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Latest Mathematical & Physical Sciences News

UCL joins Graphene Flagship

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Carbon nitride graphene

A team including four UCL departments has joined the EU’s Graphene Flagship project, giving the university a foothold in one of the biggest scientific programmes currently underway.

Origin of polar auroras revealed

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Theta

Researchers from UCL, University of Southampton and Cambridge University together with ESA and NASA have uncovered the origin of a colourful display in the night sky called ‘theta aurora’, explaining for the first time how auroras at high-latitudes form.

Dr Matt Powner wins the Thieme Chemistry prize

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Matt Powner

Dr Matt Powner (UCL Chemistry) has been awarded the 2015 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award. The award is to recognise promising young professors at the beginning of their career and is made by the editorial boards of the journals Synlett, Synthesis, and Synfacts.

REF publication: key results for the faculty

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Researcher in the LCN

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) has now been published, giving the government’s assessment of research quality across all the UK’s universities.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

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UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Scientists develop a ‘virtual lab’ in a supercomputer for designing new composite materials

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Polymer interacting with clay particles

UCL scientists have shown how advanced computer simulations can be used to design new composite materials. Nanocomposites, which are widely used in industry, are revolutionary materials in which microscopic particles are dispersed through plastics. But their development until now has been largely by trial and error.

Revealed: how bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

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Nanodrills in action

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial ‘nanodrills’ assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells’ outer membranes.

UCL and Japan strengthen links in big data science

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Big data symposium

The UK and Japan are forging new links in the field of big data. As part of this developing strategic partnership, a delegation of leading Japanese data scientists visited the UK last week. In their schedule of meetings with UK universities, government institutions and companies, they spent a day at UCL’s Big Data Institute, to discuss possible areas of future collaboration.

Research reveals how our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei

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AFM Image

The structure of pores found in cell nuclei has been uncovered by a UCL-led team of scientists, revealing how they selectively block certain molecules from entering, protecting genetic material and normal cell functions. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs against viruses that target the cell nucleus and new ways of delivering gene therapies, say the scientists behind the study.

Pioneering work helps to join the dots across the known universe… and the human brain

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SKA Telescope (CC BY)

A team of astrophysicists, engineers and computer scientists are spearheading research on imaging techniques which will potentially not only unlock secrets from the far reaches of the universe, but also impact modern medicine.

New i-sense collaboration to improve monitoring of UK flu hotspots

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Flu and texting

An exciting new project to help monitor the spread of flu in the UK more accurately and earlier than ever before has been funded by i-sense, an £11m EPSRC-funded collaboration led by UCL.

Mars has macroweather too

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Mars_Hubble

But weather forecasting on the Red Planet is likely to be even trickier than on Earth

Mars has the same three-part pattern of atmospheric conditions as Earth, finds a new study by researchers at UCL and McGill University. This includes weather, which changes day-to-day due to constant fluctuations in the atmosphere; climate, which varies over decades and a third regime called macroweather, which describes the relatively stable regime between weather and climate.

Publishers address concerns on ‘total cost of ownership’ of e-resources

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open access

UCL welcomes the news that two major academic publishers are tackling the issue of subscription costs and the level of article-processing charges (APCs).

Spins in silicon are feeling electric

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The team used similar materials to commercially available computer chips (pictured)

Scientists at UCL have developed a new way of changing information stored in quantum bits – a vital technology for ensuring computers continue to increase in power over the next century.

ZAP! Spacecraft discovers Saturn’s moon Hyperion is charged

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Hyperion

Cassini spacecraft received the equivalent of a 200 volt electric shock from the electrostatically charged surface of Saturn’s moon, Hyperion, confirming that objects in the outer Solar System can have charged surfaces, according to UCL research.

Head of NASA visits UCL Academy

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Charles Bolden & Geraldine Davies

Charles Bolden, the head of NASA, visited UCL Academy on Thursday 9 October 2014.

The visit, which was arranged by UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, saw Bolden share his experience of leading four space shuttle missions and his own personal journey as an African-American growing up in the segregated south to 200 Academy students.

3D model shows survival strategies of bacteria

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Biofilm

Bacteria are particularly ingenious when it comes to survival strategies. They often create a biofilm to protect themselves from a hostile environment, for example during treatment with antibiotics, and scientists have unravelled the secrets of how they do this with a new 3D model. 

Project to support state school students to study STEM at university celebrates biggest year yet

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in2science students

108 school students from low income backgrounds have been given a step up towards studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at university, thanks to in2ScienceUK, a project founded by UCL PhD student Rebecca McKelvey and marked this week at a celebration evening at UCL for students and scientist mentors.

Sloths: life in the evolutionary fast lane

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Sloths

Today’s sloths might be known as slow, small animals, but their ancestors developed large body sizes at an amazing rate, according to an evolutionary reconstruction published today in BMC Evolutionary Biology. The fast rate of change suggests that factors such as environmental conditions, or competition with other species must have strongly favoured the bigger sloths, before they died out.

UCL Academy student wins place at UCL

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Brahim Mansour

UCL Academy student Brahim Mansour has become the first-ever pupil at the UCL-sponsored school to be accepted for a place at UCL.

Dark Energy Survey kicks off second season cataloguing deep space

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Dark Energy Survey

UCL scientists are set to continue investigations into why expansion of the universe is speeding up, having already secured high quality early data.

School pupils experience space science at UCL

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School pupils experience space science at UCL

A group of secondary school students have designed their own space missions during a new week-long work experience programme at the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL).

National Student Survey: improvement in student satisfaction

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Students at UCL

Student satisfaction at UCL has risen by 2%, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS) results.

Pairing old technologies with new for next generation electronic devices

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Circuit

UCL scientists have discovered a new method to efficiently generate and control currents based on the magnetic nature of electrons in semi-conducting materials, offering a radical way to develop a new generation of electronic devices.

UCL scientists honoured by Royal Society

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Ivan Parker, Rachel McKendry, Andrea Sella

The outstanding achievements of three UCL scientists have been recognised by The Royal Society, the UK’s national Academy of science, in this year’s Awards and Prizes announcement.

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