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BiteSize Science - Human health

Built Environment and Active Transport to School: BEATS Study

Kek Chiew Ching and Sandy Mandic ( School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences)

Did you walk or bike to this presentation today? If you did, you used active transport. The BEATS Study looks at how Dunedin adolescents travel to school. The study involves surveys and focus groups/interviews with students, parents, teachers and school principals from all twelve Dunedin high schools. The findings are providing valuable and unique information for schools, city councils, transport agencies and land planners - we will share some findings with you.

Gazing into a crystal ball; future treatments for Parkinson’s disease

Stella Cameron and Louise Parr-Brownlie (Anatomy)

Movement deficits of Parkinson’s disease are improved by drugs or deep brain stimulation, but these treatments can produce side-effects. We will describe recent research that highlights new brain regions and patterns of stimulation that may enhance current treatments. Promising new technologies for treating Parkinson’s disease will also be discussed.

We know Uric Acid causes gout - does it also determine success of stem cell therapy?

Cindy Cheakhun and Andrew Bahn (Physiology)

Cardiac stem cells (CSC) provide a promising new therapy for repair of heart disease. However, CSC repair potency is dependent on its surrounding environment. Serum Uric Acid (SUA) increases with lifestyle, especially diet high in sugar and meat. We investigate the molecular consequences of high SUA on CSC repair potency.

Brain Cells that go bad in Alzheimers disease

Anurag Singh and Cliff Abraham (Psychology)

Memories are formed by changing the connections between nerve cells in the brain. This process is helped by another cell type called astrocytes (star-shaped cells). The ability to learn becomes particularly impaired in Alzheimer’s disease, which affects both cell types. Understanding how these cells work together, both normally and in Alzheimer’s, is critical for discovering new treatments for the disease.

Why did we make glowing fish?

Amarni Thomas and Julia Horsfield (Pathology)

Blood is comprised of different cells essential for life. When cells are not made correctly it can result in blood diseases. Before we can cure these diseases, we need to understand how blood is normally made. Our lab uses exciting genetic technologies to determine important switches that control blood development.

Grow.Cook.Eat. Food literacy and NZ children

Lara Ware and Sheila Skeaff (Human Nutrition)

Food literacy refers to the knowledge and action about food from farm-to-table, food for health, and food preparation skills, that are needed for a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet. Food literacy helps children navigate our complex food environment. We will share some of our learning from a food literacy survey of over 800 urban NZ children.