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Medical Sciences headlines

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 (£)

Want to ward off allergies?

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Picking food up off the floor, keeping a dog and regularly kissing your relatives are some of the best ways to ward off allergies, according to Professor Graham Rook (UCL Research Department of Infection) in his talk at Cheltenham Science Festival. Read: Daily Mail, More: Telegraph

Men 'feel more pain after major ops'

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Dr Roman Cregg (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) comments on gender differences in pain perception and explains how complex the subject is. Read: BBC News

Are we too clean?

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Ahead of his talk at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Professor Graham Rook (UCL Research Department of Infection) discuses whether good hygiene can lead to an increase in allergies. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘You & Yours’ (from 19 mins 49 secs)

Statins: Do we love them with all our heart?

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Biosciences) explains how open-access journals are a positive move for the peer-review process. Read: Telegraph

Pfizer takeover bid raises fear for university-industry links

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Professor Sir John Tooke (UCL Vice Provost, Health) proposes the need for biomedical public-private partnerships to protect the ‘R&D ecosystem’ from commercial affairs. Read: THE

How to be a good mayor of your body's microbe city

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Professor Graham Rook (UCL Research Department of Infection) describes the ‘old friend hypothesis’ as an explanation of the symbiotic relationship between humans and microbes. Read: New Scientist 

AstraZeneca takeover is 'too dangerous' say British scientists

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UCL scientists co-sign a letter to the Telegraph expressing concerns over the proposed Pfizer takeover of AstraZeneca. Professor John Hardy (UCL Institute of Neurology) says “takeover bids like this are a sign of weakness in the pharma sector.” Read: Telegraph

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