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News

Check out a range of science news stories from New Zealand.

Note due to changes in our funding, as of December 2014, we are no longer able to provide news stories.

  • Mutating genes to detect cancer

    01/12/2014

    Medical researchers from the UK, the US and Canada have developed a new tool that identifies mutating genes to detect the early stages of oesophageal cancer.

  • Heart attack bacteria

    17/11/2014

    It has long been believed that over-exertion, stress and emotional shock can cause heart attacks in vulnerable people, but the pathway by which this occurs has remained uncertain.

  • A genome for ewe

    04/11/2014

    Mapping the whole genome of the sheep (Ovis aries) was completed earlier this year. The information is contributing to a myriad of new research projects to improve the health and meat and wool yields from New Zealand’s most populous farm animal.

  • Making male mosquitoes

    20/10/2014

    A bit of genetic trickery may hold the key to controlling the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria.

  • Forget the bad times: potential drug for PTSD

    10/09/2014

    It may be possible to fade memories responsible for post-traumatic stress disorder according to new research from the US and China.

  • Engineered microbe can convert grass to fuel

    25/08/2014

    An engineered microbe that can convert plant matter to ethanol may hold the key to future energy independence in a world with an increasing thirst for fuel, dwindling supplies and negative impacts of greenhouse gases, according to a team of researchers from the US.

  • Understanding P addiction

    11/08/2014

    Methamphetamine, aka P, the most common member of the amphetamine family, can alter the brain in hitherto unknown ways according to new PhD research from a recent Victoria University of Wellington graduate, Dr Peter Bosch.

  • Triclosan gets up your nose

    21/07/2014

    The latest damning research on household antimicrobial products has found that triclosan, an antimicrobial agent found in common household liquid soaps, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, mouthwashes, toothpastes and even fabric and plastic, is finding its way inside human noses.

  • Flu drug effectiveness questioned

    08/07/2014

    A recent evidence review by independent researchers of trials involving the antiviral drugs (aka neuraminidase inhibitors) oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu) and zanamivir (brand name Relenza) questions the value of the drugs and whether the global government stockpiling of Tamiflu is just a giant waste of money.

  • Family tree geography goes genetic

    30/06/2014

    A large international team of researchers from National Geographic's global Genographic Project has shown for the first time that DNA can be used to trace modern humans to their geographical place of origin.

  • Global report on antimicrobial resistance

    25/06/2014

    The World Health Organization announced the results of its first global report on antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance. They say that antibiotic resistance is happening right now in every region of the world.

  • Designer chromosome

    17/06/2014

    In a world first, an international research team has successfully synthesised a functional chromosome and implanted it into brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The research could help in developing synthetic strains of yeast that could be used in the manufacture of medicines or production of vaccines.

  • Botox to treat asthma?

    11/06/2014

    Botox injections might prove to be a potential treatment to paralyse a person’s vocal cords while they are having an asthma attack according to a small study of 11 patients by a team of Australian medical scientists from Monash University.

  • Melanoma risk gene identified

    03/06/2014

    An international team of researchers has identified the specific gene fault that causes a type of early-onset melanoma that accounts for about 3% of the cases of this type of skin cancer that is known to run in families.

  • Come over to the dark side (of chocolate)

    27/05/2014

    It’s official – researchers have found how and why dark chocolate is actually good for you.

  • Faster anthrax detection

    20/05/2014

    A faster method to detect anthrax has been developed that should save lives and money.

  • Antibacterial mushrooms

    13/05/2014

    In an age where we are becoming increasingly concerned about bacterial evolution and the effectiveness of antibiotics, there is an on-going need for novel antimicrobial compounds to outwit bacteria and other pathogens.

  • Study of NZ-developed MS drug

    07/05/2014

    Researchers from Victoria University of Wellington, Innate Immunotherapeutics and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research have gained new knowledge about how the multiple sclerosis drug MIS416 actually works on the immune system.

  • Stressed out cells revert to stem cells

    08/04/2014

    Pluripotent stem cells – cells that can differentiate into one of many cell types – have traditionally been derived from ethically questionable embryonic sources or by the relatively time-consuming and expensive process of manipulating genes inside a cell’s nucleus (induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells). But now, new research from Japan and the US has uncovered a shortcut to creating pluripotent stem cells by stressing out mature cells.

  • Programmable antibiotic ‘smart bomb’

    01/04/2014

    The threat of multi-drug-resistant bacteria has been making headlines around the world, but now researchers from North Carolina State University in the US have developed an antibiotic ‘smart bomb’ specifically designed to target and sever the DNA of a specified bacteria – and eliminate the infection in the process.

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