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: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news