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Fossil skull sheds light on ape ancestry

A remarkably complete fossil skull discovered in Kenya reveals what the common ancestor of all living apes and humans may have looked like, according to a new study involving UCL research.

Scientists develop ranking system to scale the impact of alien species

A transparent ranking system for measuring the socio-economic impact of plants and animals that are introduced by humans to areas where they do not naturally occur (termed “aliens”) has been developed by an international team of scientists, from UCL, Université de Fribourg and Stellenbosch University.

Low iron levels may increase risk of heart disease

People with low iron levels may be at greater risk of heart disease, according to a new study involving UCL scientists.

Smart detectors to monitor urban bat life

The activity of urban bats in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London is being monitored in real-time using new, automated smart detectors that have been developed and installed by UCL and Intel scientists in collaboration with Arup, the Bat Conservation Trust and the London Wildlife Trust.

Sex differences important for medical research

The sex of animals frequently has an effect in biomedical research and therefore should be considered in scientific studies, according to UCL scientists.

Four UCL scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

Four UCL scientists have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their outstanding contribution to science.

Type 2 diabetes genetic mapping identifies new ‘loci’

Scientists are closer to understanding the genetic causes of type 2 diabetes by identifying 111 new chromosome locations (‘loci’) on the human genome that indicate susceptibility to the disease, according to a UCL-led study in collaboration with Imperial College London.

How gut bacteria change cancer drug activity

The activity of cancer drugs changes depending on the types of microbes living in the gut, according to a UCL-led study into how nematode worms and their microbes process drugs and nutrients.

UCL winners at Wellcome Image Awards 2017

Images by UCL researchers are among the winners of the 2017 Wellcome Image Awards, given out annually to the most informative, striking and technically excellent images from healthcare and biomedical science.

Survival of bumblebee families improved by flowers

Flower-rich habitats are key to enhancing the survival of bumblebee families, according to new research involving UCL scientists.

Genome-based diets improve growth, fertility and lifespan

In flies and mice, diets based on an organism’s genome enhance growth and fertility with no costs to lifespan, according to a team of researchers from UCL and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne.

UCL professors win The Brain Prize for 2017

The Brain Prize for 2017, worth €1m, has been awarded to Professor Peter Dayan (UCL Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit), Professor Ray Dolan (UCL Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research) and Professor Wolfram Schultz (University of Cambridge) for their analysis of how the brain recognises and processes reward. The capacity to link reward to events and actions is the foundation of human and animal survival, and problems with processing rewards can lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders.

UCL part of new £100 million Rosalind Franklin Institute

UCL is involved in the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI) – a major new £100 million investment by the government into the development of an innovative multi-disciplinary science and technology research centre.

Alien species on the rise globally

The number of alien species is increasing globally, and does not show any sign of saturation, finds an international team involving UCL researchers.

Immune system defence force captured in action

How the natural defence force within our immune system attacks and destroys harmful invaders such as virus-infected and cancerous cells has been visualised in microscopic detail by scientists from UCL, Birkbeck, University of London, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Monash University, Australia.

Mapping movements of alien bird species

The global map of alien bird species has been produced for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers. It shows that human activities are the main determinants of how many alien bird species live in an area but that alien species are most successful in areas already rich with native bird species.

High-sugar diet programmes a short lifespan in flies

Flies with a history of eating a high sugar diet live shorter lives, even after their diet improves. This is because the unhealthy diet drives long-term reprogramming of gene expression, according to a UCL-led team of researchers.

UCL staff recognised in New Year Honours 2017

Congratulations to the members of the UCL community who have been recognised in the 2017 New Year Honours list.

Sex cells evolved to pass on quality mitochondria

Mammals immortalise their genes through eggs and sperm to ensure future generations inherit good quality mitochondria to power the body’s cells, according to new UCL research.

Glaucoma drug may have potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease

A drug which is used to treat the common eye disease glaucoma may have potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists at UCL.

Worrying denial of invasive species threat

A new battlefront is opening in science denialism and this time the target is the science of invasive alien species and the fight to protect some of the world’s rarest species and most unique ecosystems, say a team involving UCL scientists.

UCL Lancet Lecture launches global initiative linking climate change to health

UCL researchers are leading an initiative with The Lancet to address the global health implications of climate change, launching this week in conjunction with today’s 2016 UCL Lancet Lecture.

Conservation lessons from Pokémon GO

The popular smartphone game, Pokémon GO, sets a benchmark for new conservation-focused augmented reality games and could be adapted to benefit environmental conservation, according to new research involving UCL scientists.

Top ten universities conduct a third of all UK animal research

The ten UK universities who do the most world-leading biomedical research have announced their animal research statistics, revealing that they collectively conducted a third of all UK animal research in 2015.

Sneaky males and choosy females feature in new exhibition at the Grant Museum

‘Natural Creativity: Sex and Trickery’ is a new exhibition at the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL. It explores the myriad elaborate shapes, sizes and crafty behavioural tactics some animals have evolved in order to survive, reproduce and pass on their genes.