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Latest Medical Sciences News

Research reveals how our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei

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AFM Image

The structure of pores found in cell nuclei has been uncovered by a UCL-led team of scientists, revealing how they selectively block certain molecules from entering, protecting genetic material and normal cell functions. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs against viruses that target the cell nucleus and new ways of delivering gene therapies, say the scientists behind the study.

Wellcome Trust unveils new funding framework

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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.

Virtual reality helps people to comfort and accept themselves

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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.

Gas as a bridge to a low-carbon future

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Gas

Gas could play an important role as a ‘bridging fuel’ to a low-carbon economy but it won’t be long before gas becomes part of the problem rather than the solution, finds a study involving UCL scientists.

Cause of organ damage after heart attack and stroke found

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heart cells

Succinate, a molecule made when the body breaks down sugars and fats, can cause long-term damage to organs following a heart attack, stroke or transplant according to new research involving UCL scientists. The team behind the study hopes that new therapies will be developed to protect organs from damage following the discovery.

SLMS Education Awards 2014/2015

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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.

UCL awarded £4.2 million for stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy

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Blood for transplant

UCL has been awarded £4.2 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to fund a Blood and Transplant Research Unit for stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy, due to launch in October 2015.

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

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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).

Drug tests on mothers’ hair links recreational drug use to birth defects

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Hair sampling diagram

Drug tests on 517 mothers in English inner city hospitals found that nearly 15% had taken recreational drugs during pregnancy and that mothers of babies with birth defects of the brain were significantly more likely to have taken drugs than mothers with normal babies. The study found no significant links between recreational drug use and any other type of birth defect.

UCL-Lancet Commission argues that “health is as much about caring as it is about curing”

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As part of the Ebola sensitization, UNICEF asked community members to repeat what they have learned about Ebola

The systematic neglect of culture is the single biggest barrier to advancing the highest attainable standard of health worldwide, say the authors of a major new report on culture and health, led by Professor David Napier, a leading medical anthropologist from UCL and published in The Lancet.

Scientists identify potential cause for 40% of pre-term births

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Ultrasound scan of foetus

Scientists from UCL and Queen Mary University of London have identified what they believe could be a cause of pre-term premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM) which accounts for 40 per cent of pre-term births, the main reason for infant death world-wide.

UCL awarded £13.5 million to advance medical research facilities

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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

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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.

People with diabetes are less able to regulate the body’s responses to stress

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Stress

People with type 2 diabetes are physically less able to recover from stress, finds a study by scientists at UCL and the University of Zurich, funded by the British Heart Foundation.

UCL research helps paralysed man to recover function

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Professor Geoff Raisman

A man who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack can now walk using a frame, following a pioneering cell transplantation treatment developed by scientists at UCL and applied by surgeons at Wroclaw University Hospital, Poland.

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills

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Mouse brain

New evidence of myelin’s essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research. Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates the brain's wiring and is a major constituent of ‘white matter’. It is produced by the brain and spinal cord into early adulthood as it is needed for many developmental processes, and although earlier studies of human white matter hinted at its involvement in skill learning, this is the first time it has been confirmed experimentally.

Oral health problems in elite athletes ‘must be addressed’

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Javelin Thrower

Poor oral health affecting athletes’ general health and performance shows ‘no signs of improvement’ and must be remedied, say a group of UCL-led health experts and sporting bodies.

UCL Prize Lecture for Clinical Science now online

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Professor Tony Segal

This annual prize lecture series has been running for 18 years but within this short space of time has rapidly become the pre-eminent series on contemporary science in Europe. The whole event, which provides an opportunity to debate and celebrate important scientific advancements, has always been very stimulating and hugely enjoyable.

Nobel Prize for Professor John O’Keefe

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John O'Keefe

UCL SLMS' John O’Keefe has won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 for discovering an ‘inner GPS’ in the brain.

Interactive website helps lower-income smokers to stop smoking

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No smoking

People with lower incomes attempting to quit smoking are 36% more likely to succeed if they use a new interactive website called ‘StopAdvisor’ than if they use a static information website, finds a randomised controlled trial led by UCL researchers.

Modest effect of statins on diabetes risk and bodyweight related to mechanism of action

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Statins

The mechanism by which statins increase the risk of type 2 diabetes has been investigated in a large-scale analysis from an international team led by researchers from UCL and the University of Glasgow, using information from genetic studies and clinical trials.

Gene variant that dramatically reduces ‘bad’ lipids

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DNA helix

Research using data collected from around 4,000 healthy people in the UK has enabled scientists from UCL, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Bristol  to identify a rare genetic variant that dramatically reduces levels of certain types of lipids in the blood.

Dental and nutrition experts call for radical rethink on free sugars intake

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A spoonful of sugar

Sugars in the diet should make up no more than 3% of total energy intake to reduce the significant financial and social burdens of tooth decay, finds new research from UCL and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

‘Fat shaming’ doesn’t encourage weight loss

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Man on scales

Discrimination against overweight and obese people does not help them to lose weight, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

High rates of recreational drug use among HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in the UK strongly linked with condomless sex

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Syringe

New UCL research published in The Lancet HIV shows that polydrug use is common among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and is strongly linked to sex without a condom (condomless sex).

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