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Stronger regulations needed for loose tobacco – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 20th, 2016.

University of Otago public health researchers are calling on policy makers to develop stronger regulation of loose tobacco to curb the growing popularity of the cheaper option among New Zealand’s young adults. Their research, published in Tobacco Control, found young adults who used roll-your-own tobacco associated the product with being more natural and less harmful. ASPIRE2025 co-director […]

Obesity link significant find – Tony Merriman and Dave Grattan

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 28th, 2016.

Writing in the Otago Daily Times, University of Otago Professors Tony Merriman and Dave Grattan discuss the significance of new researching finding the strongest genetic link with obesity to date. An excerpt (read in full here). Tony Merriman and Dave Grattan: Significant to have found gene with link to obesity If we want to solve the obesity […]

Extinct sea lion discovered, raises by-catch concern – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 12th, 2016.

The discovery of an extinct sea lion from the Chatham Islands has researchers concerned that modern levels of by-catch could drive the remaining local species extinct. University of Otago scientists identified the extinct Chatham Island sea lion and found it was genetically distinct from the modern population that lives in the Auckland and Campbell Islands […]

Everyday chemicals could trigger cancer when mixed

Laura Goodall posted in on June 25th, 2015.

Mixtures of common chemicals used in our environment may act in concert with each other in the human body to cause the development of cancer, suggests new research published this week in the journal Carcinogenesis. The international consortium of researchers – including a New Zealander – identified 50 chemicals that were not thought to be carcinogenic […]

Fiordland a hotspot for carbon burial – Expert reaction

Laura Goodall posted in on May 6th, 2015.

New Zealand’s stunning Fiordland punches above its weight when it comes to storing organic carbon, according to a new analysis from US and New Zealand researchers published in Nature Geoscience this week. The team of scientists, which includes the University of Otago’s Dr Candida Savage, estimate that about 18 million tonnes of organic carbon is […]

Scientists sequencing DNA of endangered tuatara – Dominion Post

Laura Goodall posted in on April 22nd, 2015.

The Dominion Post‘s Olivia Wannan looks at how sequencing DNA from the tuatara could help conservationists develop a better way to bring it back from the brink of extinction. Olivia is a finalist in the Reporter Science and Technology category for this year’s Canon Media Awards. An excerpt (read the story in full here): Forget animal attraction – the perfect mate for […]

Bizarre deep-sea creature washes ashore in Dunedin

Steven Trask posted in on April 17th, 2015.

The Otago Daily Times reports that a rare serpent-like specimen, known as an oarfish, has been found on the beach in Aramoana, Dunedin. Department of Conservation service manager David Agnew said in his 20 years with DoC, he had never seen anything like the 3 metre specimen. Director of the Otago University marine studies programme […]

Otago University scientist helps shed light on greatest mass extinction

Steven Trask posted in on April 16th, 2015.

Extreme volcanic activity and ocean acidification were responsible for the worst mass extinction in history, according to an international research team including a University of Otago scientist. In a paper published last Friday in the leading journal Science, the team described how 252 million years ago extreme volcanic activity caused the oceans to absorb huge amounts […]

Plans for human ‘body transplant’ met with scepticism

Steven Trask posted in on April 16th, 2015.

An Italian surgeon’s plan to perform the first ‘full body transplant’ on a human has been met with scepticism. Published in the journal Surgical Neurology International, Dr Sergio Canavero recently outlined his plan to graft a living person’s head onto a deceased donor body. A 29 year-old Russian man, suffering from a disease which slowly wastes […]

New ancient NZ ‘Dawn Whale’ identified

Laura Goodall posted in on November 20th, 2014.

Local palaeontologists have identified – and named – a previously unknown genus of ancient New Zealand baleen whale and two species within it. The scientists, from the University of Otago, have named the new genus Tohoraata, which translates as ‘Dawn Whale’ in Maori. The two species, Tohoraata waitakiensis and Tohoraata raekohao, lived between 27 and 25 million years ago and […]

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