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23 May - 10:54 pm NZ
with Alison Ballance & Ruth Beran
Thursdays 9 - 10pm
Richard Stubbs, head of the Wakefield Biomedical Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington, is convinced that the cure for Type 2 diabetes lies in a yet-to-be identified hormone released by the gut: a molecule which he has dubbed "Factor X".
After conducting hundreds of gastric bypass operations, he has observed (pdf) that six days after the operation many patients no longer have Type 2 diabetes. His hypothesis is that because 'Factor X' is antagonistic to insulin, its over-production results in insulin resistance, leading to Type 2 diabetes.
Sixty eight year-old Arthur Andrews believes the only way to solve his health issues is to undergo a gastric bypass. Ruth Beran meets Arthur Andrews before the operation, goes into theatre to watch as Richard Stubbs operates on him, and then goes back to the hospital six days later to find out how the operation went.
Victoria University of Wellington geographer David Kennedy is interested in coastal processes, and how different kinds of coastlines respond to the various forces at work on them. Alison Ballance joins him on Wellington's South Coast to talk about rocky shores, Cook Strait storms, tsunami uplift and erosion rates.
Chatham Island tui, and mist nets set to catch tui on Rangatira Island (images: A. Ballance)
The endemic Chatham Island tui was once found on all the islands of the Chathams group, but these days the breeding population is largely confined to Rangatira or South East Island, with birds flying to nearby Pitt Island each winter. The tui population on the main Chatham Island disappeared over the last 30 years, but an initiative by the Taiko Trust hopes to re-establish that population. The Taiko Trust carried out a trial transfer of 14 tui in 2009, the first time tui had ever been translocated, and following the success of that trial a larger translocation of 40 birds was planned for February 2010. Alison Ballance joins Mike Bell, David Boyle, Josh Thomas and John Day on Rangatira to catch the birds, but as the Tui Team find out, getting a bird in the hand is not always an easy task. Part two of the tui story will feature next week.
The search for a tuberculosis vaccine, a new book on New Zealand Threatened Plants and the Chatham Island tui translocation part 2.
Not all audio is available due to copyright restrictions.
Surgeon Richard Stubbs performs a gastric bypass operation and talks about a potential cure for type 2 diabetes (25′33″)
Geographer David Kennedy is interested in erosion process on the coast, that effect even rocky shores around Wellington (13′04″)
The Taiko Trust's 'Tui Team' are on Rangatira Island, attempting to catch 40 tui to move to the main Chatham Island (13′14″)
Produced and presented by Veronika Meduna, Ruth Beran & Alison Ballance
Each week Our Changing World features an eclectic mix of sound-rich stories about science, the environment and medical research, recorded around New Zealand in labs and in the field.
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