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

 


Otago gains state-of-the-art health research microscope


Image shows the organisation of brain cells (neurons) in a part of the brain responsible for movement, the motor cortex; the green neurons provide the electrical signals that drive movement of the limbs.

Monday 14 April 2014

Otago gains state-of-the-art health research microscope

University of Otago medical scientists will now be able to peer into the cells of the living brain for the first time to study the onset and progression of such neurological diseases as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

This is thanks to a newly acquired Multiphoton Microscope which applies a powerful but harmless infra-red light that literally sees into living organs and cells with unparalleled detail and speed. An official launch for the Microscope is being held on 15 April in the University’s Lindo-Fergusson Building.

Associate Professor Ruth Empson of the Department of Physiology and the University’s Brain Health Research Centre, says the multiphoton microscope will be used to image a wide variety of living tissues and organs including the brain, skin, lungs, gut and lymph nodes.


Researchers at work with the microscope

“It is very appropriate that the Department of Physiology is driving this initiative since physiology is the scientific discipline that aims to understand how living things work,” she says.

“Understanding how they work is critical for fixing them, so the knowledge developed with this new microscope will help answer important questions in human health and diseases including stroke, arrhythmia, wound healing and irritable bowel disease.”

She says that having the ability to see deep into a previously impenetrable structure like the brain, and measure its electrical activity, will revolutionise our understanding of how complex networks of brain cells use electrical impulses to communicate with one another.

“We will be able to see how these impulses change or malfunction in response to a brain trauma such as a stroke, or diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. We will also be able to visualise changes in brain structure during development, across puberty, right through to old age.”

In addition to its use in brain research, the multiphoton microscope will also provide the ability to visualise activities of other organs such as the heart, allowing Otago scientists to understand how changes in heart tissue can lead to cardiac arrhythmias.

Another application will be to visualise the cells through the lining of the gut for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

The first of its kind in New Zealand, the $1 million multiphoton microscope is one of only a handful throughout the world. It was acquired with the assistance of NZ Lottery Health funding as well as a variety of internal University of Otago sources.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Taxing Multinationals: EU Ruling Sours Apple

Shares of Apple slid, down 0.9 percent as of 3.08pm in New York, after the European Commission ruled that Ireland granted the company undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros (US$14.5 billion)—"illegal aid” under EU rules that the commission says Ireland now must recover from Apple. More>>

ALSO:

NZX Review: Best Practice Code Recommends Code Of Ethics

NZX, the sharemarket operator, is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its corporate governance best practice code including a published code of ethics, rules about share trading and continuous disclosure, and more transparency over board appointments and chief executive pay. More>>

ALSO:

Auditors:

Signs Of Life? SETI On Russian Space(?) Signal

A star system 94 light-years away is in the spotlight as a possible candidate for intelligent inhabitants, thanks to the discovery of a radio signal by a group of Russian astronomers... Could it be a transmission from a technically proficient society? At this point, we can only consider what is known so far. More>>

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news