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Student Searches Out Best Equipment

Veterinarians can be confident of getting accurate, instant results of diagnostic tests as a result of research work by University of Waikato student Nicola Steel.

Miss Steel compared results from a range of "in-clinic" analysers with those from the laboratory of Hamilton company Alpha Scientific Ltd. She aimed to find the best analysers that Alpha could recommend to veterinary clients.

A good in-clinic analyser allows veterinarians to offer a better service and improve pet care, says Alpha Scientific managing director Gavin Hoggard.

Alpha Scientific is a Hamilton-based veterinary diagnostic laboratory that has an active interest in in-clinic analysers. Mr Hoggard says several analysers on the market have severe limitations in accuracy and ease of use. He wants to offer equipment that clients can use confidently in their clinics.

Support from Technology New Zealand, through its Technology for Industry Fellowship scheme, allowed Alpha Scientific to hire Miss Steel for the project. The scheme gives tertiary students an opportunity to do research work with businesses. Miss Steel is studying for a bachelor of science degree majoring in biotechnology.

"Nicola's work resulted in two out of a total of five instruments meeting our validation criteria. We are confident in recommending these analysers to our clients," Mr Hoggard said.

Miss Steel says the main value of the project for her was in being able to work with Alpha. "The project was a practical application of what I learnt at university."


Contact: * Gavin Hoggard, Alpha Scientific Ltd, 141 Ellis St, Hamilton. Ph: (07) 846-2266. Fax: (07) 846-2346. Email: * Nicola Steel, Ph: (07) 856-4711, (09) 436-2414. Email: * Nigel Metge, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (Auckland Office), (09) 912-6730, or 021 454-095. Website:

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Media Ltd. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525,

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