MUSICAL MICHELLE This month’s My Story, Michelle Wong, has been conducting the University staff choir for six years and will be working her magic again at New Ways of Terminating Bacterial Gene Expression $960,000. There are over 500 whai patterns yet most current practitioners would struggle to produce 20, let alone know the individual chants, prayers and associated narratives embedded within whai. Marsden Fund Fast-Start grants support early career researchers to develop independent research and build exceptional careers in New Zealand. Explanations about the cognitive basis of this ability make different predictions about how mental state attributions vary across cultures. As a result, the brains of birds contain as much as twice as many neurons as that of primates of the same mass. Preliminary data implicate oncogenic Δ133p53 isoforms of the p53 tumour suppressor gene as central regulators of drug tolerance. Bacteria can have genomes as tiny as 160 kilobases, whereas some plant genomes are as mighty as 150 gigabases. Specifically, it will be the first commensal study in the Pacific to investigate what nuclear DNA can tell us about the origins and admixture of Pacific people, which is not possible using mtDNA alone. Mathematically, this is about the stability of black holes, in particular of the class of black holes discovered by New Zealander Roy Kerr in 1963. There were over 1200 applications for support - the highest recorded in the fund's 20-year history. Principal investigators, Professors Tony Merriman and Lisa Matisoo-Smith and Dr Anna Gosling from Otago join Associate Professor Frank Camacho from the University of Guam and Dr Paul Pumuye of the University of Papua New Guinea and their team of researchers in the project. The research team’s novel neural functions approach will undertake the first direct neural test of these hypotheses using established electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of these system sensitivities. Professor Colombo’s team aim to bring New Zealand to the forefront of the biology: technology interface to facilitate the development of computer-vision architecture with mechanisms derived from the incredibly powerful avian visual system. By combining comparative phylogenetics and empirical studies in conifers, we will produce new mechanistic information about the influence of niche dimensionality on biological diversification. A maximum fund for each award recipient is decided by the fund committee based on the application review and the available fund quota. This project’s novel approach using stable isotopes of amino acids as specific biomarkers will provide considerable insight into parasites’ role and dynamics within a food web. The repeated parallel evolution of truffle-like fungi is an excellent model system in which to discover such common genetic mechanisms. Such data arise in myriad areas, as diverse as epidemiology, ecology, and archaeology. About Gary Marsden This can be time consuming and expensive, with potential for misdiagnosis. Four case-studies each explore peoples’ values associated with a contentious invasive species: Wild pigs, Northland; Wilding conifers, Southern Lakes; Himalayan tahr, Southern Alps; and Koi carp and rudd, Waikato. Epigenetics reflects the interaction of nature (genetic inheritance) and nurture (environmental influence) and has captured the imagination of biologists, epidemiologists, social scientists, philosophers, health professionals and nutritionists. In New Zealand, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of premature death and disease burden and major sources of health inequities for Māori, Pacific, and Asian populations due to socio-economic, cultural and health system factors. Predicting risk of diabetes complications and costs using machine learning with equity analysis $300,000. To do so, they harness separated, nanokelvin-cold molecular gas clouds in test tubes of light formed by optical tweezers - a tool that won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. The origins of the Lapita people, and their interactions with other people in the Pacific, remain unclear. Landmark experiments over the past three years have demonstrated a new regime of counter-intuitive liquid-like and even solid-like behaviour in ultra-dilute gases. Bacteria live in all environments on earth, ranging from our guts to clouds, volcanoes and everywhere in-between. In the stiped state the two components of the gas spontaneously separate and self-organise into a set of interleaved fingers. Dunedin 9016 They account for a substantial share of the earth’s biomass, represent up to half of all species, and are involved in 50-75 per cent of food web trophic interactions. Epigenetic chemical marks on genes can control the influence of environment on immune system responses. These estimates are closely related to the unsolved restriction conjecture in harmonic analysis. In bacteria, there are two established termination mechanisms. $945,000. These cells adapt to drug treatment by switching to drug-tolerant states that allow them to survive and eventually acquire the mutations that lead to the recurrence of resistant tumours. One particular question is whether it is possible to deform a black hole to such an extreme that it would cease to be a black hole and transform into something else. This team will investigate the effects of low maternal vitamin C status during pregnancy on prenatal development. Their results will contribute to unravelling new functions of cytoplasmic lncRNAs in the cell and their potential as new prognostic and/or therapeutic targets in cancer. The bounded hypothesis suggests that competition imposes ecological limits on the number of species, whereas the unbounded hypothesis proposes that evolution associated with speciation allows new species to avoid competition. $300,000. Since then, there has been no extensive examination of whai, let alone widespread use of it. Typically, models for the distribution of such data incorporate two fundamental components, one relating to persistent spatial (fixed) effects and the other reflecting (stochastic) interactions between points, such as a tendency to cluster together. The aim of their project is to investigate genetic markers associated with metabolic diseases like diabetes and gout in Pacific people and how these diseases might have evolved. We recently identified 169 lncRNAs essential for cell viability in metastatic breast cancer, including many cytoplasmic transcripts. The nature of this expansion is slowly becoming understood. They will monitor the effects of maternal vitamin C status on TET-dependent epigenetic changes and post-natal development in the offspring. New Zealand, AskOtagoPātai ki Otāgo In the News | Published: 08 November 2018 08 November 2018. “Through this Fund, the recipients will undertake research of the highest quality in their fields of expertise and raise the standard of research in New Zealand. Identification of shared genetic pathways can reveal mechanisms underlying development of complex structures. It is our task to assess this link. Pandemic, Pasifika health and asthma research among Massey's Marsden successes Clockwise from top left: Professor Joachim Brand, Professor Murray Cox, Professor Jeroen Douwes, Dr Andrea Clavijo-McCormick, Dr Katherine Holt, Dr Wesley Webb, Professor Mick Roberts, Dr Ridvan Firestone, Dr Rochelle Stewart-Withers and Dr Nikki Freed. While this work is basic science in a model organism, this novel approach may have wide reaching implications for designing strategies for regenerative medicine in the future. University of Otago researchers are the recipients of an inaugural Marsden Fund Council Award worth $3 million to investigate genetic predisposition to metabolic diseases like diabetes and gout among Pacific people. Understanding the global in time behaviour of nonlinear dispersive partial differential equations is a major open problem. Gout is one of these diseases. Marsden Fund Fast-Start grants support early career researchers to develop independent research and build exceptional careers in New Zealand. The researchers will determine whether Δ133p53 levels are enriched in slow cycling cells and how they are regulated by microRNAs. Also, New Zealand is becoming more culturally diverse, but we know little about how Māori, Pasifika or recent migrants value invasive species, nor the views held by young New Zealanders. This innovative study will pioneer the transfer into this emerging AI field of equity concepts that have been well-developed in social disciplines, creating novel fairness algorithms. This research project will develop and adopt a novel “sexual dignity” framework in order to critically analyse New Zealand rape law, focusing on sex involving complainant passivity [failure to resist and absence of active participation]; compare the New Zealand approach with reformed jurisdictions; and make recommendations for law reform in New Zealand. Here the team study chemical reactions without any blurring: they prepare the reactants in specific quantum states and collide them at distinct and extremely well-defined energies. If they are to survive, pre-emergent hairworms must seek to sabotage the host manipulations induced by larger co-occurring emergent hairworms until they too are ready to emerge. Marsden fund recipient Professor Peter Adams from the Centre for Addiction Research plans to look closely at the power of industries like tobacco and alcohol to influence policy makers. A compound-specific stable isotope approach $300,000. [10] [11] [12] [13] One view is that a reasonable person will look for a positive expression of willingness, rather than assuming an internal attitude of consent from failure to physically resist or verbally object. This “affirmative consent” model — only yes means yes, rather than no means no — has been adopted in a number of jurisdictions, and is gaining increased support, in light of anti-coercion/harassment cultural movements such as #MeToo, as a means of protecting sexual autonomy. Current datasets are also not sufficient to understand the settlement of Central and East Polynesia. To elicit donations, campaigners must share images and stories of illness online, for an audience of both friends and strangers… turning compassion into capital. Principal investigators, Professors Tony Merriman and Lisa Matisoo-Smith and Dr Anna Gosling from Otago join Associate Professor Frank Camacho from the University of Guam and … This project tests this new hypothesis. These grants support excellent New Zealand research in the areas of science, engineering, maths, social sciences and the humanities. However, Dr Brown’s analysis of new genome-wide data, and preliminary experimental data strongly suggest that transcription also terminates via one or more novel mechanisms. Sleep loss in children: perchance to eat? The group of participants they will test is also highly novel: they will recruit a large cohort of individuals from the community (not from prisons) who will undergo extensive careful diagnostic and neurophysiological testing. In total, 32 University of Otago projects received $22 million of the $83.6 million allocated to 125 research projects throughout the country. Dr Anna Gosling Email anna.gosling@otago.ac.nz, Liane Topham-Kindley Senior Communications Adviser Tel +64 3 479 9065 Mob +64 21 279 9065 Email liane.topham-kindley@otago.ac.nz. Computer vision is part of our daily life, and saves lives by detecting hazards in industrial workplaces and reducing or eliminating human errors in demanding tasks, such as driving vehicles. Dissemination of findings will involve local communities in applied policy recommendations. "Bad nature": The social dimensions of invasive alien species and their management in New Zealand $682,000. The Marsden Fund is the premiere funding mechanism for basic research in New Zealand. A maximum fund for each award recipient is decided by the fund committee based on the application review and the available fund quota. In this way the long time and distance scales become accessible to numerical treatments. Robust and reproducible in vitro models are required for investigating the pathways involved in fluid homeostasis in the human alveolar epithelium. Development and assessment of a multi-spectroscopic fiber optic probe capable of disease diagnosis in the gastro-intestinal tract $300,000. Read about highlighted projects and announcements for each funding round Search Marsden awards 2008–2017. They are one of two large interdisciplinary projects to receive the inaugural Marsden Fund Council Awards with the Marsden Fund (Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden) allocating a further $19 million to University of Otago researchers for another 31 projects. Can we adopt this different, more effective architecture to improve computer vision? The literature strongly suggests sleep loss in children promotes unhealthy eating, but 'how' this occurs is largely unknown. The number of award recipients and the maximum fund for each recipient are decided by the deciding committee based on the application review. Dr Shaver’s team will collect longitudinal ethnographic and cooperative network data from individuals living in Fijian villages and squatter settlements undergoing intense social change, creating the Pacific’s first longitudinal ethnographic study of religion and society. This would provide an explanation for the longstanding question about what this "lactation hormone" actually does in males. This team proposes a randomised, crossover experimental design to determine how sleep loss influences energy intake. The Marsden Fund Council is appointed by the Minister of Science and innovation. Overall, the Marsden Fund awarded 134 grants, with Wellington’s 27 accounting for a fifth of them. View more on how to contact us or use this form to send us an email. A near universal truth for these diverse ecosystems is that bacteria live in complex microbial communities, interacting and communicating with other microbes in a variety of poorly understood ways. Many of these deaths could potentially be prevented, the results could therefore assist in designing prevention programmes that are suitable for these populations; and health sector cost planning. In 2020, there were 59 recipients of Fast-Start grants for a total of $17,700,000 (excluding GST). By simultaneously measuring individual and community units over time, these social conditions will function as “natural experiments,” affording an understanding of the dynamic interplay between religious institutions, cooperation and inequality. Raman spectroscopy, a light based and non-destructive method, has been demonstrated as a potential cancer detection method. Their investigations in the ultracold domain will provide new insight into how more complex chemical reactions can be probed and controlled. Multiple hairworms are frequently found in a single wētā. Correct termination of transcription is a critical step in gene expression. Based on preliminary data on this tumour-specific molecule, they hypothesise that lncTNBC1 acts by binding to other RNA molecules in the cell, thereby modulating protein synthesis of essential cell growth regulators. However this is in question due to disagreement over what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ nature. The host behavioural manipulation induced by an emergent or late development hairworm is not only lethal to the cave wētā host, but also to any co-occurring early development or pre-emergent hairworms present within the host. “This year has also seen many Otago researchers receive their first Marsden Fund awards, either a Fast Start early-career award, or a standard award as an established researcher. Controlling invasive species, at a cost of NZ$1.4 billion annually, depends upon ongoing public awareness and support. So called “successful” psychopathy in the community is poorly understood. They will use state-of-the-art epigenomic tools to determine whether epigenetic marks play a major role in activation of the innate immune system, leading to gout flares in one brother, but not the other. University of Otago researchers are the recipients of an inaugural Marsden Fund Council Award worth $3 million to investigate genetic predisposition to metabolic diseases like diabetes and gout among Pacific people. Their theory will predict a novel liquid-like droplet state and an exotic striped state. Yet, work by archaeologists at Otago is leading to a serious rethink of this expansion. Meet Marsden 25 recipient Associate Professor Nick Golledge, from the Antarctic Research Centre at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. From the University’s initial 166 proposals, it had a success rate of 16 percent, compared with a national rate of 11.5 percent. The ultimate goal is to translate their discoveries into greatly enhanced computer-vision software. A new generation of statistical models for spatial point process data $705,000. Professor Merriman says he is delighted to receive the $3 million (excluding GST) award over three years. How the transition to these drug-tolerant states is regulated remains unknown. Dr Collins’ team propose to apply the latest aDNA techniques to the commensal model, to generate new genomic data from modern and ancient Pacific rats and ancient chickens to greatly improve the resolution of our data compared to existing datasets. About Gary Marsden Piecing together Pacific prehistory using genomics and the commensal model $300,000. University of Otago researchers are the recipients of an inaugural Marsden Fund Council Award worth $3 million to investigate genetic predisposition to metabolic diseases like diabetes and gout among Pacific people. Battle of the body snatchers; do co-occurring parasites help or hinder each other? Major gaps still remain, particularly on the island of New Guinea where there is a consensus that Austronesian speakers bypassed it on their way to Remote Oceania. Search awarded Marsden Fund grants 2008–2017. Many diseases are complex, affected by both genes and environment. Read about highlighted projects and announcements for each funding round, Search awarded Marsden Fund grants 2008–2017, General enquiries: +64 4 472 7421 | enquiries@royalsociety.org.nz | PO Box 598, Wellington 6140. Based on preliminary genomic analysis, this team hypothesise that switching from mushroom to truffle-like growth has occurred due to convergent changes to a small number of discrete genetic pathways. sympathy, pity, or contempt) on social media, and how these might connect and position people. However, the virulence of these bacteria depends on the presence of these partial respiration steps. A fundamental task, with critical practical consequences, is to separate these components in the analysis of any given pattern. Working closely with the only experiment able to produce binary magnetic gases, they will help usher in a new era of exciting physics. The hyperuricaemic phenotype, a common factor in metabolic disease, may have evolved in Pacific ancestors as a protection against malaria,” Professor Merriman explains. By steering the optical tweezers, they can gently bump the tiny and frigid clouds together to induce reactive collisions and conduct a chemistry experiment just above zero absolute temperature. At room temperature, the observed pace at which this happens is an average over a large range of collision energies which blurs the picture of what is going on. Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden, the Marsden Fund, has allocated $83.671 million (excluding GST) to 125 research projects across Aotearoa. In New Zealand, a recent judicial split on the question highlights a pressing need for review of consent and reasonable belief in consent in sexual violence law, and whether rape law should be reformulated based on evolving social norms about access to the bodies of others. Binary magnetic gas – the next generation quantum-liquid $891,000. “A central hypothesis is that the high rate of metabolic disease evolved through genetic selection by infectious disease, in particular malaria. The result is that the avian system packs far more firepower than the primate visual system, and is possibly computationally more efficient than that of primates. $960,000. Many bacteria generate energy for growth by a process called cellular respiration. We aim to test the hypothesis that the pituitary hormone prolactin, which we have recently shown is critical for maternal behaviour, has an analogous function in the male. The grants were among $13.7million to be awarded to 23 Otago University research projects by the fund which supports investigator-initiated research. Among the Massey University Marsden Fund recipients are Dr Rachel Blagojevic and Dr David Aguirre (below) $5.1m in Marsden grants for Massey researchers Ten Massey University-led research projects will receive research funding worth more than $5.1 million from the Government's Marsden Fund … The Wellington-led projects announced today as grant recipients are the highest number for the University in the fund’s 26-year history and the grants’ total value of more than … This study will help understand how attitudes to invasive species are formed, and consequently how to generate support for their current and future management. faces) in birds. They will test experimentally if these changes are sufficient to turn mushrooms into truffles in the laboratory using model truffle/mushroom species pairs. Drug resistance in cancer was once thought to be solely due to the selection of pre-existing mutant cancer cells. The enzymatic addition of methyl groups to DNA and their removal is an integral part of epigenetic programming. A central focus is the role of ‘moral emotions’ (e.g. However, exactly how parasites fit within the classical food web structure is poorly understood; what is their “true” trophic position, and is energy assimilation from their hosts greater than the relatively inefficient transfer between non-parasitic species? Read the complete Marsden Fund list here In March 2017 the Minister directed the Council to prepare an Investment Plan for the Fund, as recommended in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s recent Assessment of Strategy and Management of the Fund. They will study the organisation dynamics and explore if the striped phase realises an elusive supersolid state of matter. Gravitational waves from rotating black holes $888,000. Almost nothing is known about the social context and practice of OMC in New Zealand (NZ). Each hairworm manipulates the host to optimise its own survival and reproductive opportunities, but what is optimal for one hairworm may not be optimal for all. However, the inability of molecularly targeted drugs to yield durable responses is now thought to be due to a small subpopulation of slow-cycling cells. They will address crucial gaps in knowledge of the assembly of fruiting bodies and will improve understanding of convergent evolution within ecologically relevant organisms. They will develop and test a multi-spectroscopic fibre probe and associated classification models with coeliac disease as the model illness. University of Otago researchers have won $13 million of grants from the Marsden Fund. Online Medical Crowdfunding (OMC) is an increasingly common way to raise money for healthcare needs not covered by the system. Is the overlap between gout flare triggers and environmental influencers of epigenetic marks a coincidence? 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