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Research headlines

Teenagers' heavy cannabis use 'impairs intelligence'

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Research led by Claire Mokrysz (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) has found that teenagers who are regular cannabis users by the age of 15 risk "impairing" their educational ability but occasional use does not seem linked to reduced achievement. Read: BBC News, More: Telegraph

Tiny tubes in your neck that could cut the risk of a stroke

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Using stents to keep neck arteries open is just as effective as invasive neck surgery for long-term prevention of fatal and disabling strokes, reports an international trial led Professor Martin Brown (UCL Brain Repair & Rehabilitation). Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

UCL research helps paralysed man to recover function

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Manipulating metabolism

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Dr Nazif Alic (UCL Biosciences) examines if tweaking some of the genes involved in metabolic signalling could help to prolong healthy lifespan and if it could help us live forever. Listen: Naked Scientists

Killer in the brain could help treat Parkinson's

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A team led by Dr Soledad Galli (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has found that the death of synapses in mice may be due to malfunctioning proteins called Wnt proteins, a discovery which could lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Read: New Scientist

Is sending shoppers ads by Bluetooth just a bit creepy?

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Dr Charlene Jennett (UCL Interaction Centre) and Professor Angela Sasse (UCL Computer Science) examine how beacon technology in retail and marketing may be received by the public. Read: The Conversation

Myelin helps you learn new skills

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A study led by Professor William Richardson (UCL Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research) has discovered new evidence of myelin’s essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

New viruses 'killing amphibians' in Spain

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Research led by Dr Stephen Price (UCL Genetics Institute) has found a number of closely related viruses causing severe disease and mass deaths in many amphibian species in northern Spain. Read: BBC News, More: Independent, New Scientist, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 2 'Chris Evans Breakfast Show' (from 2 hours 32 mins), More: BBC Radio Newcastle 'Breakfast' (from 2 hours 3 mins), BBC Radio Devon 'Breakfast' (from 1 hour 35 mins)

NHS to offer tablet which can reduce HIV risk by 90%

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Dr Sheena McCormack (UCL MRC Clinical Trials Unit) is leading a study into the use of Truvada, a daily tablet that offers up to a 90 per cent reduction in the risk of contracting HIV. Read: Independent, More: Times (£), Daily Mail

Curing cancer

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Documentary following four UCLH patients as they take part in advanced cancer treatment trials - from the labs of the UCL Cancer Institute to the wards of UCLH. Watch: Channel 4, Read: UCL News

Exercising can ward off depression

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Research led by Dr Snehal Pinto Pereira and Professor Chris Power (both UCL Institute of Child Health) has found that being physically active three times a week reduces the odds of being depressed by approximately 16%. Read: Daily Mail, Times (£), Scotsman, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio Scotland 'John Beattie' (from 45 mins 50 secs)

The new school rules

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A study co-led by Professor Stephen Machin (UCL Economics) has identified “beneficial effects” in schools becoming academies and he says an “unprecedented change in England’s schools” is currently under way. Read: The Economist

Lung cancers can 'lie dormant' in ex-smokers for up to 20 years

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A study led by Professor Charles Swanton (UCL Research Department of Oncology) has found that lung cancers in ex-smokers can lie dormant for up to 20 years before they begin to grow into a life-threatening tumour. Read: Independent, More: Daily Mail, Times of India

Maps, apps and technology to make city life more fun

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Technology is being used to make city navigation more fun, including a helmet designed by Panos Mavros (UCL CASA) which helps establish which routes in London are the least stressful for those whose vision is impaired and humanising technology by Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith (UCL CASA). Read: BBC News

New system to make Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox more secure

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Professor Brad Karp (UCL Computer Science) is part of a team who have developed a new system that protects internet users' privacy whilst increasing the flexibility for web developers to build web applications that combine data from different websites. Read: Business StandardMore : CNN-IBN NewsTimes of India, The Hindu, Network WorldThe RegisterScience 2.0

Children to be implanted with 3D printed ears

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A team led by Professor Alex Seifalian (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) will soon begin trials to implant 3D printed ears into children to correct birth defects. Read: Telegraph, More: BBC News

Professor Anthony Finkelstein and Paran Chandrasekaran - world-changing success story clicks for pioneers of messaging

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Professor Anthony Finkelstein (Professor of Software Systems Engineering & Dean of UCL Engineering) discusses UCL’s partnership with British algorithmic research company Scentrics on the patenting of an IP to prevent “man-in-the-middle attacks” in electronic messaging. Read: Evening Standard, More: Independent

How 24 week-old babies are now able to survive

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Professor Neil Marlow (UCL Neonatology) discusses the EPICure study and how advances in neonatal care have improved the survival rates of extremely premature babies. Read: Telegraph

Forgive me, your Majesty

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Dr Andrew Smith (UCL History) and Professor Robert Hazell (UCL Constitution Unit) comment on the implications of David Cameron revealing the Queen’s private views on the Scottish Referendum. Read: Daily Mail

Smile, couch potatoes — because exercise rots your teeth

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Research conducted by Professor Ian Needleman (UCL Eastman Dental Institute) suggests that the longer athletes train each week, the more likely they are to have tooth rot or fillings — and the further they run, the greater the danger. Read: Times (£), More: The Australian (£)

Diabetes risk increased for people working long hours in poorly paid jobs

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A study led Professor Mika Kivimaki (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) found those putting in 55 hours or more a week in low-skill jobs were 30% more likely to develop diabetes than those working 35 to 40 hours. Read: Mirror, More: ITV News, Yorkshire Post, Northern Echo, Express & Star

The real story behind Facebook 'likes'

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A study by Dr Emiliano De Cristofaro (UCL Computer Science) finds there might not be much point paying for Facebook ads or "like farms" to increase the page followings of companies or campaigns. Read: Telegraph, MIT Technology Review, Pacific Standard

Half of children leave reception unready for school

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A report by Professor Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) has found that nearly half of all five year olds in England have not reached a high enough level of intellectual, emotional and physical development to prepare them for school. Read: Guardian, More: Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail, BBC News, Yorkshire Post, Express & Star, Listen: BBC London 94.9 'Breakfast' (from 1 hour 34 mins)

Citizen science is stimulating a wealth of innovative projects

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Professor Steven Bishop (UCL Mathematics) explains how citizen science can change the way we perform research and uses Dr Jerome Lewis’s (UCL Anthropology) work with the ethnic Baka groups in Cameroon as an example. Read: Scientific American

Sugar intake must be slashed further

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Research conducted by Professor Aubrey Sheiham (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine recommends that sugars in the diet should make up no more than 3% of total energy intake to reduce the significant financial and social burdens of tooth decay. Read: BBC News, More: Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Express, Times (£), Daily Mail, Herald, The Courier, Stoke Sentinel, Yorkshire Post, Shropshire Star, TIME, New Zealand Herald, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live ‘5 Live Breakfast’ (from 3 mins 22 secs), More: BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ (from 5 mins 14 secs), BBC Radio Scotland 'Newsdrive' (from 20 mins 5 secs), BBC Radio Northampton 'Breakfast' (from 2 hours 42 mins), BBC Radio Somerset 'Ask the expert' (from 4 mins)

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