A A A

Latest Brain Sciences News

Teenagers shape each other’s views on how risky a situation is

Publication date:

Group of teenagers

Young adolescents’ judgements on how risky a situation might be are most influenced by what other teenagers think, while most other age groups are more influenced by adults’ views, finds new UCL research.

Crossing fingers can reduce feelings of pain

Publication date:

Cold stimulus on the crossed middle finger

How you feel pain is affected by where sources of pain are in relation to each other, and so crossing your fingers can change what you feel on a single finger, finds new UCL research.

Structure of genetic messenger molecules reveals key role in diseases

Publication date:

Illustration of how many connections form across mRNA molecules, where colour indicates the length of each connection

Messenger RNAs (mRNA) are linear molecules that contain instructions for producing the proteins that keep living cells functioning. A new study by UCL researchers has shown how the three-dimensional structures of mRNAs determine their stability and efficiency inside cells. This new knowledge could help to explain how seemingly minor mutations that alter mRNA structure might cause things to go wrong in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Assumptions of equality lead to poorer group decisions

Publication date:

European Central Bank governing council meeting

People of differing competence tend to give each other’s views equal weight, preventing them from making the best group decisions, finds new UCL-led research.

Drugs Live results: how different types of cannabis affect the brain

Publication date:

Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow inhaling cannabis

New UCL-led research reveals the positive and negative effects of different types of cannabis on the human brain, in a trial broadcast on Channel 4: Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial.

Diabetes and depression predict dementia risk in people with slowing minds

Publication date:

Old woman waiting at bus stop

People with mild cognitive impairment are at higher risk of developing dementia if they have diabetes or psychiatric symptoms such as depression, finds a new review led by UCL researchers.

UCL awarded £10m to develop new dementia treatments

Publication date:

Examining embryos under the microscope

Alzheimer’s Research UK today announced a £30m Drug Discovery Alliance, launching three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at UCL, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. The Drug Discovery Institutes will see 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

UCL and QMUL agree to establish a new institute to tackle cardiovascular disease

Publication date:

Cardiovascular

UCL and Queen Mary University of London have agreed to establish a joint  Cardiovascular Institute to rise to the global challenge of cardiovascular disease.

Having a romantic partner present can make pain feel worse

Publication date:

Image of a similar experiment where the hand was stimulated by 'pinprick' laser pain pulses

The support of a romantic partner is often advised for painful medical procedures, but new research from UCL, King’s College London and the University of Hertfordshire finds that this can actually make the pain feel worse.

Major cause of blindness linked to calcium deposits in the eye

Publication date:

Thousands of hydroxyapatite spheres (magenta), each just a few microns across, are found in large drusen deposits within the eye

Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, by UCL-led research.

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind and body

Publication date:

Older person

The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new UCL research.

Scientists locate ‘homing signal’ in the brain, explaining why some people are better navigators

Publication date:

Homing signal in the brain

The part of the brain that tells us the direction to travel when we navigate has been identified by UCL scientists, and the strength of its signal predicts how well people can navigate.

REF2014: UCL strength in biomedicine reflected in largest share of 4* research

Publication date:

medical-grouping

UCL has achieved the greatest amount of 4* (world leading) research in Panel A, covering medicine and biological sciences, much of which is conducted in collaboration with our partner hospitals.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

Publication date:

UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Family history screening misses people at high risk of cancer

Publication date:

Eve Appeal

UCL research into the BRCA gene mutation in the Jewish population show that only assessing family history misses half of the people with the mutation.

Secret of tetanus toxicity offers new way to treat motor neuron disease

Publication date:

Image showing how tetanus neurotoxin (red) binds to areas rich in nidogen-2 (green)

The way that tetanus neurotoxin enters nerve cells has been discovered by UCL scientists, who showed that this process can be blocked, offering a potential therapeutic intervention for tetanus. This newly-discovered pathway could be exploited to deliver therapies to the nervous system, opening up a whole new way to treat neurological disorders such as motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathies.

Improving the lives of dementia carers

Publication date:

Dementia patient

A psychological intervention that provides stress relief and emotional support for people caring for relatives with dementia can reduce depression and anxiety and improve wellbeing at no extra cost to standard care, finds new UCL research published in Lancet Psychiatry.

Wellcome Trust unveils new funding framework

Publication date:

Bleigiessen

The Wellcome Trust are making several changes to the schemes they offer, including a new funding mechanism for collaborative research by teams, and the introduction of seed grants to support researchers who want to develop original and innovative ideas.

One in ten British men say they have paid for sex

Publication date:

Red light district

11% of men in Britain report ever paying for sex and 3.6% report paying for sex in the past five years, finds a UCL-led study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council.

Most people would rather harm themselves than others for profit

Publication date:

Example choice presented to participants

A UCL-led experiment on 80 pairs of adults found that people were willing to sacrifice on average twice as much money to spare a stranger pain than to spare themselves, despite the decision being secret.

Virtual reality helps people to comfort and accept themselves

Publication date:

Virtual_reality

Self-compassion can be learned using avatars in an immersive virtual reality, finds new research led by UCL. This innovative approach reduced self-criticism and increased self-compassion and feelings of contentment in naturally self-critical individuals. The scientists behind the MRC-funded study say it could be applied to treat a range of clinical conditions including depression.

SLMS Education Awards 2014/2015

Publication date:

SLMS Education Awards 2014/2015

The SLMS Education Domain wish to recognise and reward those dedicated to improving the quality of education for SLMS students. We are proud to announce the SLMS Education Awards which aim to spotlight and support excellence and innovation in the delivery of education.

Publishers address concerns on ‘total cost of ownership’ of e-resources

Publication date:

open access

UCL welcomes the news that two major academic publishers are tackling the issue of subscription costs and the level of article-processing charges (APCs).

UCL awarded £13.5 million to advance medical research facilities

Publication date:

UCL Quad

As part of the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative, UCL has been awarded £13.5 million for a number of projects to help advance clinical research.

Simplifying TB treatments to improve patients’ lives

Publication date:

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Ways to simplify treatments for tuberculosis (TB) to reduce drug resistance and make it easier for patients to complete their course of treatment have been trialled by two international groups involving UCL scientists.

Search UCL News