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Life Sciences headlines

Garden ponds 'playing role' in frog disease spread

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Dr Stephen Price (UCL Biosciences) comments on his new study finding the lethally infectious frog disease ranavirus has spread quickly across the UK, possibly due to infected animals in ornamental ponds. Read: BBC News, More: The Telegraph, The Guardian

Could Ancient Remedies Hold the Answer to Looming Antibiotics Crisis?

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Professor Simon Gibbons (UCL School of Pharmacy) comments on the ingenuity and complexity of organic molecules produced by eons of evolution. Read: New York Times

We’ve destroyed one-tenth of Earth’s wilderness in just 2 decades

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Dr Tim Newbold (UCL Biosciences) comments on a new study finding that between 1993 and 2009, areas free of human disturbance declined by 10% globally. Read: Science

UCL researchers reverse memory loss in mice

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Professor Patricia Salinas (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) comments on her study about a key mechanism underlying the loss of nerve connectivity in the brain, and how the findings could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Read: i News, More: Forbes, UCL News

Oldest fossils on Earth discovered in 3.7bn-year-old Greenland rocks

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Dr Nick Lane (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says evidence there was life on Earth 3.7 billion years ago ties in with recent revelations that the planet wasn’t as inhospitable in that eon as previously believed. Read: The Guardian

How 3D printing could revolutionise medicine

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Dr Stephen Hilton (UCL School of Pharmacy) discusses his lab’s research into how 3D-printed pharmaceuticals could impact medicine. Read: The Times (Raconteur)

Brain imaging and privacy

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Professor Geraint Rees (UCL Life Sciences) discusses potential issues of mental privacy brought about by brain imaging. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Mind Reading’

We’ve been wrong about the origins of life for 90 years

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Arunas Radzvilavicius (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment) writes that life on Earth originated in deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and not in a surface-level primordial soup as the dominant theory proposes. Read: The Conversation

Tom Wolfe: A man in full

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Professor Steve Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on author Tom Wolfe's views on Darwinian evolution and academic linguistics. Read: The Sunday Times (£) 

The scientists who only come out at night

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Profile on Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and her work with bats. Read: The Guardian

Myth busting the Olympic 'cupping' craze

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A number of Olympians have large red circles on their skin caused by 'cupping' which is supposed to help the circulation of blood. Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Biosciences) explains that it is a bogus treatment that has not been properly tested. Watch: BBC News (from 2 mins 20 sec) More: BBC News, The Week, The Independent, BBC Radio 5 Live 'The Victoria Derbyshire programme', Daily Mail

Women who have appendix or tonsils removed are more fertile, study finds

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New research co-authored by Dr Li Wei (UCL School of Pharmacy) has found that women who have their appendix or tonsils removed are more fertile than the rest of the population. Read: The MailMore: The Telegraph

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

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