, or Black Stilt, New Zealand’s 2018 Bird of the Year.
Monday, 20 August 2018 2:42pm
Two young researchers from the Grattan research lab have both won prestigious awards at recent international meetings.
Wednesday, 18 July 2018 9:15am
University of Otago-led international collaborative research calls into question the ethics and skeletal and genomic analysis surrounding research into the much publicised alien-like “Atacama mummy”.
Thursday, 12 July 2018 12:25pm
If Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie’s face seems familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve seen her on TV, or in the newspaper, or on the back of a bus.
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 2:02pm
The tale has got it all – cutting edge technology, a mysterious creature, international participants, and the media spotlight. Otago's Professor Neil Gemmell reflects on his now famous investigation, two years in the making; the Loch Ness eDNA project.
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 12:00am
Dr Yusuf Cakmak and Ms Marlene Black recently took part in TEXpo, an event run as part of the national Techweek festival promoting New Zealand’s unique and inspiring innovations to the world.
Monday, 11 June 2018 9:05pm
Drumnadrochit, a small village in the Scottish Highlands, is a peaceful spot frequented by tourists. Last week, though, teams of international media swarmed in to meet the man behind the latest plan to “find Nessie” – Otago's Professor Neil Gemmell.
Wednesday, 6 June 2018 11:14pm
Otago’s Professor Neil Gemmell is now in Scotland, with teams of international media waiting to follow his every move as he searches for DNA evidence of the Loch Ness Monster.
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 2:17pm
“So cold!” is the answer Anatomy PhD candidate Josh Houlton gives when asked how he feels after shaving his dreadlocks in the foyer of the Lindo Ferguson Building in support of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.
Monday, 21 May 2018 2:58pm
The story of the Loch Ness monster is one of the world’s greatest mysteries. We have waited more than a thousand years for an answer on its existence. Now, it is only months away.
Thursday, 12 April 2018 10:03am
Exhumation and analysis of skeletons and burial sites in the historic Otago town of Lawrence is underway, with University of Otago researchers conducting The Otago Historic Cemeteries Bioarchaeology Project.
Friday, 23 March 2018 10:42am
Researchers from The University of Otago are playing a key role in revealing previously unknown information about prehistoric settlement in the South Pacific.
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 12:04pm
Two University of Otago libraries and a Dunedin printmaker have been working together to create art from long-forgotten anatomical images.
Monday, 22 January 2018 3:09pm
The Department recently hosted eight enthusiastic Year 12 and 13 students as part of the 'Hands-on at Otago' programme. They spent the week learning all about the knee - its structures and movement, the mechanics of how the knee works, and how easily it can be damaged through sporting activity or old age.
Thursday, 21 December 2017 9:48am
Congratulations to our seven staff members who received School of Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Awards for their outstanding contribution to research and teaching throughout 2017.
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 11:15am
The sun shone brightly upon thirty-nine Anatomy students as they graduated with their degrees at the weekend. Many of them, along with their friends and family, gathered in the Department beforehand to mark the special occasion.
Friday, 15 December 2017 11:18am
The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the Department this season. Staff and postgraduate students have donated a fabulous selection of toys and wrapping paper to the Santa’s Little Helper fundraiser, run by Santa’s very-own little helper, Shane Waldron.
Friday, 1 December 2017 1:15pm
Third year medical student Brennan Carne is the first recipient of the Peter Hurst Summer Studentship Scholarship. Brennan is undertaking a summer research project in the Department of Anatomy with Associate Professor George Dias. The Scholarship will provide him with financial support while he undertakes his research over the summer.
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.
Friday, 24 November 2017 2:10pm
The facial approximation of Otago Museum’s Egyptian mummy by Dr Louisa Baillie has brought to life the presence of a woman who lived over 2400 years ago. She is believed to have come from the ancient city of Thebes, now modern-day Luxor. Mummification was a common burial method for people living in Egypt at that time.
Friday, 17 November 2017 11:44am
Scientists working in the vanguard of new genetic technologies have issued a call to ensure that possible applications in conservation will only affect local populations.
Thursday, 16 November 2017 4:06pm
Congratulations to postgraduate student Anu Kaw who has received a University of Otago Disability Information and Support Appreciation Award for providing first-class tutoring support to students with a disability.
Monday, 13 November 2017 2:57pm
Over $800,000 from Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ) Rangahau Roro Aotearoa has been awarded to four researchers in the Department. The five Project and Explorer grants will support and help develop new research in the Department in the areas of brain stimulation, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Friday, 10 November 2017 4:21pm
A paper written by PhD candidate Vivek Perumal, as lead author, has been judged the best research paper published by an enrolled Anatomy postgraduate student in 2017. The paper, published in Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, looks at the fovea capitis on the head of the femur, an attachment site of the ligament of the head of femur (LHF/ligamentum teres of the hip).
Monday, 6 November 2017 2:05pm
Five researchers in the Department of Anatomy have attracted $3.3m in funding from the latest Marsden Fund round. Head of Department Professor Neil Gemmell said he was delighted the excellent research undertaken in the Department has been recognised with this prestigious funding, and he was especially thrilled for the two early career researchers who have received Fast Start grants.
Friday, 3 November 2017 12:44pm
Congratulations to Dr Mike Pankhurst who has received a Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council. Dr Pankhurst says the four-year fellowship will enable him to pursue new directions in his investigations into how anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) signalling operates in the ovary.
Thursday, 2 November 2017 10:34am
Congratulations to Dr Erica Todd who has been awarded a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Royal Society Te Apārangi Rutherford Foundation Trust.
Monday, 30 October 2017 4:02pm
Congratulations to all our 400-level postgraduate students who took part in the Department’s 400-level Poster Day. The event was an opportunity for them to present and discuss their research with their fellow students and staff of the Department.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 11:28am
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, staff members from across the University have kindly agreed to share their own mental health stories. In the final installment of this three-part series we hear from Anatomy Manager Rachel Kinnaird, who makes the mental health of her team a priority.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, 27 July 2017 11:17am
When salmon spawn, the sperm of competing males are in an all-or-nothing race to be the first to reach and fertilise the eggs.
Monday, 24 July 2017 4:58pm
In the first research of its kind in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers are gaining fresh insights into the quality of life and identity of Otago’s early European settlers and farmers through excavating and analysing skeletons from unmarked graves in St. John’s Burial Ground, in Tokoiti, Milton.
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 9:47am
Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie has received $1.1M funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand for a 3 year project grant which aims to improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients by developing the next generation of deep brain stimulation technology which has greater target specificity and reduced stimulation side effects.
Friday, 23 June 2017 12:57pm
New Zealand conservation workers are keen on gene-editing to eradicate pests but would rather avoid “playing God” with native species, a University of Otago study suggests.
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 4:17pm
The Department shared in the celebrations of its graduates at the recent University of Otago May graduation ceremony. It was a small but excited group of Anatomy graduands who gathered in the Department to mark the occasion.
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 4:25pm
PhD student Josh Houlton, aka 'the amazing painted muscle-man' was a hit at the recent University of Otago Tertiary Information Day.
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 4:08pm
Second year Dental students taking the first semester Anatomy paper have been using 3D virtual reality (VR) technology to reinforce their knowledge and understanding of the neuronal pathways of the head and neck.
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:30am
Associate Professor George Dias recently spent two weeks at the National University of Samoa (NUS) teaching anatomy. His visit was part of the ongoing development of the undergraduate medical programme at the University.
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.
Wednesday, 7 June 2017 12:38pm
School students who may have wondered where their teachers came from may not have to wonder much longer.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 11:48am
Despite being filled with nerves, Zin Khant Aung dropped to one knee in the University’s Quad and proposed his girlfriend Rosemary Duffy on her graduation day this month – making the important day twice as special for the Bachelor of Applied Science graduate.
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.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 9:08pm
Professor John Reynolds of Anatomy has been appointed to a newly created role at the University of Otago aimed at overseeing the hugely popular Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 2:02pm
A population of rare little spotted kiwi (LSK) that was thought to be thriving in a Marlborough island sanctuary is actually seriously threatened by the silent effects of inbreeding, new research led by a University of Otago scientist suggests.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 1:32pm
The recent December graduation was an extra special occasion for the Department of Anatomy with thirty five students graduating with degrees from the Department - six PhDs, four Masters, three BBiomedSc with Honours, nine BSc Honours, two BA Honours, one Postgraduate Diploma in Science, and ten undergraduate BSc degrees.
Thursday, 15 December 2016 2:28pm
Being promoted to full Professor is the icing on the cake of an incredible year for John Reynolds of Anatomy.
Tuesday, 6 December 2016 2:28pm
Congratulations to co-principle investigator Dr Yusuf Cakmak who, in collaboration with members from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, has been awarded a MedTech CoRE Seed project grant of $50,000 to further explore the potential of a portable non-invasive camera-based instrument to measure indicators of heart disease.
Friday, 2 December 2016 11:23am
A paper published by Ann Liu, as first author, in the journal Biology of Sex Differences, has been awarded the Best Postgraduate Paper Prize at the Department’s annual research day. The paper details the first transcriptomic analysis of sex differences in a protogynous fish. Using RNA-Seq, the authors characterized the transcriptomic profiles and identified genes exhibiting sex-biased expression in the brain (forebrain and midbrain) and gonads of male and female bluehead wrasses as a first step towards understanding the basal states of the molecular cascade that progressively re-engineers a female into a male.
Friday, 25 November 2016 1:11pm
Congratulations to Laura Boddington and Papi Gustafson who have both had their doctoral theses placed on the Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Theses. The list comprises only those doctoral candidates whose research is assessed by examiners as being of an exceptional standard in every respect – research content, originality, quality of expression and accuracy of presentation – and amongst the top 10% of theses examined.
Friday, 18 November 2016 9:12am
School children from around the lower South Island got hands-on with anatomy, conservation genetics and neuroscience activities thanks to the Department of Anatomy and Genetics Otago’s Lab in a Box. The mobile science laboratory has been touring the South Island, and our staff caught up with it when it visited Te Anau, Gore, Stewart Island and Bluff.
Tuesday, 8 November 2016 10:48am
Congratulations to Professor Neil Gemmell, Professor Dave Grattan and Dr Helen Taylor who have been awarded funding from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund. The Fund supports research excellence in science, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities from all tertiary/research institutions in New Zealand, and is regarded as the hallmark of excellence for research in New Zealand.
Friday, 14 October 2016 11:18am
Vitamins A and C can enhance success in the challenging process of converting adult cells into stem cells, an international study co-led by a University of Otago researcher has found.
Friday, 14 October 2016 9:16am
Beth Shapiro is an evolutionary biologist who specialises in the genetics of ice age animals and plants. View the podcast of her recent public lecture 'How to clone a mammoth'.
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 3:51pm
Monica Tromp’s PhD Thesis, entitled "Lapita plants, people and pigs", has been placed on the University of Otago’s Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Doctoral theses, after it was deemed to be of exceptional standard by the panel of examiners. The three experienced examiners graded it among the top 10% of theses they had examined.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 11:59am
The fourth annual Art and Space exhibition has opened at the HD Skinner Annex, Otago Museum, and runs from 10am to 3pm each day, until October 2.
Thursday, 22 September 2016 10:05am
A University of Otago bioanthropologist is among an international group of scientists who have undertaken the first population genomic study of Aboriginal Australians.
Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:41am
Researchers from the Department of Anatomy have enjoyed major success with the funding of four projects by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE), together totalling over NZ $14M.
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 1:46pm
New research project further enhances the Department of Anatomy’s reputation as the home of Conservation Genomics.
Wednesday, 3 August 2016 4:21pm
Two Otago Anatomy PhD bioarchaeologists have been accepted for coveted postdoctorate positions at the new Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany.
Friday, 22 July 2016 11:07am
Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith, an internationally renowned biological anthropologist who pioneered the use of evolutionary genetics to trace Pacific migrations, is the latest recipient of the Distinguished Research Medal, the University of Otago’s highest distinction.
Monday, 18 July 2016 11:43am
Anatomy staff bring science to life at the International Science festival.
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:39am
Four researchers from the Department of Anatomy have been successful in securing funding worth around $7.3M
Friday, 10 June 2016 11:53am
Over the long Anzac weekend, while most of us were enjoying a relaxing time with family, eight young orthopaedic surgeons were toiling away in the Anatomy Department
Monday, 30 May 2016 2:31pm
University of Otago researchers are hoping to shed new light on the quality of life and identity of Otago’s early European settlers and farmers through a proposed study that would involve excavating and analysing skeletons from unmarked graves in Tokoiti, Milton.
Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:20am
A research team co-led by a University of Otago scientist has sequenced the first complete mitochondrial genome of a 2500-year-old Phoenician dubbed the “Young Man of Byrsa” or “Ariche”, whose tomb was discovered within a hill in Carthage, Tunisia in 1994.
Thursday, 7 April 2016 12:00pm
Friday, 1 April 2016 3:26pm
Friday, 1 April 2016 3:18pm
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 1:12pm
University of Otago researchers studying chinook salmon have provided the first evidence that “cryptic female choice” (CFC) enhances fertilisation success and embryo survival.
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 5:46pm
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 5:39pm
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 2:54pm
Friday, 5 February 2016 9:57am
Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Charlotte King and PhD students Gail Elliott and Anne Sohler-Snoddy have recently returned from a research trip to Chile.
Friday, 9 October 2015 3:28pm
The late Dr Elspeth Gold would be tremendously proud of her colleagues in the Department of Anatomy this month – as men and women alike don dresses to support “Frocktober”.
Monday, 7 September 2015 1:30pm
Dr Elspeth Gold, a highly respected and valued colleague, mentor and friend to many in the University of Otago and beyond, lost her courageous battle with cancer on the 21 August 2015.
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 7:45pm
Department of Anatomy Administrator Sally-Ann Howard has won this year’s University of Otago General Staff Award – the second award she has received this year recognising the competence, hard work and warmth she brings to her role.
Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:29am
A University of Otago biological anthropologist will head to London in June to collect 200 DNA samples from ex-pats to complete sampling for study of the genetic origins of New Zealanders.
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 1:57pm
An Otago expert on clinical anatomy has contributed to the world’s first text book on the subject, entitled Teaching Anatomy: A Practical Guide.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 4:18pm
Department of Anatomy Laboratory Manager and award winning fashion designer Fieke Neuman is using her skills to create hands-on teaching aids made of fabric and textiles.
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 3:44pm
A University of Otago PhD student analysing dental calculus (hardened plaque) from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 8:31am
A revolutionary handheld and battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at the University of Otago is poised to become a commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected viruses or bacteria in samples while also determining the level of infection.
Friday, 6 June 2014 9:00am
A University of Otago researcher is among an international team that has sequenced the sheep genome, pinpointing genes that are unique to sheep, including those that help support secretion of the grease needed to maintain wool.
Friday, 7 March 2014 4:36pm
Jenny McDowell's PhD from the University of Otago will help identify juvenile victims of marine disasters.
Thursday, 6 March 2014 3:25pm
Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago studying 3000-year-old skeletons from the oldest known cemetery in the Pacific Islands are casting new light on the diet and lives of the enigmatic Lapita people, the likely ancestors of Polynesians.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 3:51pm
An innovative, non-lethal approach to pest management has the potential to become a “game-changer” in providing lasting and effective control in a wide range of insect and animal pests, according to New Zealand scientists developing the technique.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 3:25pm
When salmon spawn, males competing to fertilise eggs will win or lose based primarily on their sperm swimming speed, according to a collaborative study by researchers from the University of Otago and the University of Western Australia.
Monday, 21 October 2013 10:21am
Discoveries of early Māori skeletal remains showing tell-tale signs of gout have been corroborated by new evidence that dispels the myth that the disease was largely an upper class European affliction that did not affect any indigenous populations.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 9:54am
Deputy Director of Otago University’s Brain Health Research Centre, Associate Professor John Reynolds, will travel to Australia next week to attend the 2013 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 3:25pm
A University of Otago-led multidisciplinary team of scientists have shed new light on the diet, lifestyles and movements of the first New Zealanders by analysing isotopes from their bones and teeth.
Thursday, 6 December 2012 10:00am
A leading University of Otago biological anthropologist has won a prestigious two-year James Cook Research Fellowship to undertake the first-ever survey of the genetic diversity of New Zealand’s population.
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 9:52am
In a landmark study, University of Otago researchers have achieved the feat of sequencing complete mitochondrial genomes for members of what was likely to be one of the first groups of Polynesians to settle New Zealand and have revealed a surprising degree of genetic variation among these pioneering voyagers.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 4:14pm
New University of Otago research into two sex hormones released by the testes of male fetuses and boys may help solve the enduring mystery of why autism is much more common in boys than girls.
Wednesday, 9 May 2012 9:53am
University of Otago researchers working in remote Cambodian mountains are shedding new light on the lost history of an unidentified people by studying their enigmatic burial rituals.
Friday, 20 April 2012 10:09am
People who donate their bodies to science are more likely to be blue collar workers who also regularly give blood, are registered organ donors, and give frequently to charity, according to an international study led by the University of Otago.
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:31am
New University of Otago research suggests that a stronger focus is needed on preventing accidental nerve injury during medical treatments in New Zealand.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 9:09am
Research at Otago University to develop a better screening test for the early detection of prostate cancer has been advanced due to a $30,000 grant from the Men’s Health Trust New Zealand.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 2:47pm
A previously hidden mechanism regulating how brain cells communicate has been discovered by a University of Otago scientist in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Aberdeen.