Skip to site navigation

Life Sciences headlines

How the timing of your routine makes products work better

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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?

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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, 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?

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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’

Is sugar really worse for you… or is it a big fat lie?

Publication date:

Professor David Allen Bender (UCL Structural & Molecular Biology) delves into the science of sugar to see if the sweet stuff is the real diet villain. Read: Spectator

Why do our cell’s power plants have their own DNA?

Publication date:

Mitochondria were once independent single-celled organisms until they were swallowed by larger cells finds a new study. Having their own command centre helps regulate energy production explains Professor John Allen (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment). Read: Science

Invasive species blamed as second biggest cause of extinctions

Publication date:

A study by Professor Tim Blackburn (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) has found that invasive species are the second biggest cause of species extinctions. Read: New Scientist

Pleasure: why we like the things we like

Publication date:

Professor Semir Zeki (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) explains how the brain reacts to something we consider beautiful. Listen: BBC World Service ‘The Why Factor’ (from 3 mins 40 secs)

Mood-enhancing drugs could also provide relief for chronic pain

Publication date:

A study led by Dr Maria Maiarù and Dr Sandrine Géranton (both UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has found that class of drugs being studied to treat certain mood disorders may also be able to relieve chronic pain by acting on a gene involved in regulating the body’s reaction to stress. Read: Forbes, More: UCL News

Clinical academics’ postdoctoral career development

Publication date:

Veronica Ranieri, Dr Helen Barratt, Professor Naomi Fulop (all UCL Applied Health Research) and Professor Geraint Rees (UCL Life Sciences) say that clinical academics’ postdoctoral career development could be helped by mentoring, improving the work environment, and better access to funding. Read: BMJ

Universities confront ‘horrifying’ figures on BME promotion

Publication date:

Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu (UCL School of Pharmacy) has been leading efforts to help more black and ethnic minority academics win promotion at UCL. Read: THE (£)

Ancient Britons' DNA

Publication date:

Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains the context of new research which examines DNA from individuals who died in northeast England at the beginning of the first millennium of the current era. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Inside Science’ (from 53 secs)

What is Race?

Publication date:

Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) joins Brian Cox and Robin Ince to discuss whether there is a scientific basis for the concept of race in humans. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’

Conservation researchers get a new roost in Cambridge

Publication date:

Professor Georgina Mace (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) comments on the opening of the new Cambridge Conservation Initiative hub. Read: Science

Search UCL News