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Life Sciences headlines

The world's first farmers were surprisingly diverse

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Farming 10,000 years ago occurred in multiple neighbouring but genetically distinct populations according to a study by Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment), Dr Garrett Hellenthal (UCL Genetics Institute) and Professor Stephen Shennan (UCL Archaeology). Read: BBC News, More: Science, Daily MailLA Times, UCL News

Scientists warn of 'unsafe' decline in biodiversity

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A study led by Dr Tim Newbold (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) warns that biodiversity is dropping below safe levels for the support and wellbeing of human societies. Read: BBC News, More: Guardian, Independent, Washington Post, Daily Mail, Reuters, UCL News

Dinosaur Extinction

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Dr Thomas Halliday (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) discusses the extinction of dinosaurs and evolution of mammals. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science'

How mammals took over the world

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A study by Dr Thomas Halliday, Professor Anjali Goswami (both UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and Professor Paul Upchurch (UCL Earth Sciences) has found that our ancestors evolved three times faster in the 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs than in the previous 80 million years. Read: Daily Mail, More: i, UCL News

Dating Extinction

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At the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology, Professor Anjali Goswami (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains how we can say when a species went extinct even though there are so many gaps in the fossil record. Listen: BBC World Service ‘The Science Hour’ (from 30 mins 4 secs)

Brain drain fears after Brexit vote

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) and Professor David Price (UCL Vice-Provost, Research) comment on Twitter about the impact leaving the EU may have on Higher Education. Read: THE (£)

Making NHS data public is not the same as making it accessible – we can and should do better

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Dr Christina Pagel (UCL Mathematics) explains how the new website, Understanding Children's Heart Surgery Outcome, will help to explain hospital statistics to the parents of potential patients. Read: The Guardian, More: Lancet

Discussion on the founder of Microbiology

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Dr Nick Lane (UCL Life Sciences) discussed Antony Van Leeuwenhoek and his discovery of bacteria and the science of microbiology. Listen: Radio 5 Live (from 15.32 to 15.37)

Discussion about Radio Lab podcast

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Professor Nick Lane (UCL Life Sciences) joined in a discussion regarding the Radio Lab science podcast and who the audience and which it is aimed. Listen: Radio 5, Up All Night (from 03.44 to 03.49)

Viruses like Ebola and Zika can be predicted

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Outbreaks of deadly viruses like Ebola and Zika can be predicted by looking at environmental changes, according to a new study led by Professor Kate Jones and Dr David Redding (both UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). Read: BBC News, More: The Telegraph, Reuters, ScienceUCL News

Penicillin

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Professor Steve Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains the history of penicillin. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’

Fixing the future

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Professor Steve Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) joins a panel at the Hay Festival to discuss forecasting human population growth and how we are still evolving. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘BBC Inside Science’

Beyond Botox - the future of anti-ageing

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Dr Nazif Alic (UCL Institute of Health Ageing) explains how ageing is no longer viewed as something static but as something that can potentially be altered. Read: The Telegraph

Bat Detective

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BBC Inside Science joins Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) on a Hampstead Heath bat watch, part of the citizen science project Bat Detective. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Inside Science’ (from 21 mins 46 secs)

Gigantopithecus: The story of the greatest of the great apes

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A study co-authored by Professor Christopher Dean (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) found that the shape of Gigantopithecus’s dental root suggests it ate a diet of bamboo. Read: New Scientist (£)

Scientists sniff out genes controlling human nose shapes

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A study led by Professor Andrés Ruiz-Linares (UCL Biosciences) and Dr Kaustubh Adhikari (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has identified the genes that drive the shape of human noses. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail, Telegraph, The Sun, Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, Newsweek, The Conversation, Washington Post, UCL News

How the timing of your routine makes products work better

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Professor Bryony Franklin (UCL School of Pharmacy) says it’s too early to conclude whether it is more effective to give flu jabs in the morning. Read: Daily Mail

When myth meets reality: fabled beasts and real-life creatures

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In an op-ed piece Professor Roger Wotton (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says that fantasy often meets reality when we try to find explanations for mythological creatures. Read: The Conversation

Humanity and milk

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Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains humanity’s genetic history with milk. Listen: BBC Radio 5 live ‘5 live Science’ (from 25 mins 55 secs)

Five factors to consider when choosing your PhD

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Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) and Professor Kevin Fowler (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) provide some advice on what to look for in a modern PhD programme. Read: Nature

Does your brain have a filing cabinet?

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A study by Dr Freyja Ólafsdóttir and Dr Caswell Barry (both UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has found that memories formed in one part of the brain are replayed and transferred to a different area of the brain during rest. Read: Daily Mail, More: Huffington Post, UCL News

Bat-sound library tracks biodiversity

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An international team led by scientists from UCL, University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London have compiled the biggest library of bat sounds to identify bats from their calls in Mexico. Read: BBC News, More: UCL News, Los Angeles Times, Watch: Science, Listen: BBC Radio 2 'Chris Evans' (from 2 hours 31 mins), More: BBC Radio 5 live 'Up All Night' (from 51 mins 15 secs)

Never-too-old netas?

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Professor David Gems (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says there is an “enormous variability between people in how they age”. Read: Times of India

DNA kit reveals what’s really in your dinner

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Bento Lab, a portable DNA laboratory created by UCL alumni Philipp Boeing (UCL Computer Science 2014) and Bethan Wolfenden (UCL Biochemistry 2014), has raised over £100,000 on Kickstarter and hopes to launch commercially this year. Read: Times (£)

Lithium study helps scientists unlock ageing puzzle

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A study by the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing and the UCL Cancer Institute has found that fruit flies live 16% longer than average when given low doses of the mood stabiliser lithium. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Independent, Daily Express, Telegraph, UCL News

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