Young Māori scientist discovers virus

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Young, Māori scientist Anezka Hoskins has discovered a new virus and is hopeful that it will spark curiosity amongst Māori to push boundaries of knowledge. 

A concentrated study led to the discovery of the first Māori named virus. 'Mahuika is a virus that infects bacteria so they're called bacteria phages. She doesn't infect humans' - Hoskins

Research has found that Mahuika has links to tuberculosis.

Hoskins discovered the virus last year and was inspired to name Mahuika after the famous story of Maui's kuia harnessing elements of the environment. She says that she likes the idea that our environment holds these treasures that we can harness and we can use.

She's now using her knowledge and skills to help her people manage sicknesses like Gout. Hoskins will look at clinical research to destigmatise these diseases so Māori feel comfortable to get help