Latest Population Health Sciences News

Future of donor anonymity threatened by growth of genetic testing

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Egg Sperm

The rise of personal genetic testing and growth of international DNA databases could put an end to anonymous sperm and egg donation as donor-conceived individuals may unintentionally discover biological relatives, according to UCL researchers.

Toddlers’ eating habits may harm long-term health

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Toddlers’ eating habits may harm long-term health

UK toddlers are consuming more calories and protein than recommended, potentially putting them at risk of obesity in later life, according to UCL research. 

Lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals twice as likely to suffer mental health issues

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Adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to suffer from anxiety or depression, according to research from UCL, London Metropolitan University and Public Health England. 

Child mortality and malnutrition linked to gender inequality

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Women’s status in society is strongly linked with children’s health and survival according to a new study from UCL and the University of Cambridge.

American devotion to religion is waning, according to new study

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Church Episcopal - Rugby

Religion in the United States is declining and mirroring patterns found across the western world, according to new research from UCL and Duke University in the United States.

Grid cells’ role in human imagination revealed

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Entorhinal cortex

Evidence of grid cell activity has been seen in healthy volunteers asked to imagine moving through an environment in new UCL research funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Pregnant women support first maternal gene therapy trial

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Pregnant women would be willing to trial maternal growth factor gene therapy to treat severe early-onset fetal growth restriction (FGR) in their unborn babies, according to a new study. If the proposed trial goes ahead it is likely to be the first time maternal gene therapy has ever been used.

Study shows gradual increase in antidepressant use among children and adolescents

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Prozac Pills

A new study from a group of international researchers including Dr Irene Petersen and Dr Linda Wijlaars (UCL Department of Primary Care and Population Health and Institute of Child Health) found that there has been a gradual increase in antidepressant use among children and adolescents in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States between 2005 and 2012.

What influences 11 year olds to drink?

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Children alcohol

Children are less likely to drink if they have heightened perceptions of the harms of drinking and negative expectations towards alcohol - such as that it leads to difficulties with peers or impacts on school work – according to a new UCL-led study.

Antidepressants during pregnancy do not pose risk to unborn child

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Women who take antidepressants during pregnancy do not appear to be at greater risk of giving birth to children with congenital heart defects compared to women who are not exposed to the drugs, according to new research from UCL.

New test could predict dementia risk during routine GP visits

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It may be possible to assess the risk of developing dementia by analyzing information gathered during routine visits to the family doctor, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Medicine.

Early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer

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Two papers from UCL show that having early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer. The papers, published in the Lancet and Lancet Oncology, report the results from the STAMPEDE clinical trial and a meta-analysis.

Apply to the UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme

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UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme image

The UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme provides state-of-the-art PhD training across four strategic themes.

First evidence to suggest that screening for ovarian cancer may save lives

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Blood test

New results from the world’s biggest ovarian cancer screening trial led by UCL suggest that screening based on an annual blood test may help reduce the number of women dying from the disease by around 20%.

Parents need more guidance to prevent toddlers overeating

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Mother feeding baby

Reducing toddlers’ portion sizes or number of eating occasions could potentially help to target weight gain in later life according to new research from UCL.

Study finds Americans do not have better teeth than the English

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Camel Teeth

Contrary to popular belief, the oral health of US citizens is not better than the English, finds a study in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

More than half of England’s poorest citizens risk undetected bowel cancer

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Diagram of the bowels

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cause of cancer death, and screening is offered through the National Health Service to everyone from age 60. But only 44% of those living in the poorest areas* in England take up this offer compared with 66% of those living in the richest areas, reports a new UCL-led study of 747,856 people.

Research Images as Art/Art images as Research: 2015/16 winners announced

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Red poppies in the mouse brain

A diverse and fascinating series of images were unveiled as the winners of the Research Images as Art / Art Images as Research competition for 2015/16, run by the UCL Doctoral School.

Professor John O’Keefe

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Professor John O’Keefe, inaugural Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL, having launched the centre, will be stepping down from the role in September 2016 so he can once again devote his full attention to a significant program of ongoing and new scientific research. We are extremely grateful to him for having taken on the demanding role of launching the Centre and are delighted that he will continue his research within it.

Vice Provost (Health) View November 2015

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Having been Vice-Provost (Health) for three months, I should like to start by thanking my predecessor Professor Sir John Tooke: health at UCL has gone from strength to strength over the past five and a half years.

Professor Jane Wardle

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On 20th October 2015 UCL lost a hugely talented, highly respected and greatly loved colleague, Jane Wardle, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences. Jane had chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and sadly succumbed to complications relating to its treatment.

New trial to find out whether aspirin fights cancer

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A new trial launches today, which aims to answer once and for all whether or not a daily dose of aspirin can help prevent some cancers from coming back. Some previous studies have suggested it might, but the evidence has not been conclusive. Doctors need clear proof that it is a safe and effective treatment before prescribing it for their patients.

PhotoSynthesis Competition results

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After months of waiting the results are finally in for our Photosynthesis competition 2015. The judging panel (consisting of senior academics, managers and communications staff from across the School) were extremely impressed by all the entries but the winners are:

Staff Survey Case Study

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Staff Survey 2013 sections: 

Vision and Values ‘I understand the values of UCL’ and ‘I feel that my goals and objectives are aligned to those of UCL’

Q&A with Dr. Chloe Park - ESC Young Investigator winner 

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Chloe Park interview image

What is your role and what does it involve?

Our research group moved to UCL less than 2 years ago.  A key attraction for us was the close links that ICS has with longitudinal studies (cohorts) based at UCL, particularly through omic platforms and cross cohort analysis.  Our group has enriched this relationship by bringing our non-invasive cardiovascular physiology measures to clinical and cohort studies here.  

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