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Life Sciences headlines

Give primary school pupils lessons on drugs

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Professor Simon Gibbons (UCL Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry), a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, has recommended a broader drugs education in primary and middle schools. Read: Telegraph, More: Daily Mail

Conservation should protect the most genetically unique species, not just the most rare

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Dr David Redding (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment) discusses a new approach to conservation which looks at the genetic uniqueness of endangered species. Read: The Conversation

Muscle paralysis eased by light-sensitive stem cells

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A team co-led by Professor Linda Greensmith (UCL Neurology) has found that flashes of light can be used to stimulate modified neurons and restore movement to paralysed muscles. Read: Daily Mail, More: New Scientist, UCL News

NHS acupuncture

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Biosciences) discusses the NHS's adoption of acupuncture following Jeremy Hunt's indication that the NHS may look at integrating traditional Chinese medical treatments. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'World at One' (from 41 minutes), More: Telegraph, Listen: BBC Three Counties 'Roberto Perrone' (from 1 hour 7 minutes)

Horizon: Living with Autism

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On the eve of National Autism Day, BBC Horizon reveals how Professor Uta Frith’s (UCL Cognitive Neuroscience) lifetime study of people with autism has transformed our understanding of this mysterious condition. Watch: BBC Two ‘Horizon: Living with Autism’

Bang Goes the Theory: Ageing

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Professor David Gems (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment) discusses his research using C. elegans roundworms and how this can help us understand what ageing is. Watch: BBC One 'Bang Goes the Theory' (from 25 minutes)

MH370 relatives wait in limbo

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Professor Lorraine Sherr (UCL Infection and Population Health) says when there is an information vacuum, the loved ones of missing people "oscillate from hope to despair". Read: The Guardian, Listen: BBC Radio Five Live '5 Live Breakfast' (from 1 hour 38 mins)

Warning over NHS 'austerity' drive

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Professor David Taylor (UCL School of Pharmacy) discusses the finding's of the Licensed to Cure? report. Read: Evening Standard

Technology for Nature

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Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment) discusses the need for technological advances in animal tracking and population monitoring. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science' (from 16 minutes)

Social smokers underestimate risks

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Research led by Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health) has shown that part-time smokers average 37 cigarettes a week but only one in four worry their tobacco intake will harm their health. Read: Guardian, More: Times

Desert Island Discs: Professor Hugh Montgomery

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Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Clinical Physiology) was ‘castaway’ on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs over the weekend. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Desert Island Disks'

Genetics of sexual preference

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Professor Steve Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on recent unpublished research into genes related to homosexuality. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science' (from 24 minutes 20)

Drug lets blind eyes 'see light'

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Professor Astrid Limb (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) comments on recent findings that a drug, called Denaq, may be able to restore the ability of the eye to sense light after blindness. Read: BBC News

Children and learning chips

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Professor Steve Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on the use of DNA analysis for personalised education. Read: Guardian

A family affair: How genetic mixing has affected us all

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DNA footprints left in the wake of ancient warriors can unravel long-held secrets about a country’s past. Dr Garrett Hellenthal (UCL Genetics Institute) says: "We made some very surprising discoveries". Read: Daily Mail, More: Independent, UCL News, New York Times, Washington Post, Gulf NewsNew Scientist, Science

Can Poundland's vitamins really be as good as their upmarket rivals?

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Biosciences) comments on the difference between cheap and expensive vitamins. Read: Daily Mail

Trial of pill to prevent HIV could lead to rise in promiscuity, scientists admit

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Gay men will be given a pill to let them have unprotected sex without risking HIV infection. Dr Sheena McCormack (UCL MRC Clinical Trials Unit) says: “There is a big concern about the impact this might have on behaviour”. Read: The Times (£)

Smaug the dragon or frog with an eye to die for?

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Professor Susan Evans (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) looks at the function of the blinking membrane in the red eyed tree frog. Read: New Scientist

Fossil “frog from hell” gets a new look

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A study led by Professor Susan Evans (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has substantially revised the appearance and size of the fossil frog Beelzebufo. Read: National Geographic, Huffington Post

Obesity tsars and a very unhealthy relationship

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Biosciences) comments on the conflict of interest faced by some scientific advisers: Read: Daily Mail

Soaring sales of ‘dangerous’ do-it-yourself DNA test kits

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Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on the use of at home DNA tests: “The idea that we can read our ancestry directly from our genes is absurd”. Read: The Daily Mail

Human ancestor lived with dinosaurs

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A study led by Dr Mario dos Reis (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) has found that human ancestors may have shared the planet with dinosaurs. Read: Times of India

Fears for the elderly under new NHS drug policy

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New proposals for NHS drug policy have been criticised by Professor David Taylor (UCL School of Pharmacy), who said all patients should be valued equally by NICE. Read: Daily TelegraphMore: Daily Mail

Subjectivity may curb false findings

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Division of Biosciences) comments on a recent study which suggests that purely objective scientific peer review could fail to eliminate false theories. Read: Chemistry World

High sodium levels in drugs ‘put patients at risk’

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New research involving Dr Li Wei (UCL School of Pharmacy) highlights high salt levels in some common medicines, calling for clearer labeling in order to limit the risk of cardiovascular events. Read: The Guardian, More: Daily Mail, UCL News

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