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May 26, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Campus digest

METH: NOT EVEN ONCE 

A Victoria graduate has found new ways in which methamphetamine use can alter the brain, as part of the PhD in Biomedical Science he was awarded last week.

Dr Peter Bosch focussed his research on how the brain’s natural reward pathways are strongly stimulated following exposure to methamphetamine.

“We tried to study as many genes and proteins as we could, and then see what changed the most significantly following methamphetamine. We saw a number of genes and proteins which had previously been associated with the drug, but also ones which hadn’t been associated with it before.”

Dr Bosch says identifying these previously undescribed genetic and protein changes represents an exciting target for future drug-based therapies in the treatment of addiction, including relapses, which are a major challenge.

“There’s something going on in terms of how the brain has responded to the drug, that sets the brain up to relapse at another stage in life. By identifying the genes that have been altered, we can explore possible reasons for why some people are more vulnerable to drug relapses.”

A NOT-SO-COMICAL COMIC

A graphic novel developed by Victoria University of Wellington researchers aims to promote how young New Zealanders struggling with depression and other mental illness can seek help.

A Choice is the first of several resources in the making as part of the Youth Wellbeing Study, a research project led by Dr Marc Wilson, head of Victoria’s School of Psychology, which focusses on non-suicidal self-injury.

A Choice can be downloaded here: www.victoria.ac.nz/psyc/research/youth-and-wellbeing-study/resources/A-Choice_WIP13.pdf.

NEO-LIBRA ECONOMICS

Adam Smith, a student from Victoria Business School, accepted the 2014 Global Enterprise Experience ANZ Champion Team Award at a function at Parliament on Tuesday night on behalf of his seven team members from Argentina, Nepal, Malaysia and Australia.

Adam’s team was one of 114 teams competing in the contest. Participants came from 62 countries and were all led by New Zealand students, mainly from Victoria and Otago universities. They had three weeks to communicate in cyberspace and develop a business concept proposal on a profitable product or service that addresses the needs of youth and/or children.

“Chhaupadi is a social tradition, which is now illegal but prevalent in nearly all of rural Nepal, where women are prohibited from participating in normal family activities during menstruation and cast out of the house. Due to their low income, these women cannot afford expensive, but necessary, sanitary items, and use old rags, leaves and ash instead, leaving them embarrassed and susceptible to numerous health issues,” says Adam.

“My team proposed providing affordable sanitary pads to promote adaptation of healthy hygiene habits, which would hopefully reduce the stigma of menstruation and enable higher school-attendance rates among girls.”

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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