Tag Archives: University of Otago

Otago Scientists Explain Loch Ness Mystery

Otago Scientists Explain Loch Ness Mystery

The most famous photo of the Loch Ness monster has long been discredited as a hoax, but University of Otago scientists have come up with a new explanation for other sightings of the elusive…

Why Some of Our Famous Flightless Birds Can’t Fly

Why Some of Our Famous Flightless Birds Can’t Fly

University of Otago researchers in association with colleagues from Harvard University have discovered new evidence of what made some of New Zealand’s iconic birds such as the kiwi and extinct moa flightless. Dr Paul…

Extinct Penguins Wiped out by Hungry Humans

Extinct Penguins Wiped out by Hungry Humans

The discovery of two extinct penguin subspecies in New Zealand is a cautionary tale of the threats faced by the waddling birds in the wild. Veronique Greenwood reports for The New York Times. For thousands…

NZ Study Confirms Environmental Benefits of Building Cycleways

NZ Study Confirms Environmental Benefits of Building Cycleways

“A new study by researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Victoria University has confirmed that building cycleways benefits the planet because swapping four wheels for two leads to a reduction in carbon…

NZ Researchers Argue James Bond Has Drinking Problem

NZ Researchers Argue James Bond Has Drinking Problem

Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago and the UK’s University of Oxford “have published a study in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Christmas issue which they say proves that Ian Fleming’s fictional character…

Fiordland Penguins Make Mammoth Migrations

Fiordland Penguins Make Mammoth Migrations

Every December, the Fiordland crested penguins, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, which live on the South Island, disappear, Jason Daley reports for the Smithsonian journal. A new satellite study shows the penguins migrate up to 7000km to…

Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind

Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind

A fossil found in South Canterbury is now one of the earliest members of the filter-feeding family of behemoths known as baleen whales. Modern baleen whales include many of the world’s largest cetaceans, such…

Sperm Race Helping Save Sugar-Lapping Hihi

Sperm Race Helping Save Sugar-Lapping Hihi

“It’s likely you’ve never heard of a hihi, let alone seen one in the wild. Also known as stitchbirds, these colourful little critters are a true taonga. They’re only found in New Zealand, and…

Misfiled Piece of Brontë Brother’s Work Found in NZ

Misfiled Piece of Brontë Brother’s Work Found in NZ

The first Brontë manuscript identified in New Zealand has been restored to its place in literary history thanks to university researchers. The fragment of Branwell Brontë’s work was misfiled as a letter in the…

Creative Activities Can Boost Well-Being

Creative Activities Can Boost Well-Being

“Everyday creative activities like writing poetry or making new recipes can boost well-being as well as creativity in young adults” according to a study conducted by New Zealand’s University of Otago, reports…

Rare Whales Seen off Dunedin Coast

Rare Whales Seen off Dunedin Coast

For the first time in New Zealand waters an extremely rare grouping of Shepherd’s Beaked Whales, one of the least known cetaceans in the world, has been spotted from a University of Otago research…

New Zealand Fur Seal Population Increasing

New Zealand Fur Seal Population Increasing

The New Zealand fur seal population seems to be recovering after being pushed to the brink of extinction, according to a recent NZ government report. “I went to Kaikoura in 1984 and all I saw…

Researchers Identify New Fossil Whale Species of New Zealand

Researchers Identify New Fossil Whale Species of New Zealand

Researchers from the University of Otago have identified three new whale species that once lived in New Zealand. The “researchers’ discovery and description of the Tokarahia kauaeroa and Tokarahia lophocephalus whales helps to fill in an important gap…

University of Otago Study Discovers Way to Boost Generation Reliability from New Zealand Wind Farms

University of Otago Study Discovers Way to Boost Generation Reliability from New Zealand Wind Farms

A recent study conducted by the Department of Geography, University of Otago, has proposed a way to boost generation reliability from New Zealand wind farms. After analysing New Zealand’s wind circulation patterns speed data from…

Fjords Crucial to Carbon Burial

Fjords Crucial to Carbon Burial

An Otago University study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, has found fjords could play a very important role as a driver of atmospheric CO2 levels at times when ice sheets are…

Research Looks at Preventing Genetically Inherited Cancers

Research Looks at Preventing Genetically Inherited Cancers

Deadly stomach and breast cancers that are genetically inherited could be treated or even prevented with existing drugs identified by Otago University cancer researchers. The researchers said their research showed that the key genetic mutation…

New Zealand Scientists Discover Ancient Toothless Whale

New Zealand Scientists Discover Ancient Toothless Whale

Scientists from the University of Otago have discovered two previously unknown ancient whale species, rewriting the history of marine mammals in the Southern Hemisphere. The 25 million year old whales, dubbed Tohoraata raekohao and Tohoraata waitakiensis, translating…

Alpine Fault Hole Revealing Secrets of Earth’s Crust

Alpine Fault Hole Revealing Secrets of Earth’s Crust

An international team of scientists drilling a 1.3-km deep hole into the Alpine Fault in the South Island say they are already gaining valuable insights into the earth’s crust less than a quarter of…

New Zealand Fault Hole Revealing Secrets of Earth’s Crust

New Zealand Fault Hole Revealing Secrets of Earth’s Crust

Scientists drilling a 1.3-km deep hole into the Alpine Fault in New Zealand’s South Island say they are already gaining valuable insights into the Earth’s crust less than a quarter of the way down. The…

Dunedin Researcher Andrew Highton Wins Oxford Scholarship

Dunedin Researcher Andrew Highton Wins Oxford Scholarship

University of Otago PhD researcher, Andrew Highton, 25, has won a Nuffield postdoctoral fellowship to Oxford University, where he will continue his immunology research. Highton was “really excited” to gain the fellowship, which provides $83,700…

Jonathan Conway Takes Snow Study High into Canadian Rockies

Jonathan Conway Takes Snow Study High into Canadian Rockies

New Zealand scientist Jonathan Conway, who holds a PhD in glaciology and climatology from the University of Otago, is in the Canadian Rockies on a two-year posting at the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for…

Toxicologist Claims Alexander the Great Died from Poisoned Wine

Toxicologist Claims Alexander the Great Died from Poisoned Wine

National Poisons Centre toxicologist Dr Leo Schep may have unravelled the mystery surrounding the death of Greek king Alexander the Great, who died at 32 in 323BC. Schep thinks the culprit could be poisonous wine…

London Investment Bank Chief has Never Lost Ties to NZ

London Investment Bank Chief has Never Lost Ties to NZ

Investment bank chief executive New Zealander Kent Gardner, who runs London-based Evans Randall, has been living in the United Kingdom for more than a decade and says he never lost ties to…

Vogue Spies Twenty Seven Names

Vogue Spies Twenty Seven Names

Street fashion blogger and Vogue Australia style blog contributor, Xssat, took a visit to Wellington-based label twenty seven names, to take a look at the brands 2014 autumn/winter collection and to find out a…

Cold, Hard Cash Works Better than Welfare

Cold, Hard Cash Works Better than Welfare

Giving money directly to the poor is one of the best ways to raise education levels and lift people out of poverty, a study by the University of Otago shows. Development economist Dr Sarah…

Deciphering Clues from Ancient Bones in Cambodia

Deciphering Clues from Ancient Bones in Cambodia

For the past seven years, New Zealand archaeologist Dr Nancy Beavan has been unravelling the mystery of a graveyard in Cambodia dating back to the Angkor era. At Phnom Pel, more than 100 burial…

Kids TV and Crime Linked

Kids TV and Crime Linked

Otago University Professor Bob Hancox has found that the risk of having a criminal conviction in adulthood increases with every hour that children spend watching TV. The New Zealand study followed a group of…

Bond Gets Nastier

Bond Gets Nastier

Researchers from the University of Otago have analysed 22 James Bond films and discovered that violent acts in the films have more than doubled since Dr No in 1962. In the first 007 film,…

Unexpected Genetic Diversity

Unexpected Genetic Diversity

Genome sequencing of the first-known four New Zealanders has revealed surprising genetic diversity, according to new research by the University of Otago. The complete mitochondrial genomes of the individuals – found buried at Wairau…

Rethinking Early Education

Rethinking Early Education

An analysis of pupils in New Zealand has found that pupils kept out of formal schooling until the age of seven perform just as well as those subjected to normal lessons at five. Academics…

Cambodian Mountain Discovery

Cambodian Mountain Discovery

Two researchers from Otago University’s anatomy department are using radiocarbon dating technology to unravel the mysteries of a lost culture that once inhabited the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia. The researchers have dated samples of…

Radical Award For Professor

Radical Award For Professor

Christchurch biochemist Professor Christine Winterbourn has become the first woman to receive New Zealand’s top science award in its 20-year history, the Rutherford Medal. Winterbourn, Otago University pathology department’s director of the Free Radical…

Expert Slams Shakespeare Film

Expert Slams Shakespeare Film

Otago University expert on the works of English playwright William Shakespeare Professor Evelyn Tribble has criticised the film Anonymous — which questions the bard’s authorship of his attributed plays — calling it Hollywood “libel.” Tribble said…

Fear the Spud No More

Fear the Spud No More

Researchers at Otago University have found that potatoes may not be the fat-gain ogres that many dieticians claim and that when you eat these carbohydrates as part of a meal of meat and vegetables…

Raiding the Global Pantry

Raiding the Global Pantry

Martha Jeffries, producer/director of New Zealand-made food and travel series World Kitchen is a self-confessed foodie with wanderlust, who had a “very Hutt upbringing”, growing up in Pinehaven and attending Sacred Heart…

Revolutionary Gel

Revolutionary Gel

University of Otago scientists have developed a ground-breaking gel for healing wounds after sinus injury derived from a polymer named chitosan extracted from crab-shell and squid. According to researchers, the new gel has the…

Anti-cancer Effects

Anti-cancer Effects

Otago University scientists have found that children who regularly drink milk are up to 40 per cent less likely to suffer from bowel cancer. The researchers found that drinking nearly 250ml of milk daily…

Ginseng dilemma solved

Ginseng dilemma solved

Otago University senior chemistry lecturer Dr Barrie Peake has come up with a way to prove that Wisconsin’s ginseng really does comes from Wisconsin, putting an end to fraud in places like China, where…

Proof in the pudding

Proof in the pudding

The pavlova is a New Zealand-invented dessert, and the proof is in the dictionary entry. An argument dating back generations between Australia and New Zealand over which of them invented the pavlova appears to…

Humanitarian career

Humanitarian career

Wellington doctor Adrick Baker, 69, has devoted a large part of his career to serving thousands of poor villagers for free in northeastern Bangladesh, opening a free health centre in Kailakuri, which has since…

Citrus solutions

Citrus solutions

The University of Otago’s Free Radical Research Group claim vitamin C can help curb the growth of cancer cells. “Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer…

Do the Dracula

Do the Dracula

Otago University researchers from the Wellington campus conducted a trial in the capital at the tail end of the swine flu pandemic last August which has found that the majority of people still don’t…

Moa Eggshells Tell All

Moa Eggshells Tell All

Scientists in New Zealand and Australia have extracted the DNA from the fossil eggshells of 3000-year-old moa. It is the first time that scientists have succeeded in extracting ancient DNA from the fossilised eggshells…

Referendum in Sight

Referendum in Sight

New Zealand is due to hold an election referendum in 2011 to enable the population to decide between using AV or the current ‘first-past-the-post’ system. Ken Ritchie, the chief executive of Britain’s Electoral Reform…

Marriage Good for You

Marriage Good for You

University of Otago clinical psychologist Kate Scott led a study of the effects of marriage on 34,493 people across 15 countries finding that it really is good for you and reduces the risks of…

Living with Fur

Living with Fur

New Zealand researchers, including Professor Malcolm Sear of the University of Otago, have found those who lived with dogs and cats for significant periods of time were less likely to develop allergies, compared with…

All in this Together

All in this Together

The Age of Stupid producer Auckland-born Lizzie Gillett, 31, spent five years working on the climate change drama-documentary with McLibel director Briton Franny Armstrong “working through obstacles as they come up: from difficult…

Without Distraction

Without Distraction

A long-term University of Otago study comparing the achievements of 900 boys and girls attending both single-sex and co-educational secondary schools has shown that boys perform better when attending single-sex schools. “These findings are consistent with the…

Spreading the word

Spreading the word

New Zealand is the most peaceful country in the world and Americans might want to consider moving here suggests The Washington Post. According to the 2009 Global Peace Index released by an Australian-based research…

Influenza Expert

Influenza Expert

New Zealand virologist Richard Webby has provided an expert perspective on the swine flu outbreak. Now based in Memphis at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Webby is the head of a WHO Collaborating Centre…

Moa Meals Uncovered

Moa Meals Uncovered

University of Otago postgraduate Jamie Wood collects moa dung, or coprolites, which he finds on tip-offs from hunters who report findings of moa bones. Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide, who specialises in…

Whisked Debate

Whisked Debate

Helen Leach, an academic at Otago University, is hoping to settle the origins of the pavlova with recipes found in a 1933 Mothers’ Union cookbook and in a 1929 rural magazine, both calling the…

Distractions of Youth

Distractions of Youth

Otago University intelligence researcher professor James Flynn is the author of a study published online by the journal Economics and Human Biology which looks at how British teenagers’ cognitive skills have changed over a…

Pre-Human New Zealand

Pre-Human New Zealand

Paleontology researchers from the University of Adelaide, University of Otago, and the NZDEC have begun to paint a picture of ancient life on the New Zealand islands by investigating the feces of the giant…

Surgical Innovation

Surgical Innovation

University of Otago scientists have patented a gel derived from squid that can reduce bleeding and scarring during surgery. The gel, named Chitodex, is a chemically modified form of the polymer chitosan, which is found in…

Halo Helmed by NZ Boy Genius

Halo Helmed by NZ Boy Genius

This year’s most hyped video game, Halo 3, was engineered by a former child prodigy from Kakanui. Chris Butcher, 29, works for Seattle-based gaming company Bungie, which produces the Halo series for Microsoft Xbox. In…