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

 


UC scientist uses green material for early disease detection

UC scientist using green materials to help early disease detection

January 31, 2013

A University of Canterbury scientist is using discarded hoki fish eyes to help early detection of diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Dr Luigi Sasso says looking at the proteins in hoki fish eyes is great for the environment and will also help people’s health in the long term. He is researching at UC’s Biomolecular Interaction Centre to investigate pioneering new areas of cutting-edge nanotechnology.

The green materials he is using in his research are proteins extracted from the eyes of fish which would usually end up in the rubbish bin.

The protein is removed from unwanted fish heads via a method developed in the UC lab, Dr Sasso is producing very small nano-thin protein structures that can be manipulated and used for research. He said the research was a step toward solving many health issues in society.

"My research is based mainly on utilising biological materials for technology. In today’s world, where us humans have abused and oppressed our natural environment for our purposes, I believe it is important to learn how to work together with the world we live in, especially when it comes to technological development.

"The study of biological structures already found in nature can lead us to alternative methods to develop biosensors or other analytical devices from green nano fibres which can be used to detect sugar levels for diabetics, lactose (for dairy-intolerant people ) and downstream indicators of diseases such as cancer.

"How great would it be if you could go down to the pharmacy, pick up a cheap and easy to use device to check your blood for early stages of cancer and then toss it in the recycling bin when you’re done? It would allow people to be aware of their health issues way before they reach a dangerous level, meaning that, in the end, more lives would be saved.

"I know there are a lot of scientists and researchers around the world working towards making this a reality. In our research group we are collaborating with the Technical University of Denmark to apply our scientific expertise towards a common goal."

UC has received more than $1 million to launch the project which will be breaking new barriers of scientific research looking at nano-fibres that are up to 10,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair.

Dr Sasso is working at UC with Dr Madhu Vasudevamurthy and Professor Juliet Gerrard, a world leading bionanotechnology expert. Professor Gerrard said the UC group was the only one in the world with an ability to manufacture protein nano-fibres on a large scale which will be hugely helpful in diagnosing illnesses. The UC research aims to put New Zealand at the forefront of bionanotechnology research.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Outage: Power Mostly Restored Overnight

Vector wishes to advise that all but 324 customers have been restored overnight. These customers are spread throughout the network in small pockets. The main St Johns feeder was restored around midnight allowing most of the customers in all affected areas to have power this morning. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news