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

 

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>


Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news