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Thursday April 26, 2018

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Knowledge on immune system a game-changer: Professor World-leading New Zealand immunologist Professor Graham Le Gros says we are on the cusp of exciting breakthroughs in our fight against disease as knowledge of our immune system grows exponentially. The Director of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research says this year’s Day of Immunology on April 29 is a time to acknowledge the extraordinary potential and impact of immunology research under way here in New Zealand and across the globe. “Immunology is the future of human health – it’s game-changing. “As we better understand how our immune system works, and how it can be harnessed to fight disease, we’re poised for new, gentler and more effective treatments for cancer, asthma and allergy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, gut disease and many other debilitating diseases.” The Wellington professor says that vaccines and immunisations give a glimpse of the power of immunotherapy – teaching the immune system to fight disease by mimicking a natural infection. “What is less well-known, is that our immune system can also protect

us from developing non-infectious diseases such as cancer. “And research has shown that our immune system plays an important role in the development of allergic disorders and in many common disorders not traditionally viewed as immunologic, including metabolic and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” Graham says. In 2017, the Malaghan Institute took the first step in developing New Zealand’s answer to the latest in cancer vaccines. CAR-T cell therapy is a revolutionary new approach to fighting cancer by redirecting a patient’s own immune cells to impart long-lasting protection against the disease. “Later this year, through a collaboration with an international biotech group Hunan Zhoatai Medical Group, we’re aiming to conduct our first small CAR-T clinical trials, with the goal of developing a more effective and longer-lasting way to fight certain cancers.” He says understanding the virtuous relationship between the immune system, our food environment and the macro and microorganisms that live in and on us is also a key focus for the Institute in 2018.

LEFT: Wellington’s Graham Le Gros is excited about the future when it comes to our immune systems. PHOTOS: Supplied ABOVE: A lymph node, illuminated under the microscope, in the process of antibody production following vaccination.

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The 8 hour workday was devised so that workers could evenly divide 24 hours between: “Eight hours’ labour, Eight hours’ recreation, Eight hours’ rest.” However, psychologists have found the brain can’t focus on creative tasks for more than a few hours at a time. Over the course of an eighthour workday, the average white-collar employee works for about three hours.

Cook Strait News 26-04-18  

Cook Strait News 26-04-18

Cook Strait News 26-04-18  

Cook Strait News 26-04-18