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Study provides strongest evidence oxygen levels were key to early animal evolution

It has long puzzled scientists why, after 3 billion years of nothing more complex than algae, complex animals suddenly started to appear on Earth. Now, a team of researchers has put forward some of the strongest evidence yet to support the hypothesis that high levels of oxygen in the oceans were crucial for the emergence of skeletal animals 550 million years ago.  

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Celebrating 10 years of Hinode in space

Hinode, a satellite which observes the Sun’s activity in high resolution, today marks ten years of success since its launch. It carries three instruments, one of which – the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) – was built and is managed by a UCL team.

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Low English skills at school start linked to behavioural difficulties

Children who enter reception with poor English language skills – whether it’s their first language or an additional language – are more likely to have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in later years, finds a new study co-authored by UCL and Royal Holloway and funded by Wellcome.

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UCL receives largest share of NHS research funding

UCL’s three biomedical research centres (BRCs) have won more than £167 million in funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to further world-leading biomedical research conducted with partner hospitals. UCL has received more funding than any other UK university, followed by King's College London and Oxford University, which received £133m and £127m respectively.

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Gaia sizes up 1.1 billion stars

Gaia, a European Space Agency satellite designed to unlock the secrets of the birth and evolution of the Milky Way, has released its first wave of data on the positions and brightness for about one billion stars.

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Study reveals how ionising radiation damages DNA and causes cancer

For the first time, a team including UCL researchers has identified in human cancers two characteristic patterns of DNA damage caused by ionising radiation. These fingerprint patterns may now enable doctors to identify which tumours have been caused by radiation, and investigate if they should be treated differently.

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UCL to lead new Global Disability Innovation Hub

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, launched on Saturday the world’s first Global Disability Innovation Hub, which will be based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will bring together the world’s best academics, disability experts and designers to improve the lives of the world’s one billion disabled people through technology, co-design and innovation.

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Science begins in the new Francis Crick Institute building

The first scientists have moved into the new £650 million Francis Crick Institute building in London and are starting work in their purpose-built labs. Next to St Pancras station and the British Library, the Crick will be the biggest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe.

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Refining the genetic causes of schizophrenia

An international study involving UCL has made advances in understanding the ways in which genetic risk factors alter gene function in schizophrenia.

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Fossilised rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars

Extensive systems of fossilised riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about four billion years ago, according to UCL-led research.

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Eye test may detect Parkinson’s before symptoms appear

A new low-cost and non-invasive eye test could detect Parkinson’s disease before symptoms including tremors and muscle stiffness develop, according to new research in rats led by scientists at UCL. 

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UCL climbs Shanghai world rankings to 17th place

UCL has risen to 17th place in the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), published this week by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, retaining its position as one of only three UK universities in the top 20 worldwide.

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New computer programme replicates handwriting

In a world increasingly dominated by the QWERTY keyboard, UCL computer scientists have developed software which may spark the comeback of the handwritten word by analysing the handwriting of any individual and accurately replicating it.

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New imaging platform tracks cancer progression

A new rapid fluorescent 3-D imaging system developed by UCL and Imperial College London scientists offers a non-invasive approach to accurately monitor tumour development in adult zebrafish.

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HIV doesn’t drive the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis

While the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic fuels tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks, it does not drive the development and transmission of multidrug-resistance in TB patients as previously suspected, according to an international study led by UCL scientists.

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Dark matter particle remains elusive

The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment has yielded no trace of a dark matter particle after completing its final 20-month long search of the universe, according to LUX collaboration scientists including UCL researchers.

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