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Research headlines

Mars once had a warm and wet climate that was 'more favourable' for life

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Fossilised riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of Mars, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about 4 billion years ago, according to research led by PhD student, Joel Davis (UCL Earth Sciences). Read: Independent, More: UCL News

Perfume traces could help to solve crimes

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Simona Gherghel (UCL Chemistry) and Dr Ruth Morgan (UCL Security & Crime Science) comment on their research into whether traces of fragrances left on clothing could be used as forensic evidence in cases involving close physical contact. Read: BBC News, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'PM' (from 48 mins 6 secs)

UCL scientists create painless prostate cancer test

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Dr Andrew Feber (UCL Cancer Biology) comments on his project developing a blood test for prostate cancer that could save hundreds of thousands of men per year from undergoing painful biopsies. Read: Evening Standard

Rio 2016: Support as China's Fu Yuanhui breaks period taboo

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Georgie Bruinvels (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) discusses her research finding the majority of sportswomen say their menstrual cycles affect their performance, and how the topic is seen as a taboo. Read: BBC News, More: The Guardian

Parkinson's could potentially be detected by an eye test

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A team of UCL Ophthalmology researchers are developing an eye test that might be able to detect Parkinson’s disease before the onset of symptoms. Read: BBC News, More: The Sun, UCL News

Who BBC Media Action recommends following on Twitter

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The Twitter account for UCL Global Health has been included in a list of those well worth following for information about governance, health and humanitarian affairs. Read: BBC Media Action Insight blog

New computer programme replicates handwriting

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Dr Gabriel Brostow, Dr Tom Haines and Dr Oisin Mac Aodha (all UCL Computer Science) have taught a computer to imitate anyone's handwriting by creating an algorithm that can take a sample of handwritten text, examine its qualities, and then write any text in the same style. Read: BBC News, More: UCL News, Gizmodo, Times of India

Four ways that artificial intelligence can benefit universities

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Professor Rose Luckin (UCL Institute of Education) argues that higher education needs to embrace the positives of AI, not just look at the negatives. Read: THE

Growth restriction in pregnancy

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Exploring the medical ethics surrounding a case where a fetus isn't growing correctly in the womb, Professor Neil Marlow and Dr Anna David (both UCL Institute for Women's Health) contribute their views on the treatment options and importance of new research. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside the Ethics Committee'

What teens need most from their parents

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An overview of research relevant to parenting teenagers mentions work by Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) on the development of the teenage brain. Read: Wall Street Journal

New research hints at pattern of Alzheimer's spread in the brain

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Cambridge scientists have uncovered a potential explanation as to why certain tissues of the brain are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. Professor John Hardy (UCL Brain Sciences) says the work is limited by the areas of the brain and the cell types studied, so while it points to an idea, it does not really prove it. Read: Guardian

The concept of cat face

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Dr Paul Taylor (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) on key developments in the field of machine learning. Read: London Review of Books

Balloons and how they changed the world

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Professor Claudio Capelli (UCL Clinical Cardiovascular Engineering)discusses the medical use of tiny balloons in treating patients with congenital heart disease. Listen: BBC World Service 'The Forum' (from 15 mins 2 secs)

Foods to fight disease

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Dr Dave Spratt (UCL Eastman Dental Institute) says mushrooms seem to change the population of the bacteria in the mouth by reducing the bad bacteria although it is unclear how. It could be because the mushrooms are actively killing the bad bacteria or creating a positive environment for the good bacteria to thrive. Read: Express

How contactless card payments are still vulnerable to attack

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Contactless card payments are fast and convenient, but convenience comes at a price: they are at a great risk of fraud than chip and pin payments. Dr Steven Murdoch (UCL Computer Science) explains how fraudsters are using a 'relay attack' to exploit vulnerabilities, and discusses possible solutions. Read: MailOnline

New particle hopes fade as LHC data 'bump' disappears

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Professor Jon Butterworth (UCL Physics & Astronomy) says he and the other Atlas researchers will have to work a lot harder now to discover a family of new particles that they believe must be out there and could fundamentally change our understanding of the Universe. Read: BBC News, More: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science', BBC World Service 'Science in Action' (from 23 mins 42 secs)

The lone killers stalking Europe are a gift to Isis

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Dr Paul Gill (UCL Security & Crime Science) discusses his research on the profile of 'lone actor' terrorists. Read: The Sunday Times (£)

Magnet sparks new hope for Parkinson's

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Professor Mark Lythgoe (UCL Medical Sciences) has lead a research team which has developed a non-invasive treatment for Parkinson's disease using magnets. Read: The Mirror

Poor sight leads to isolation and illness

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Those with mild sight loss can often suffer from lonliness and depression, researchers from UCL have found. Read: The Mail

Is your TV killing you?

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Research from UCL, which finds that long periods of watching television can increase the chance of heart disease, is mentioned in article advising you how to watch TV. Read: Daily Express

Healthy livers grown from rejected donor organs in transplant breakthrough

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Researchers at the Royal Free have shown it possible to strip away the damaged parts of donor livers and use the underlying strcuture to build a working organ. Read: The Telegraph More: The Camden New Journal

It's still proving impossible to find dark matter

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Elusive dark matter particles haven't been found yet but the search is not futile say LUX experiment scientists Dr Chamkaur Ghag, Sally Shaw and Dr Jim Dobson (all UCL Physics & Astronomy). Read: Wired, More: Independent, TelegraphMirrorUCL News

The world's first farmers were surprisingly diverse

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Farming 10,000 years ago occurred in multiple neighbouring but genetically distinct populations according to a study by Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment), Dr Garrett Hellenthal (UCL Genetics Institute) and Professor Stephen Shennan (UCL Archaeology). Read: BBC News, More: Science, Daily MailLA Times, UCL News

Scientists warn of 'unsafe' decline in biodiversity

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A study led by Dr Tim Newbold (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) warns that biodiversity is dropping below safe levels for the support and wellbeing of human societies. Read: BBC News, More: Guardian, Independent, Washington Post, Daily Mail, Reuters, UCL News

Here's why science should take a seat at the Brexit negotiation table

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Professor Graeme Reid (Office of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research)) discusses how science research should be handled in Brexit negotiations. Read: The Guardian, Financial Times (£)

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