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Medical Sciences headlines

The great beyond: will the UK science budget be cut by 40%?

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Dr Jenny Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) explores the unknown future of the UK science budget ahead of the November spending review. Read: Guardian

Why neglecting your teeth could be seriously bad for your health

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Dr Francesco D'Aiuto (UCL Eastman Dental Institute) and Professor Richard Watt (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) explain how gum disease can lead to other more serious illnesses. Read: Guardian

Drug trial hints at possible way to tackle Alzheimer’s

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Professor Sir Mark Pepys (UCL Medicine) is due to publish the first clinical trial results of a drug based on more than 40 years of his work on amyloidosis. Read: Financial Times, UCL News

Smoking may trigger schizophrenia

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As new research suggests smoking can triple the chances of developing psychotic mental illnesses, Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) say more research is needed to know if this is a causal relationship as people who go on to develop schizophrenia may be more likely to start smoking. Read: Telegraph, More: Yahoo News, Listen: LBC Nick Ferrari (£) (from 45 mins)

Overweight teens 'do not see themselves as too heavy'

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A study led by Professor Jane Wardle (UCL Population Health Sciences) has found that relatively few ‘normal-weight’ teens think they are too heavy, but many who are overweight do not acknowledge it, which puts their health at risk. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Guardian; UCL News

Prozac use could increase birth defects in pregnant women

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Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) says more research is needed into how anti-depressant drugs might increase the risk of these birth defects following a US study. He stressed that no one should stop taking treatment without talking to their doctor first. Read: The Independent, More: Daily Mail, Huffington Post

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

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