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Medical Sciences headlines

The danger virus mum can give her unborn baby

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A report by researchers from UCL, including Professor Paul Griffiths (UCL Infection & Immunity), has found that as many as 1,000 babies a year are born with cytomegalovirus, or CMV. Read: Daily Mail

Country air could be good for us because it's slightly poisonous

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Professor Graham Rook (UCL Infection & Immunity) argues that being near the sea or countryside improves the regulation of our immune system. Read: New Scientist (£)

Cancer risk means drink limits ‘unsafe’

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A study carried out by Professor Rajiv Jalan (UCL Liver & Digestive Health) found that damage could be caused to the body in men drinking just three units of alcohol a day, well within the government limits. Read: Times (£), More: Mirror, Daily Mail

Why squatting in skinny jeans could lead to nerve damage

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Wasim Khan (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) says people wearing tight jeans should pay attention to any loss of feeling in their legs. Read: Telegraph, Listen: BBC Radio Surrey 'BBC Surrey Drive at 5' (from 39 mins 51 secs)

Climate change threatens 50 years of progress in global health

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The second report by the UCL-Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change suggests that climate change threatens to undermine half a century of progress in global health. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Telegraph, Daily Express, Financial Times, Mirror, Daily Mail, Guardian (2), Express & Star, Reuters, NY Times, Washington Post, TIME, Huffington Post, New Scientist, The Engineer, UCL News

Plane stowaway

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Dr Dan Martin (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) comments on the chances of survival in low oxygen environments. Listen: BBC 5 live ‘Stephen Nolan’ (from 56 mins 36 secs)

One silent killer

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Professor Graham Rook (UCL Infection & Immunity) says: “Inflammation gets turned on by the immune system when trouble is spotted, whether it's due to infection or tissue damage”. Read: Daily Mail

Unconscious bias in science 'holds women back'

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Responding to comments by British Nobel Prize winner Sir Tim Hunt, Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) said "there's a lot of unconscious bias. This really holds women back". Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Today', More: BBC News, Guardian

New lung cancer drug turns body into a tumour-fighting weapon

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Commenting on the trial results of Nivolumab, an immune-boosting drug, Dr Martin Forster (UCL Research Department of Oncology) said: “These drugs will be a paradigm shift in how we treat lung cancer”. Read: Daily Mail

Africa's health centre at the frontline of HIV research

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Professor Deenan Pillay (UCL Infection & Immunity) explains the research into HIV, TB and other associated diseases being conducted by the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies. Read: Guardian

Outrage as ovarian cancer patients are denied revolutionary drug

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Commenting on the decision not to prescribe olaparib on the NHS, Professor Jonathan Ledermann (UCL CRUK Cancer Trials Centre) described the verdict as ‘devastating’. Read: Daily Mail

Ovarian cancer patients do better if they have chemotherapy before surgery

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Research led by Matthew Nankivell (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL) finds that women with advanced ovarian cancer have fewer side effects and tend to have a better quality of life if given chemotherapy before surgery. Read: Daily Mirror, More: UCL News

Politics, medical journals, the medical profession and the Israel lobby

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Professor John Yudkin (UCL Medicine) says that criticism of the Israeli government does not necessarily equate with anti-Semitism. Read: BMJ (£)

Midlife guide: how to stay healthy over 40

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Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Clinical Physiology) says it is important for middle-aged people not to push themselves too far, too fast when starting exercise. Read: Times (£)

Fruit snacking is a rotten idea for your teeth, warn dentists

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Professor Andrew Eder (UCL Eastman Dental Institute) says that growing demand for some items that are promoted as “healthy” risks worsening tooth decay. Read: Times (£)

The answer to tackling superbugs could be … more superbugs

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Dr Adam Roberts (UCL Microbial Diseases) explains how new research has demonstrated that the best way to treat hospital infections caused by C. difficile may be with more of the bacteria. Read: The Conversation

Science will suffer after general election – no matter who wins

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Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) says that with neither Labour nor Conservatives pledging to protect research budgets, public-spending cuts could hit labs around the UK. Read: New Scientist

The women saying no to breast cancer screening

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Professor Michael Baum (UCL Research Department of General Surgery) says the benefits of universal breast cancer screening are exaggerated. Read: Daily Mail

Lancet medical journal under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda'

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Professor Sir Mark Pepys (UCL Medicine) is leading a protest against The Lancet and its publisher Reed Elsevier for its “grossly irresponsible misuse of [the journal] for political purposes”. Read: Independent

New gene therapy may cure childhood immune condition

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Commenting on a new gene therapy trial, Dr Emma Morris (UCL Infection & Immunity) says: “People have been working on it for ten years and it’s now becoming a reality that you can safely genetically modify cells and introduce them into people”. Read: Guardian

Tiny sub delivers drugs right where they are needed

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Dr Gavin Jell (UCL Research Department of General Surgery) says nanotechnology has the potential to improve “almost every aspect of medicine” and could help “by delivering drugs where they are needed within damaged or diseased sites”. Read: Daily Mail

‘Kick and kill’ HIV vaccine a step closer

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A study co-authored by Dr Ravindra Gupta (UCL Infection & Immunity) has observed that the human immune system can handle large bursts of HIV activity and so it should be possible to cure HIV with a ‘kick and kill’ strategy. Read: Times (£), More: Daily Mail, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio London 94.9 'Breakfast' (from 2 hours 25 mins)

HIV spreads like computer worms

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A study led by Professor Benny Chain, Dr Clare Jolly (both UCL Infection & Immunity), Changwang Zhang and Dr Shi Zhou (both UCL Computer Science) has identified a new model for HIV progression which shows that it spreads through the body in a similar way to some computer worms. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail, UCL News

Subjects’ gender balance not reflected in grant applications

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Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) says “that women could be acting as co-applicants to a grant application but not getting the same “kudos” as the lead academic”. Read: THE (£)

Is this a miracle cancer vaccine?

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A trial led by Dr Emma Morris (UCL Infection & Immunity) is looking at whether genetically engineered immune cells can be used to help treat patients with leukaemia. Read: Daily Mail

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