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Medical Sciences headlines

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

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 (£)

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