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Medical Sciences headlines

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

Of mice and old men: is the elixir of youth finally coming of age?

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Dr Sian Henson (UCL Division of Infection & Immunity) discusses the role of senescent cells in the ageing process. Read: The Guardian, More: South China Morning Post

Gates Foundation's $1.4bn in fossil fuel investments

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Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL Clinical Physiology) explains why he is supporting the Guardian divestment campaign. Read: Guardian

Line of attack

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Professor John Masters (UCL Research Department of Urology) comments on the contamination of laboratory cell cultures. Read: Science (£)

The best medical images of the year

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Professor Michael Hausser (UCL Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research) explains how his team captured an image of a single Purkinje cell in the cerebellum, which has been named as a finalist in the Wellcome Images Awards 2015. Read: Independent, More: The Conversation

Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe

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Professor John Martin (UCL Metabolism & Experimental Therapeutics) takes a satirical look at what medicine is. Watch: BBC Two ‘Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe’ (from 25 mins 25 secs)

Gene therapy

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Professor Samuel Janes (UCL Internal Medicine) discusses a UCL trial into gene therapy and metastatic lung cancer. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ (from 2 hours 45 mins)

You can’t catch a cold from kissing but don’t hold hands

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Professor Paul Griffiths (UCL Infection and Immunity) explains that measles is very contagious and can be caught whilst queuing for theme park rides, highlighting the importance of vaccinating children. Read: Daily Mail

New warning over booze in pregnancy

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Professor Sir Albert Aynsley-Green (UCL Institute of Child Health) says exposure to alcohol before birth is the single most important preventable cause of incurable brain damage. Read: Daily Mail

Thousands sacrifice their privacy to help DNA study

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A record 10,000 Britons have signed up to take part in the Personal Genome Project directed by Professor Stephan Beck (UCL Cancer Institute) which will analyse DNA data to help research into cancer and hereditary disorders. Read: Times (£)

To vape or not to vape? More and more just say no…

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Data from the Smoking Toolkit Study run by Professor Robert West (UCL Public Health) suggests that usage of e-cigarettes among UK smokers is levelling off. Read: Observer

Urgent call for new drugs to treat causes of Parkinson’s

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Dr Tom Foltynie (UCL Neurology) says we are in exactly the same position we were in 50 years ago when it comes to treating Parkinson’s and a new approach is desperately needed. Read: Observer

Anti-ageing chocolate which reduces wrinkles

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Dr George Grimble (UCL Liver & Digestive Health) comments on the viability of Esthechoc, a chocolate developed by researchers which claims to slow down the emergence of wrinkles. Read: Telegraph, More: Huffington Post, China Daily

Sex redefined

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Professor John Achermann (UCL Institute of Child Health) says some people can't easily define themselves as male or female due to an overlap that exists between the two. Read: Nature

The hunt is on for new antibiotics – but we have to start looking outside the lab

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Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) looks at the search for new antibiotics, including Swab and Send, a crowdfunding project launched by Dr Adam Roberts (UCL Microbial Diseases) which aims to engage the public in finding the next new antibiotic. Read: Guardian

Brain boosting: It's not just grey matter that matters

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Professor William Richardson (UCL Medicine) explains that myelin is key to making our brains clever by speeding up our reflexes and playing a crucial role in learning, development and behaviour. Read: New Scientist (£)

Simple drug that could stop breast cancer returning

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Professor Michael Baum (UCL Research Department of General Surgery) hopes to start a clinical trial looking at the effect of anti-inflammatories before, during and immediately after surgery for breast cancer. Read: Daily Mail

Alcohol and health

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Professor Rajiv Jalan (UCL Liver & Digestive Health) comments on the findings of a UCL study into the effects of drinking alcohol on health. Listen: BBC London 94.9 ‘The Breakfast Show’ (from 2 hours 54 mins)

Alcohol has no health benefits after all

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A team of researchers at UCL, led by Craig Knott (UCL Epidemiology & Health), have concluded that alcohol has virtually no discernible health benefits and claims that a glass of wine is good for the heart have been exaggerated. Read: Times (£), More: Bloomberg, The Australian (£)

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