News

Getting ahead of a potentially deadly salamander disease

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 11, 2015

A fungal pathogen with the potential to devastate salamander populations has yet to arrive in North America, but scientists are ready and waiting should it appear. New Zealand researchers are among a group calling for global action against the emerging disease before it spreads. Scientists in Europe discovered the fungal pathogen, Salamander chytrid disease – Batrachocytrium … Read More

Paracetamol has no effect on the flu

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 07, 2015

It’s included in numerous over-the-counter cold and flu medicines, but according to New Zealand researchers paracetamol has no effect on the flu. Research published today in Respirology found no difference in the severity or duration of influenza symptoms, temperature or viral load in patients taking paracetamol – indicating no benefits from taking the medicine while sick with the flu. The … Read More

Heavy burden caused by contaminated food

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 04, 2015

Following a week of cacophony over contaminated frozen fruit, New Zealand and Australian scientists have been part of a global project examining how sick food makes us. The first ever World Health Organisation estimate of global food disease burden found that one in ten people fall ill every year from contaminated food and 420,000 die as a result. Children under … Read More

Maori cancer divide highlighted in global study

Guest Work Oct 15, 2015

by Hunter Calder Cancer Researchers have found Māori in New Zealand have a higher chance of getting preventable cancerous diseases such as lung or cervical cancer than their non-indigenous peers. And they are also suffering higher cancer rates than indigenous people in other countries, where rates are similar to or lower than to those in non indigenous populations. Māori women were among the largest group … Read More

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Argentine ants harbour novel virus

Erica Mather Sep 15, 2015

A New Zealand study confirms that Argentine ants are hosts of a virus that is associated with honeybee deaths.  The ants were discovered to also carry a previously undescribed virus, one that could trigger their own demise. Argentine ants (Linepthema humile) are considered one of the six most invasive and damaging ant species in the world.  Large colonies can … Read More

Plastic oceans, plastic diets: The unsavoury reality for seabirds

Erica Mather Sep 02, 2015

A new study predicts that 99 per cent of the world’s seabirds will consume plastic by 2050.  Seabirds easily mistake brightly coloured plastics for food or accidentally swallow pieces such as bottle caps, bags and fibres from synthetic clothing that have washed out to sea from waste deposits, sewers and rivers. Scientists from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial … Read More

Forest health reliant on global biosecurity strategy

Erica Mather Aug 31, 2015

Insects and microbial pathogens pose an increasing threat to planted forests worldwide.  Without urgent action, the long-term sustainability of all planted forests will be imperilled. Dr Eckehard Brockerhoff and colleagues, authors of a review published in Science, urgently call for a coordinated, global approach in order to protect these valuable resources. Wealthy countries have designed effective strategies to … Read More

Researchers worldwide team up to tackle the plight of honeybees

Erica Mather Aug 25, 2015

Although many of us first think of honeybees as wondrous honey-makers, their most essential role is the pollination of crops. Sadly, honeybees worldwide are under serious threat. International researchers are employing the technology of micro-sensors to find out exactly why. As a result of their evolutionary success and their significance in human food production, the European honeybee (Apis mellifera) is … Read More

Diabetic heart disease: Perpetrator identified

Erica Mather Aug 13, 2015

Researchers from the University of Otago have identified a key protein which triggers heart disease in people with diabetes.  Their results pave the way for future development of new therapies to combat the cardiovascular complications in diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic illness that currently affects 380 million people worldwide and this is expected to double by 2035.  Over 50 … Read More

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Hearing healthcare in NZ’s future

Erica Mather Aug 11, 2015

It has been well established that New Zealand’s population is aging. Studies have been conducted to assess the impact of the increasing incidence of chronic illnesses on healthcare services, but the burden of hearing loss has been overlooked. A greater proportion of the New Zealand’s population is living longer, meaning that centrally-funded health and social resources are being put … Read More

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