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

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Starts Talks On Tougher Rules For Property Speculators

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is stepping up preparations to restrict lending to residential property investors as it watches house prices, particularly in Auckland, continue to rise strongly. More>>

ALSO:

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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