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


Image-conscious researchers to meet at symposium

21 November 2012

Image-conscious researchers to meet at symposium

New Zealand technologies being developed to more accurately deliver anticancer drugs, locate the sites where drugs are “switched on”, and to model the skin over a person’s entire body, are just some of the topics that will be discussed at the Maurice Wilkins Centre’s annual symposium on Friday 23 November.

The event, titled “New ways to image the body – from macro to nano” will present the latest imaging technology vital to the progression of medical science in the clinic and the laboratory. The day will begin with technologies used to image the whole body and its organs and move progressively down in scale to the imaging of individual molecules.

“Imaging helps us to understand what’s happening in the body in health and disease, and how it responds to treatment, so it’s a critical tool for both clinicians and scientists,” says Director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre Professor Rod Dunbar. “Exciting new imaging technologies are being developed in New Zealand, and the symposium is an opportunity to share this expertise and hopefully spark new scientific collaborations.”

Amongst the presenters, Dr Jeff Smaill from the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC) will describe research on a new way to “switch on” anti-cancer drugs only where they are needed. With colleagues Dr Adam Patterson from the ACSRC and Dr David Ackerley from Victoria University of Wellington, and collaborators at Nottingham and Maastricht Universities, he is developing a bacterium that selectively colonises tumours and, once there, produces an enzyme that converts otherwise inactive “pro-drugs” into potent anti-cancer agents.

To ensure this occurs only in tumours, the system is designed so that the enzyme also switches on a PET imaging agent, lighting up the parts of the body where the bacterium and therefore the enzyme is present. The New Zealand researchers are members of the Maurice Wilkins Centre and the Centre is helping to fund the work.

International speaker Dr Daniel Hausermann, head of the Imaging and Medical Beamline Team at the Australian Synchrotron, will discuss new capabilities for biological research. The synchrotron, an electron accelerator the size of a football field, creates extremely bright light that is channelled in beamlines for research. Its new imaging and medical beamline – the longest in the world – can be used to study biological structures such as blood vessels and dynamic process like breathing. New Zealand scientists routinely use the synchrotron and will learn about its new capabilities at the symposium.

Some of the other technologies to be presented on the day include: a new way of combining ultrasound and MRI imaging in real-time so that doctors can more precisely place needles to deliver cancer drugs; computer modelling an individual’s whole skin and body shape to more accurately mark sites of disease or treatment; a new molecular probe that improves the resolution of MRI; and nano-scale three-dimensional mapping of cells.

Further details including the full programme are available at:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news