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Latest Population Health Sciences News

REF2014: UCL strength in biomedicine reflected in largest share of 4* research

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medical-grouping

UCL has achieved the greatest amount of 4* (world leading) research in Panel A, covering medicine and biological sciences, much of which is conducted in collaboration with our partner hospitals.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

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UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Main characters more likely to die in kids' cartoons than in films for adults

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Snow White

Principal cartoon characters are more than twice as likely to be killed off as their counterparts in films for adults released in the same year, reveals research from the University of Ottawa and UCL, published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Feeling younger than actual age meant lower death rate for older people

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Older person

A UCL study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that older people who felt three or more years younger than their chronological age had a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.

Poor diet links obese mothers and stunted children

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Education fair in Egypt

Malnutrition is a major cause of stunted growth in children, but new UCL research on mothers and children in Egypt suggests that the problem is not just about quantity of food but also quality.

Half of English women are taking prescribed medicines

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Statins

Results published today in the latest Health Survey for England show that 50% of women and 43% of men reported taking at least one prescribed medicine in the past week. 22% of men and 24% of women reported taking at least three prescribed medicines in the past week. These figures exclude smoking cessation products and contraception.

£14M to develop HIV self-testing in southern Africa

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Clinic

A partnership involving UCL has been awarded £14M to accelerate access to simple self-tests in African countries. Self-testing for HIV using rapid diagnostic kits is becoming increasingly widely used, allowing high-risk people to test their own HIV status in private.

Influential UK birth cohort studies to be brought together for first time

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Newborn

One outcome of the IOE and UCL merger coming into effect today will be that all five of the UK’s national birth cohort studies will be housed at the same institution for the first time, forming the largest concentration of birth cohort expertise in the world.

Family history screening misses people at high risk of cancer

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Eve Appeal

UCL research into the BRCA gene mutation in the Jewish population show that only assessing family history misses half of the people with the mutation.

Secret of tetanus toxicity offers new way to treat motor neuron disease

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Image showing how tetanus neurotoxin (red) binds to areas rich in nidogen-2 (green)

The way that tetanus neurotoxin enters nerve cells has been discovered by UCL scientists, who showed that this process can be blocked, offering a potential therapeutic intervention for tetanus. This newly-discovered pathway could be exploited to deliver therapies to the nervous system, opening up a whole new way to treat neurological disorders such as motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathies.

Improving the lives of dementia carers

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Dementia patient

A psychological intervention that provides stress relief and emotional support for people caring for relatives with dementia can reduce depression and anxiety and improve wellbeing at no extra cost to standard care, finds new UCL research published in Lancet Psychiatry.

Wellcome Trust unveils new funding framework

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Bleigiessen

The Wellcome Trust are making several changes to the schemes they offer, including a new funding mechanism for collaborative research by teams, and the introduction of seed grants to support researchers who want to develop original and innovative ideas.

One in ten British men say they have paid for sex

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Red light district

11% of men in Britain report ever paying for sex and 3.6% report paying for sex in the past five years, finds a UCL-led study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council.

Most people would rather harm themselves than others for profit

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Example choice presented to participants

A UCL-led experiment on 80 pairs of adults found that people were willing to sacrifice on average twice as much money to spare a stranger pain than to spare themselves, despite the decision being secret.

Britain's obese in denial about their weight

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Man on scales

A majority of obese people in Britain would not describe themselves as “obese”, and many would not even describe themselves as “very overweight”, according to research by UCL and Cancer Research UK published in BMJ Open.

The Experiment: a new model for scientific research?

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The Experiment

A new model for scientific research is being piloted by UCL neuroscientists, who will be launching ‘The Experiment’ on Monday 24 November at a secret underground venue in Clerkenwell.

Sense of meaning and purpose in life linked to longer lifespan

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Older person

A UCL-led study of 9,050 English people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest wellbeing were 30% less likely to die during the average eight and a half year follow-up period than those with the least wellbeing.

SLMS Education Awards 2014/2015

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SLMS Education Awards 2014/2015

The SLMS Education Domain wish to recognise and reward those dedicated to improving the quality of education for SLMS students. We are proud to announce the SLMS Education Awards which aim to spotlight and support excellence and innovation in the delivery of education.

Drug tests on mothers’ hair links recreational drug use to birth defects

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Hair sampling diagram

Drug tests on 517 mothers in English inner city hospitals found that nearly 15% had taken recreational drugs during pregnancy and that mothers of babies with birth defects of the brain were significantly more likely to have taken drugs than mothers with normal babies. The study found no significant links between recreational drug use and any other type of birth defect.

UCL-Lancet Commission argues that “health is as much about caring as it is about curing”

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As part of the Ebola sensitization, UNICEF asked community members to repeat what they have learned about Ebola

The systematic neglect of culture is the single biggest barrier to advancing the highest attainable standard of health worldwide, say the authors of a major new report on culture and health, led by Professor David Napier, a leading medical anthropologist from UCL and published in The Lancet.

Scientists identify potential cause for 40% of pre-term births

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Ultrasound scan of foetus

Scientists from UCL and Queen Mary University of London have identified what they believe could be a cause of pre-term premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM) which accounts for 40 per cent of pre-term births, the main reason for infant death world-wide.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot made President-Elect of World Medical Association

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Professor Sir Michael Marmot elected president of World Medical Association

Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Institute of Health Equity) has recently (11 October) been made President-Elect of the World Medical Association. 

UCL Prize Lecture for Clinical Science now online

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Professor Tony Segal

This annual prize lecture series has been running for 18 years but within this short space of time has rapidly become the pre-eminent series on contemporary science in Europe. The whole event, which provides an opportunity to debate and celebrate important scientific advancements, has always been very stimulating and hugely enjoyable.

Nobel Prize for Professor John O’Keefe

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John O'Keefe

UCL SLMS' John O’Keefe has won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 for discovering an ‘inner GPS’ in the brain.

Interactive website helps lower-income smokers to stop smoking

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No smoking

People with lower incomes attempting to quit smoking are 36% more likely to succeed if they use a new interactive website called ‘StopAdvisor’ than if they use a static information website, finds a randomised controlled trial led by UCL researchers.

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