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Life Sciences headlines

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) writes about making public survival statistics for children who undergo heart surgery, and how easy these are to understand. Read: The Guardian

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

Oceans of the Solar System

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Dr Nick Lane (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) feature on BBC Horizon to discuss how the hunt for oceans in space is marking the dawn of a new era in the search for alien life. Watch: BBC Two ‘Horizon’

Fruit flies and ageing

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Dr Jenny Regan (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains how fruit flies can be used to study gender differences in ageing. Listen: BBC Radio 5 live ‘5 live Science’ (from 16 mins 19 secs), More: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 'Naked Scientists' (from 14 mins 41 secs)

Scientists create the simplest form of life yet known

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Dr Vitor Bernardes Pinheiro (UCL Structural & Molecular Biology) says that the creation of a synthetic microbe with the absolute minimum genetic information needed to grow and reproduce, is a “tour de force”. Read: Financial Times, More: Daily Mail, Guardian, Mirror, New Zealand Herald

‘Stressed’ children as young as two are sent to hypnotists

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) says there is ‘no evidence’ hypnotherapy works, adding: “There’s no restriction on the title of hypnotherapist, but – like nutritionists – many are just quacks”. Read: Daily Mail

Grey hair gene discovered by scientists

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The first gene identified for greying hair has been discovered by an international UCL-led study, led by Dr Kaustubh Adhikari (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) and Professor Andrés Ruiz-Linares (UCL Biosciences), confirming greying has a genetic component and is not just environmental. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Telegraph, Guardian, Mirror, The Sun, Independent, Evening Standard, Daily Express, Daily Express (2), Financial Times, Scotsman, Irish Times, Sky News, TIME, Huffington Post, Washington Post, New York Post, Wired, CNN, NPR, The Australian (£), New Zealand Herald, South China Morning Post, Times of India, Straits Times, Nature, Science, Scientific American, UCL News, Listen: BBC 5 live ‘5 live Drive’ (from 1 hour 56 mins), More: BBC World Service ‘Science in Action’ (from 7 mins 37 secs), BBC World Service 'The Science Hour' (from 47 mins 19 secs)

Dr Nick Lane

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Dr Nick Lane (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) talks to Jim al-Khalili about why he thinks life on earth began under the sea in hydrothermal vents. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘The Life Scientific’

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