Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC research into potential curing cardiovascular disease

UC student research into potential curing or slowing down of cardiovascular disease

November 6, 2012

A University of Canterbury student is researching key cell biology processes that may be useful in curing or slowing down the development of many diseases such as strokes and heart attacks.

Nelson’s Ben Walters is at the end of his fourth year of UC study working toward a Master of Science in Biochemistry. His area of research is on cardiovascular disease which is a leading cause of mortality in most developed countries, largely due to the ageing population and sedentary lifestyles.

In New Zealand heart attacks and strokes result are responsible for 40 percent of annual deaths, affecting around 10,000 people. Cardiovascular disease involves the build-up of fatty materials such as cholesterol in the cells within the arterial walls in a process known as atherosclerosis.

Fat deposition within the cells begins in teenage years and after enough time, blood circulation can be impaired through artery stiffening and plaque formation. These plaques can eventually rupture and form blood clots that deprive tissues of oxygen and other nutrients.

Depending on the location of clot formation, the resulting tissue damage can be in the form of a heart attack or stroke.

``My project is looking at how cells involved in cardiovascular disease regulate production of an antioxidant called 7,8-dihydroneopterin. Antioxidants are protective molecules that protect cells against oxidative stress, a process involved in cardiovascular as well as many other diseases, ‘’ Walters said today.

``An increased understanding of how cells produce such molecules many one day lead to therapeutic drugs to modulate antioxidant production. Such interventional strategies may be useful in curing or slowing down the development of many diseases.

``Biochemistry and medical research are extraordinarily fields to be involved in. Everything feels incredibly applicable, as the very processes we learn about are occurring inside ourselves and all other life on the planet.

``It is also very rewarding to know that the relatively small contribution that I am making to the vast scientific literature, may one day lead to the development of medicines which could save and improve the quality of millions of lives around the world.

``The University of Canterbury has been a great place to study, where world leading facilities/research laboratories and excellent teaching staff means anyone with the inclination can be inspired and excel in their field of interest.

``Who would want to go all the way to Dunedin when you can be at the forefront of medical research right here in Canterbury? My project follows on from four years of directed learning and will take me between 12 and 18 months to finish.’’

Walters is carrying out his research under the supervision of Associate Profession Steven Gieseg whose group has shown how key antioxidants regulate white blood cells involved in heart disease.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news