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Health Sciences news


‘Quake brain’ study could give insight into future effects of COVID-19 crisis

Wednesday, 3 June 2020 12:27pm

‘Quake brain’ is a real phenomenon that impairs people’s memory even years after the shaking stops, a world-leading study from the University of Otago, Christchurch has shown.

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Maintaining heritage: Lindo Ferguson Building under repair

Tuesday, 2 June 2020 11:58am

Scaffolding surrounds the University of Otago’s Lindo Ferguson Building in Great King Street for routine maintenance work that includes re-roofing, replacing single-gazing with double-glazing in the windows, repointing bricks, minor strengthening, and painting parapets and other features.

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Health of truck drivers and evening TV binge-watchers under Otago researchers’ spotlight

Friday, 29 May 2020 11:46am

The health and safety of truck drivers and the impacts of evening television binge-watching will come under the spotlight in new University of Otago research being funded by the Health Research Council.

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HRC Emerging Researcher grants for EDOR members

Friday, 29 May 2020 10:51am

The HRC announced their 2020 Emerging Researcher grant recipients this week and EDOR members feature in two of the eight grants awarded to University of Otago applicants.

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Protecting young people from smoking uptake as the tobacco industry targets a new generation

Friday, 29 May 2020 11:28am

The tobacco industry is targeting a new generation of smokers with sophisticated marketing designed to associate smoking with rebellion, social prestige and attractiveness, researchers from the tobacco control research centre ASPIRE 2025, at the University of Otago, say.

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Increase in HIV cases, but decline in numbers first diagnosed in New Zealand

Thursday, 28 May 2020 12:31pm

After two years of declining numbers of HIV cases in New Zealand, there was a slight increase in 2019, but many of these cases were first diagnosed overseas.

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Otago and ESR collaboration gets funding to track COVID-19 spread and evolution in NZ

Thursday, 28 May 2020 11:42am

A collaboration between Otago and ESR has received a substantial government grant to lead an international team of scientists to sequence the genomes of all of New Zealand’s positive COVID-19 cases and track how the virus spread across New Zealand.

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Otago Biochemistry Emerging Researcher to investigate genetics of kidney disease and gout specific to Māori and Pacific people

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:09am

Congratulations to Otago Biochemistry Research Fellow Dr Megan Leask, who has been awarded an HRC Emerging Research First Grant to investigate genes associated with chronic kidney disease and gout in Māori and Pacific people.

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Otago researcher’s COVID testing method ‘da bomb’

Tuesday, 26 May 2020 9:20am

A method to help improve testing for COVID-19, first promoted by a University of Otago researcher, is being used worldwide as countries struggle to manage high demand for testing.

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New insights into vaping uptake among Māori and Pacific peoples

Monday, 25 May 2020 11:08am

Māori and Pasifika who have not been able to quit smoking may need more support to move from smoking to vaping, researchers from the University of Otago and Māori public health collective Hāpai Te Hauora have found.

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Otago research shines spotlight on health woes of Mururoa veterans and their children

Friday, 22 May 2020 11:30am

Cancers are prevalent among Mururoa veterans who witnessed the French atmospheric nuclear explosions in 1973 while many of their children have fertility problems, new University of Otago research reveals.

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Responding to the global pandemic – Otago’s story

Friday, 22 May 2020 1:03pm

As the University re-opens under Alert Level 2, and life takes on a new normal following the COVID-19 lockdown, Communications Adviser (Projects) Sean Flaherty takes a closer look at Otago's ongoing response to the global pandemic.

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Whole grains and diabetes study features on Radio NZ

Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:34pm

Dr Andrew Reynolds was interviewed by Jesse Mulligan at Radio NZ about his study showing that unprocessed whole grains are more beneficial for adults with Type 2 diabetes.

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Christchurch campus redevelopment update

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 12:38pm

The next stage of the redevelopment of the University’s Christchurch Campus is about to begin.

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Teens shocked by suicide portrayal in ‘13 Reasons Why’ study finds

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 12:40pm

Teenagers interviewed about their views on the suicide portrayed in the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why report being shocked by the graphic detail of the scene, which they saw as excessive, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

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Higher fibre saves lives, but food processing may remove benefits

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 1:33pm

Eating more fibre can improve life expectancy for those with diabetes, Otago researchers say.

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Smoking cannabis causes bronchitis and changes to lung function

Monday, 18 May 2020 10:05am

Cannabis is harmful to the lungs, but in a different way to tobacco, causing significant respiratory symptoms such as bronchitis with evidence to suggest it can result in destructive lung disease – sometimes referred to as ‘bong lung’ – in heavy cannabis users.

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Public welcomed back to face-to-face Otago University health clinics

Friday, 15 May 2020 3:59pm

New Zealand’s move to Alert Level 2 means many Otago University health clinics will now be open to the public.

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The meeting of two pandemics: Kirsten Coppell talks diabetes and COVID-19

Thursday, 14 May 2020 1:02pm

Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell, EDOR researcher and public health physician, has co-authored a letter to the New Zealand Medical Journal on the meeting of two pandemics - COVID-19 and diabetes.

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Christchurch researchers asking parents what information they need about COVID-19 and children’s health.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 12:26pm

University of Otago, Christchurch researchers and paediatricians are launching an urgent study to understand what information parents need to understand and feel reassured about COVID-19 and its potential impact on children.

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Otago researchers fast-track app for bowel disease sufferers in new COVID-19 era

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:03am

The advent of COVID-19 has resulted in University of Otago researchers, in collaboration with others in New Zealand, fast-tracking development of a smartphone application (app) to help improve care for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (also called inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), as fewer of them will be able to meet with specialists.

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COVID-19 catalyst for significant change in general practice: Otago experts

Monday, 11 May 2020 6:28pm

COVID-19 may well be the catalyst for significant change in how general practice operates in New Zealand in future, according to University of Otago general practice experts.

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Dying New Zealanders should be trusted to make decisions about assisted dying

Friday, 8 May 2020 1:28pm

Dying New Zealanders think they can and should be trusted to know what’s right and wrong for them when it comes to end of life decision-making.

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Opinion: Otago Trainee Interns on COVID-19 in Peru

Friday, 8 May 2020 9:20am

Two of Otago’s Medical Trainee Interns describe their time spent in COVID-19 lockdown in Peru and their anxious wait to come home.

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Giving sports teams an edge

Thursday, 7 May 2020 10:01pm

Professional footballers are used to having their fitness assessed, so when three first team players from the Wellington Phoenix visit the University of Otago, Wellington (pre-lockdown) for a state-of-the-art full body scan, they are unfazed.

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Select staff return to campus under Level 3

Wednesday, 6 May 2020 9:46pm

The Otago Bulletin Board meets some of the staff able to return to campus in Alert Level 3.

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New Zealanders in international study of COVID-19’s impact on depression and other mood disorders

Wednesday, 6 May 2020 3:08pm

University of Otago, Christchurch researchers are part of an urgent international effort to understand how isolation and disruption of routines associated with COVID-19 are affecting people with mood disorders.

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He Kete Kōrero – Autumn 2020

Tuesday, 5 May 2020 12:51pm

Welcome to the Autumn 2020 edition of He Kete Kōrero, with recent highlights from the Wellington campus.

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Participate in the COVID-19 food survey

Thursday, 30 April 2020 10:25am

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research member Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Victoria University of Wellington, is involved in a worldwide survey on how COVID-19 has changed the way we cook and eat.

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COVID-19 vaccine likely 12 to 18 months away Otago expert claims

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 12:35pm

Development of a COVID-19 vaccine is at best 12 to 18 months away, according to University of Otago infectious disease specialist Professor David Murdoch.

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Sending children back to school: as safe as it’s ever been, doctors say

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:02am

With a lack of CoVID-19 circulating in our community, fewer other viruses and bacteria than usual, and good systems for detection and contact tracing in place, it is as safe as it has ever been for children to attend school.

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Tyler McCourt wins the 2020 Joan Mary Anderson Award

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:06am

Otago Biochemistry MSc student Tyler McCourt has been awarded the 2020 Joan Mary Anderson Award in Plant science.

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Large numbers of NZ military personnel suffer post-traumatic stress, Otago research reveals

Friday, 24 April 2020 12:15pm

The first wide-ranging survey of New Zealand military personnel shows many suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) though greater length of service, psychological flexibility (resilience) and quality sleep may be protective factors.

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University of Otago announces Pūtea Tautoko hardship fund for students

Friday, 24 April 2020 2:05pm

The University of Otago is committing $1.5 million as an initial investment to support Otago students facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 global outbreak.

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Secrets of sewage studied for COVID-19

Thursday, 23 April 2020 8:45pm

Detecting the presence of COVID-19 in sewage could become an important tool to monitor the virus and help uncover pockets of infection.

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Splashes and high-fives for Wellington staff at (pre-lockdown) Dragon Boat Festival

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 11:53am

Much laughter and camaraderie was shared when a team of 20 staff and students from the University of Otago, Wellington banded together to compete in the Dragon Boat Festival on Wellington Harbour on 7 March.

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What it is like to have COVID-19: Otago academic shares her story

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 8:06pm

Dr Rachelle Martin, a researcher and lecturer in the University of Otago Wellington’s Department of Medicine was one of two people to share their COVID-19 story with New Zealand Doctor. We re-publish this article with permission.

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A lifetime of natural disasters shapes Pharmacist’s COVID-19 response

Monday, 20 April 2020 7:19pm

An attitude born from the floodwaters of Bangladesh is now helping save lives in New Zealand.

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Christchurch staff continue Te Reo lessons online

Monday, 20 April 2020 11:59am

Professor Doug Sellman of the University of Otago’s Christchurch campus runs a weekly te reo Māori class for his colleagues. These are continuing via Zoom during lockdown. Communications Adviser Kim Thomas is one of about 20 Christchurch staff taking part and shares her experiences with the Otago Bulletin Board.

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Otago researchers making major contribution to Covid-19 response

Friday, 17 April 2020 12:35pm

A University of Otago molecular biologist has received new Government funding of $235,746 for Covid-19 related research to develop an effective point-of-care test for the infectious disease.