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Superbugs on the radio

Laura Goodall posted in on August 6th, 2014.

Dr Heather Hendrickson, lecturer in Molecular Biosciences at Massey University, spoke on Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning show on 3rd August about the issues surrounding superbugs, antibiotic resistance, new drugs, and the impact of antibacterial consumer products. Heather previously attended our Media SAVVY workshops and she was also the expert for last month’s Expert Encounter.

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‘How safe is our food?’ – Sunday Star Times

John Kerr posted in on August 12th, 2013.

In the wake of Fonterra’s contamination scare, Adam Dudding takes a big picture look at food safety in New Zealand for the Sunday Star Times. An excerpt (read in full here): How safe is our food really? We eat food that could have been grown almost anywhere on the planet, by people we’ll never meet, […]

Psa origins mapped – experts respond

Dacia Herbulock posted in on February 28th, 2013.

Scientists have mapped the genome of the bacteria responsible for virulent kiwifruit vine disease Psa, providing evidence for the origins and future biosecurity implications of the ongoing outbreak.  The University of Otago team’s study, preliminary results of which were released last year, are published in final form today in the open access journal PLOS ONE. The researchers analysed […]

Probiotics and pregnancy

John Kerr posted in on February 22nd, 2013.

Exposure to beneficial bacteria before and after birth may lower a child’s risk of developing allergies and eczema. Wellington and Auckland researchers have previously shown that high risk mothers taking a daily dose of the helpful probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus during pregnancy and breastfeeding halved the rates of eczema in their children. Now the researchers […]

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Seal mummies harbour microbial secrets in Antarctica

John Kerr posted in on February 9th, 2012.

Researchers in Antarctica have co-opted some unlikely assistants in their examination of microbial communities in the southern continent. Mummified seals, found in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica,  have been used by the researchers as a of way changing the environment experienced by microbes. Scientists moved a 250-year old seal carcass 20 meters to an […]

‘Flesh-eating’ bug in the news

John Kerr posted in on September 28th, 2011.

New research has found that the incidence of a tissue damaging bacterial infection – necrotising fascitits – is rising in New Zealand. National media have been quick to report on the increases in cases of ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria. The research, published in the Journal of Infection, shows that necrotising fascitits has risen from fewer than 10 […]

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Expert on low drug resistance in bacteria from NZ food

John Kerr posted in on June 22nd, 2011.

A new Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) survey has examined the antimicrobial resistance of bacteria isloated from New Zealand food, and found little evidence of drug resistant ‘superbugs’. The survey was undertaken to establish the current extent of resistance to antimicrobial drugs in bacteria found in food-producing animals and fresh produce. Further details of […]

FURTHER UPDATE: European E. coli outbreak — experts respond

John Kerr posted in on June 3rd, 2011.

The outbreak of Escheria coli infection in Germany appears to be worse than anticipated, with health experts suspecting that current strain of the bacterium is more virulent than usual. Below are comments on the unfolding situation in Germany from experts across the global SMC network. Please feel free to use these in your stories.  Previous […]

The Timaru Herald: Bacteria – we’re covered in it

Peter Griffin posted in on July 26th, 2010.

Charley Mann writes in the Timaru Herald about the bacteria which cover all of our surfaces and which, according to a US expert, we should be trying harder to control. According to his research, environmental microbiologist Charles Gerba says that the average Kiwi office deskis covered by 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.  […]

Sunday News: Health: Brain up on killer disease

Peter Griffin posted in on May 10th, 2010.

Barbara Docherty writes in Sunday News about the highly dangerous disease meningitis, how to spot the symptoms, and what the best options for prevention are. While sensible precautions such as regularly washing one’s hands and a healthy diet certainly help, the best means of preventing the viral form of the disease is vaccination, particularly in […]

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