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Medical Sciences headlines

Scientists sniffing out the Western allergy epidemic

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Professor Graham Rook (UCL Research Department of Infection) explains the importance of bacteria to our health. Read: BBC News

Aging may be linked to diet

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Two new studies by UCL have demonstrated how an interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immunity is involved in the process of ageing. Read: Times of India, UCL News

Tuberculosis is newer than thought

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Dr Helen Donoghue (UCL Division of Infection & Immunity) explains that it is highly unlikely that tuberculosis could have emerged less than 6,000 years ago as there is earlier fossil evidence of the disease. Read: New York Times

Adventures in contraception: eight women discuss their choices

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Professor Judith Stephenson (UCL Women's Health) explains that there are more effective methods of contraception than the pill or condom. Read: Observer

UK universities offer cash and memberships to lure bright students

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Article on university student incentive schemes notes that UCL is offering £1,000 scholarships to students who get three or more A*s. Read: Financial Times

Confusion over best way to brush teeth, study finds

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Advice on the best way to brush teeth for adults and children is confusing and inconsistent, according to research led by Dr John Wainwright and Professor Aubrey Sheiham (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health). Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Reuters, Times (£), Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, TIME, Times of India,   UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live (from 49 min 35 secs)

Antibiotic resistance

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Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) explains how bugs can become resistant to antibiotics. Listen: BBC London 94.9 ‘Breakfast’ (from 1 hour 35 mins)

Half-hour breast cancer treatment can replace weeks of radiotherapy

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Professor Michael Baum (UCL General Surgery) comments on intrabeam radiotherapy. Read: Daily Mail

Single-dose radiotherapy eases breast cancer stress

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Professor Jayant Vaidya (UCL General Surgery) has helped develop a new form of radiotherapy which can be given to breast cancer patients during surgery. Read: Times (£)

Malaria drug could prevent liver cancer

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A study led by Professor Rajiv Jalan (UCL Liver & Digestive Health) has found that an over-the-counter malaria pill could prevent liver cancer and shrink established tumours. Read: Telegraph

Miscarriage leaves partners feeling invisible and without support

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New research by Dr Petra Boynton (UCL Medical School) and the Miscarriage Association has found that partners often feel unable to talk about their feelings of loss and pain following a miscarriage. Read: Telegraph, More: BBC News, Scotsman, The Herald

Summer reads 2014

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Ayesha Ahmad (UCL Medical School) and Professor Chris Knight (UCL Anthropology) name the two books they will be devouring on holiday: a new must-read and a classic worthy of revisiting. Read: THE

Millions unnecessarily labelled pre-diabetic, health experts say

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An analysis led by Professor John Yudkin (UCL Medicine) has found that millions of people are being unnecessarily labelled pre-diabetic as the diagnosis is of little benefit and carries huge medical and social costs. Read: The Guardian, More: BBC News, Evening Standard, UCL News, BMJ, Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ (from 49 mins 19 secs), More: BBC Radio 5 Live ‘5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 3 mins), BBC Radio Wales ‘Good Morning Wales’ (from 5 mins 7 secs), Watch: London Live

Sir Michael Marmot on Desert Island Discs

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During his appearance on Desert Island Discs, Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health) discusses his research into how wealth and social status can affect lifespan and general health. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Desert Island Discs', Read: Sunday Express

Insulin jabs 'may do more harm than good' for diabetes sufferers over 50

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A study co-authored by Professor John Yudkin (UCL Medicine) has found that treatments to reduce blood sugar levels do more harm than good in many type 2 diabetes patients, particularly older people. Read: Daily Mail, More: Express, BBC News, New Scientist, BMJ, UCL News

Leukaemia hope as GM cells fight back

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A pioneering trial led by Dr Emma Morris (UCL Research Department of Immunology) hopes to treat leukaemia patients with genetically modified immune cells, harnessing a patient’s white blood cells to attack cancer cells. Read: The Times

The Special Relationship: Uncovered

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Professor Kathleen Burk (UCL History) explains the complicated rivalry between the USA and UK, particularly how naval competition in the 1920s led to the highest levels of Anglo-American hostility in the whole century. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘The Special Relationship’ (from 2 mins 38 secs)

The first sign of Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis: a dodgy tummy

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Dr Anton Emmanuel (UCL lnstitute of Liver & Digestive Health) explains how the nerve pathways between the gut and the brain that cause ‘butterflies in the stomach’ may also be linked to degenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS). Read: Daily Mail

Sex 2,500 times a minute, please – we’re British

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Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Population Health) explains that the biggest change since the 19th Century is in women’s lives - there is more opportunity to have consensual sexual relationships, safe births and to control fertility. Read: Sunday Times, More: Daily Mail

A third of adults in England have “prediabetes"

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Commenting on a new study which claims that more than a third of adults in England now have prediabetes, Professor John Yudkin (UCL Medicine) says that the label of “prediabetes” is an example of overdiagnosis. Read: BMJ

Cancer pill fights disease and gives lifelong protection

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A study co-led by Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck (UCL Research Department of Oncology) has found that a class of drug currently used to treat leukaemia has the unexpected side-effect of boosting immune responses against many different cancers. Read: Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, Scotsman

How faith healers cash in with 'dark age' remedies

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Professor Michael Baum (UCL Research Department of General Surgery) says that treatments from faith healers are “based on concepts that go back to the Dark Ages and have no place in the 21st Century”. Read: Daily Mail

I went to a laser pain lab and got experimented on for science

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A new study by Dr Giandomenico Iannetti and Dr Flavia Mancini (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) shows how our ability to identify where it hurts varies across the body. Dr Roman Cregg (UCL Centre for Anaesthesia) comments on the clinical implications for chronic pain. Read: Buzzfeed, More: Times (£), Guardian, UCL News

Can a trigger-happy immune system cause cancer after viral infection?

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Research led by Dr Tim Fenton (UCL Cancer Institute) finds that cancers that develop after HPV infection are caused by a family of genes that normally combat viral infections. Read: Guardian, More: UCL News

New drugs may help patients to cure themselves

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Dr Sergio Quezada (UCL Research Department of Haematology) comments the possibilities of new immunotherapy treatments for cancer which use the body’s own immune system. Read: The Times, More: The Australian (£)

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