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Butting Out: Researchers gauge public opinion on tobacco product waste

Friday, 14 June 2019 11:25am

Requiring cigarettes to contain biodegradable filters, fining smokers who litter cigarette butts and expanding smoke free outdoor areas are measures the public considers are most likely to reduce tobacco product waste, new University of Otago research reveals.

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More awareness needed about lead exposure from firearms, researchers say

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 3:10pm

Researchers are warning that lead-based ammunition is posing a risk to firearms’ users and their families, with a culture of denial about the issue among the firearms community.

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Researchers find triple as many Legionnaires' cases as previously reported

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 11:35am

The first New Zealand-wide study of the burden of Legionnaires' disease has found triple the number of cases of this form of pneumonia than previously reported.

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Hidden cost of alcohol to workplaces estimated at $1.65 billion – Otago study

Friday, 7 June 2019 9:50am

Employees turning up to work hungover, or not turning up at all, cost New Zealand $1.65 billion per year, a University of Otago study has found.

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Study points to need for care in inappropriate use of stigmatising terms in weight management

Friday, 7 June 2019 10:21am

A large quantitative research study has found using the terms ‘weight’ or ‘high BMI (body mass index)’ to describe excess fatness was rated as less stigmatising and less blaming than commonly used medical terms, such as ‘fat’ or ‘obese’.

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Health Research Excellence Awards announced

Thursday, 30 May 2019 4:24pm

Neurosurgeon Professor Dirk De Ridder has been awarded the prestigious Dean's Medal at the annual Health Research Excellence Awards, for his work on neuromodulation to treat brain conditions ranging from addiction to Parkinson's Disease.

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High-intensity exercise may restore heart function in people with type 2 diabetes

Thursday, 23 May 2019 4:43pm

University of Otago researchers have discovered that high-intensity exercise can reduce or reverse the loss in heart function caused by type 2 diabetes.

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Opinion: Why are taxpayers subsidising licensed firearms owners?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 11:33am

OPINION: Online comment from some local gun lobbyists after the Christchurch shooting bypassed sympathy and jumped straight to worries about government "taking our guns away". Despite such attitudes, firearm owners are happy for the rest of us to subsidise them through our taxes.

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Cat, horse, cow allergens found in primary school classrooms

Friday, 17 May 2019 9:23am

Cats and farm animals are making their presence felt in classrooms, with allergens rubbing off children’s clothes and on to classroom carpets, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found. 

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Otago’s emerging researchers secure more than $1.7 million in HRC funding

Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:56pm

An occupational therapist who aims to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities is one of several University of Otago early-stage researchers who have together been awarded more than $1.7 million in Health Research Council funding.

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Number of HIV cases continue to decline in New Zealand

Thursday, 16 May 2019 2:42pm

For the second year in a row there has been a reduction in the number of confirmed cases of HIV in New Zealand.

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Loneliness and isolation are pushing healthy elderly into aged care facilities

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:30am

Loneliness, social isolation and burnt-out carers are pushing physically and mentally well elderly into aged care facilities, a University of Otago, Christchurch, study has found.

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Making the homeless count

Thursday, 9 May 2019 12:02pm

When Dr Kate Amore began researching homelessness for her PhD at the University of Otago, Wellington, the country was in denial that the issue was even a problem, she says.

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Otago ethicist shines light on lack of discussion about body donation after euthanasia

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 10:01am

As New Zealand considers a bill looking to legalise euthanasia, an Otago University ethicist considers it’s time to shine the light on the ethical complications surrounding body donation and assisted dying.

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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.

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Otago alumna behind UK Government’s move to help cerebral palsy children walk

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 8:32am

An Otago alumna has led a study into spinal surgery for children with cerebral palsy in the UK, which has proven it helps them walk and reduces pain, triggering the UK Government to fund the procedure.

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Urgent action needed to end our love affair with cars, report finds

Monday, 29 April 2019 3:50pm

The authors of a University of Otago report on active transport say urgent steps must be taken to encourage New Zealanders to walk, cycle or take public transport, with our use of cars harming both our health and our environment.

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Female-led team for Christchurch campus redevelopment

Monday, 29 April 2019 11:14am

In what is possibly a New Zealand first, the University’s largest ever construction project is being led by a team of women.

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He Kete Kōrero – Autumn 2019

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 9:56am

The Autumn 2019 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Otago global health researchers to tackle tuberculosis in Indonesia

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 2:33pm

Researchers from the Otago Global Health Institute have secured funding from the e-Asia Joint Research Programme and the Health Research Council of New Zealand to help improve the management of tuberculosis (TB) in Indonesia.

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Wood is good, research on 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake shows

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 9:52am

New research has found that only three per cent of deaths in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake occurred in people’s homes, almost all of which were at that time constructed from wood.

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Discovery of oral cancer biomarkers could save thousands of lives

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 10:33am

Oral cancer is known for its high mortality rate in developing countries, but an international team of scientists hope its latest discovery will change that.

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Rising to the challenge - first Pacific graduate paves the way

Monday, 15 April 2019 9:50pm

Working across cultures and around the globe, Papali’i Dr Viopapa Annandale-Atherton has quietly forged a distinguished career in public health and as an advocate for women’s rights, helping pave the way for generations of Pacific Island medical students.

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Blending family therapy with creativity

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 12:31pm

Writing a children’s picture book for the families of premature babies has been a project close to the heart for author Julie Burgess-Manning, a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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US Fellowship and Harvard invite for Otago researcher

Tuesday, 9 April 2019 9:59pm

What happens to our healthcare records when we die?  It is a question few have pondered and Dr Jon Cornwall’s research on the topic has resulted in him being offered a Fellowship in the US and a speaking engagement at Harvard University to discuss the subject.

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Housing WOFs need to be combined with education, study shows

Tuesday, 9 April 2019 11:01am

Alongside funding and regulatory support, understanding how housing affects health and safety can spur owners to make improvements to their properties, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and WISE Better Homes have found.

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Study helps explain why some of our famous flightless birds can’t fly

Friday, 5 April 2019 10:02am

University of Otago researchers in association with colleagues from Harvard University have discovered new evidence of what made some of New Zealand’s iconic birds such as the kiwi and extinct moa, flightless.

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Plaudits for tobacco control group ASPIRE 2025

Friday, 5 April 2019 10:48pm

University of Otago research group ASPIRE 2025 has won praise from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand for its exemplary efforts and achievements in the field of smoking cessation and tobacco control.

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Opening of new Christchurch physiotherapy clinic

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 9:09pm

A new School of Physiotherapy clinic in Christchurch is officially open after a ceremony attended by Alumni and former Silver Ferns physiotherapist, Sharon Kearney.

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Otago researchers encourage New Zealanders to support Arms Amendment Bill

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 4:28pm

University of Otago firearms researchers are encouraging New Zealanders who are not gun owners to support MPs and political parties with the Arms Amendment Bill.

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Christchurch campus comes together to ‘share in each other’s warmth’

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 12:38pm

A week after the mosque shootings, Christchurch medical student Mohamud Osman stood in front of staff and fellow students and shared a story of love, kindness and forgiveness.

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Otago research shows alcohol consultation failing Māori communities

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 12:28pm

Local governments are failing to consult meaningfully with Māori when it comes to liquor licensing legislation, new research from the University of Otago has found.

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New pharmacy clinic aims to optimise pharmacotherapy and improve patients’ health

Friday, 22 March 2019 10:52am

A new outpatient clinic in Dunedin to help patients manage multiple medications and improve their health – a joint venture between the University of Otago’s School of Pharmacy and Southern District Health Board – is believed to be the first of its kind in Australasia.

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Webster Family Chair in Pathogenesis appointment

Friday, 22 March 2019 9:50am

Following an extensive international search, Professor Miguel Quiñones-Mateu has been appointed as the second holder of the Webster Family Chair in Viral Pathogenesis in the University of Otago’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences.

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Christchurch staff coming together after mosque attacks

Thursday, 21 March 2019 1:22pm

The University of Otago, Christchurch’s main foyer has this week become a place to reflect, give and receive support, and share messages of condolence and support in a tribute book. It has also featured a table of baked goods made by medical students wanting to help nourish members of their campus community.

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Otago discovery paves way for precision medicine in future

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 9:45am

University of Otago scientists have discovered a way to view the immune cell 'landscape' of bowel cancer tumours, paving the way towards more individualised medicine and treatment for many other diseases in future.

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Otago researchers call for urgent law change

Sunday, 17 March 2019 12:25pm

Firearms law changes promised by the Prime Minister are long overdue, according to experts in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Dr Marie Russell and Dr Hera Cook.

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Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Friday, 15 March 2019 2:15pm

The University of Otago community stands shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community. Following the tragic events in Christchurch last Friday, several events are being held on the Dunedin campus on Thursday, 21 March.

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Otago bioethicist adds voice to global plea for moratorium on heritable genome editing

Thursday, 14 March 2019 9:24am

A University of Otago bioethicist has added his voice to a global plea for a moratorium on heritable genome editing from a group of international scientists and ethicists in the wake of the recent Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children.

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Measles information and advice from the Canterbury DHB

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 1:08pm

Measles is circulating widely in Canterbury. Information and advice is available for University of Otago, Christchurch staff and students.

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Number of poisoning-related deaths in New Zealand remain high

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 11:05am

While there has been a decline in carbon monoxide deaths in New Zealand, the number of deaths relating to poisoning remain high with new research revealing a surprising number of deaths involving two prescription medicines, zopiclone and clozapine.

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Liberal access to e-cigarettes likely to bring health benefits, NZ study finds

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 11:16am

New Zealand’s approach of allowing wide access to e-cigarettes is likely to be bringing overall health gains and cost savings for the health system, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found.

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‘Invisible wounds’ may have cut WWII veterans’ lives short

Friday, 8 March 2019 9:08am

Kiwi men who were veterans of World War II appear to have had a shorter lifespan than other New Zealand men who were born at the same time, new research shows.

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Christchurch researcher representing New Zealand in taekwondo

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 4:57pm

Christchurch breast cancer researcher Dr Vanessa Lattimore will represent New Zealand at the taekwondo World Championships in Manchester this May.

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Sniffing out prostate cancer in New Zealand

Monday, 4 March 2019 9:47am

The University of Otago and K9 Medical Detection NZ are working together to investigate using dogs as a diagnostic tool to sniff out prostate cancer.

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New WHO housing and health guidelines could save millions each year

Monday, 25 February 2019 3:00pm

Preventable injuries and hospitalisations due solely to poor housing conditions in New Zealand could be costing more than $145 million annually in ACC claims and hospitalisation costs, according to new research.

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Train station signs send weak smokefree signal

Friday, 22 February 2019 9:58am

More than 20 per cent of the 54 railway stations in the lower North Island have no smokefree signs at all and many others have signs of poor quality, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington have found.

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Are we closing the health gap?

Thursday, 21 February 2019 11:34am

Listen to Professor Louise Signal, Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, participate in a radio panel interview considering progress in addressing health inequities.

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Improved food health standards linked to fewer cases of childhood gastroenteritis

Thursday, 21 February 2019 2:56pm

A University of Otago study reveals the incidence of non-viral gastroenteritis in New Zealand children has declined over the past 20 years with researchers concluding improved food health standards the key contributor.

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Are New Zealand’s giant birds of prey just exiled Aussies?

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. 

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Surprise te reo Māori finding in pre-diabetes research

Monday, 18 February 2019 2:27pm

New research from the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge has found people who speak te reo Māori have a reduced risk of progressing from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

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Otago research reveals need to ensure drug trials for anxiety are carried out on appropriate patients

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 1:26pm

University of Otago psychiatry experts are concerned some medications used to treat anxiety may appear ineffective because they are not being tested in appropriate patients.

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New Zealand leads global effort to control rheumatic fever

Monday, 11 February 2019 4:20pm

A three-year project aimed at pinpointing the most effective ways to prevent and control rheumatic fever and associated heart disease in New Zealand is being launched tomorrow (Tuesday 12 February) at the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Christchurch Dean made a Fellow of the world’s oldest life science organisation

Thursday, 7 February 2019 9:21pm

The Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch, has become a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology – only the fourth New Zealander to receive the honour. The Academy is the leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology, the world’s oldest and largest life science organisation.

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Otago academics question whether it is timely to salary GPs and abolish patient fees

Friday, 1 February 2019 9:39am

University of Otago academic health and business leaders consider it timely for a debate about funding primary healthcare services including the possibility of the Government salarying all GPs and abolishing patient fees.

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Cancer Society calls for an end to DHB-led cancer care

Thursday, 31 January 2019 9:15am

New Zealand is at a major crossroads in cancer care and the Cancer Society are calling on government to back a nationally-led, coordinated approach to cancer.

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Otago academic offers new explanation for Alexander the Great’s death

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 9:09am

It may have happened more than 2300 years ago, but the mystery of Alexander the Great’s death could finally be solved, thanks to a University of Otago academic.

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‘Choosing Wisely’ reduces unnecessary tests and antibiotic use, study finds

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 1:09pm

A Hutt Valley District Health Board campaign to cut the number of urine tests being carried out on hospital patients not only significantly reduced the number of unnecessary tests being ordered but also lowered the level of antibiotic prescribing, a study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found.

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Potential biotech and health applications with new knowledge on bacteria and viruses

Monday, 21 January 2019 2:29pm

University of Otago research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications.

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Kiwi teens have little knowledge of most effective contraceptives, Otago research reveals

Friday, 18 January 2019 10:11am

New Zealand adolescents have little knowledge of the most effective form of contraceptives, like implants and IUDs, and support the concept of an education programme about these long-acting reversible contraceptives to help prevent unintended teen pregnancies, University of Otago research has found.

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Proposal for ‘cautious path’ forward for changing cannabis laws by Otago researcher

Friday, 18 January 2019 9:57am

Amid the ongoing debate on legislation for recreational use of cannabis, an Otago researcher proposes a cautious path forward for changing cannabis laws in New Zealand that aims to reduce cannabis-related harm.

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University of Otago to study the impacts of mycoplasma bovis on farmers and their communities

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 10:45am

The University of Otago will carry out a study on the emotional, social and psychological impacts of mycoplasma bovis on Southern farmers and farming communities.

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High intake of dietary fibre and whole grain foods reduces risk of non-communicable diseases

Friday, 11 January 2019 12:39pm

University of Otago researchers have found a link between higher intakes of dietary fibre and whole grain foods and a reduction in the risk of a wide range of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.

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One plus one equals more than two for health expenditure in patients with multiple conditions, study finds

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 1:27pm

Caring for patients with two or more chronic diseases costs the health system more than it would to treat each disease in isolation, a new study has shown.

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Otago study highlights problems predicting suicide

Friday, 21 December 2018 12:03pm

A University of Otago study examining the ability of measures to predict death-by-suicide highlights multiple problems with current mental health treatment models.

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Christchurch Professor given medical profession’s highest accolade

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:46am

Bowel cancer surgeon and University of Otago, Christchurch researcher Professor Frank Frizelle has been awarded the New Zealand medical profession’s highest accolade.

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He Kete Kōrero – Summer 2018

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 2:00pm

The Summer 2018 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Probiotic gives long-standing protection against childhood eczema, study finds

Monday, 17 December 2018 1:05pm

Giving a probiotic supplement to pregnant mothers and their infants significantly reduces the chances of a child developing eczema for the first 11 years of their life, researchers have shown.