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Research headlines

Middle-Aged Women ‘Secretly Living With Eating Disorders’

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Dr Nadia Micali (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) led a study identifying risk factors for eating disorders among middle-aged women, that found most women affected do not seek professional help. Read: Huffington Post, More: The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Timesi News, The Sun, Independent, Evening Standard, Mirror

Patients on antidepressants for 50 per cent longer than in 1990s

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Professor Glyn Lewis (UCL Psychiatry) comments on a UCL-led study finding that patients prescribed antidepressants continue taking them for longer than in previous decades. Read: The Telegraph

Indoor kids risk life of specs

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A study led by Phillippa Cumberland (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) identified the increased rates of myopia in the UK. Read: The Times, More: Daily Mail

Alien bird risk from pet trade

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Dr Ellie Dyer and Professor Tim Blackburn (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) led a project to map out where alien birds - those that have been introduced from other regions - are the most prevalent worldwide, and why. Read: BBC News, More: i News, BBC Radio 4 'You & Yours' (from 28 mins 50 secs)

Why some children are more likely to go back into care than others

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Louise McGrath-Lone (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) writes about her research into the factors influencing which children who leave the care system end up having to return to it. Read: The Conversation

Army of 350,000 Star Wars bots found lurking on Twitter

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A research paper by Dr Shi Zhou and Juan Echeverria Guzman (UCL Computer Science) outlines a network of bot accounts tweeting Star Wars quotes, and how they determined the accounts were linked. Read: New Scientist, More: Daily Mail

Arclight device 'could save sight of millions'

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The Arclight, a cheap, pocket-sized, solar-powered ophthalmoscope has been developed by a team including a UCL researcher. Read: BBC News

A hidden code in our DNA explains how new pieces of genes are made

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Professor Jernej Ule (UCL Institute of Neurology) writes about his research into how the human genome ensures gene mutations help humans evolve without too much disruption to cellular function. Read: The Conversation

World's largest peatland with vast carbon-storage capacity found in Congo

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Dr Greta Dargie and Professor Simon Lewis (UCL Geography) led a research team that mapped the Cuvette Centrale peatlands in the central Congo basin and found they cover 145,500 sq km and could lock in 30bn tonnes of carbon that was previously not known to exist. Read: The Guardian, More: Washington Post, New York Times, The Conversation

Sixth form education in England 'uniquely narrow and short'

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A study by UCL Institute of Education researchers has found that upper secondary education in the UK falls short of five comparison country systems in terms of tuition time and breadth. The report calls for increased funding. Read: Times Educational Supplement

Women who are bringing up children are more likely to be binge drinkers

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A UCL study found that women with children are less likely to drink regularly than women without children, but more likely to binge drink. Read: Daily Mail

Deadly Ebola virus could be passed on through breathing

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Professor Ali Zumla (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on his study finding that the Ebola virus may replicate in the lungs of survivors while they are recovering from an infection. Read: International Business Times

Plea for ban on vaping flavours that harm sperm

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Research led by Dr Helen O'Neill (UCL Institute for Women's Health) has linked flavoured e-cigarettes with sperm damage. Read: The Times, More: Daily Mail

Parents think Mandarin is most useful non-European language for children

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A study commissioned by the Mandarin Excellence Programme, which is led by the UCL Institute Of Education, found that parents think Mandarin is the most useful non-European language for children to learn. Read: Express, More: The Telegraph

Indigestion pills could triple stomach bug risk

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Dr Li Wei (UCL School of Pharmacy) led a study finding that some medications for indigestion are associated with increased risk of bacterial gastroenteritis, due to the impact on gut bacteria. Read: Daily Mail

How scientists in Britain are deciding the future of humanity

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Professor Waseem Qasim (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) has developed a gene-editing technique to engineer white blood cells to recognise cancer cells. His method has been used to help cure a baby girl of leukaemia. Read: Newsweek

The formula for a good New Year's Eve

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Dr Robb Rutledge (UCL Institute of Neurology) discusses his research into the links between expectations and happiness. Read: Daily Mail

Stem cell therapy which helped Welsh Grand National winner used on London woman

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Dr Andy Goldberg (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) carried out the first human trials of a stem cell therapy to treat tendinopathy. He had earlier tested the treatment on a horse, Dream Alliance, who went on to win the Welsh Grand National. Read: The Telegraph

Why humans develop sex cells as embryos — but corals don't

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Drive to preserve mitochondrial quality might explain why organisms develop sex cells at different stages of development say Arunas Radzvilavicius, Dr Nick Lane and Professor Andrew Pomiankowski (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment and UCL CoMPLEX). Read: Nature, More: UCL News, BBC Radio 4 'BBC Inside Science' (from 10 mins)

Forget big data: what you need is deep data

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To go beyond the trivial and focus on reliable, meaningful effects, Big Data needs to build on the existing scientific foundations of its field writes Professor Tomas Chamorro Premuzic (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). Read: Forbes

What to know about this year’s overlapping Christmas and Hanukkah holidays

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The occurrence now happens roughly on average every 30 years, according to Professor Sacha Stern (UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies), and overlaps are set to happen more often in the future. Read: TIME

Scientists need to wake up to the opportunities of Brexit

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It’s easy for UK researchers to focus on the downsides of leaving the EU but a House of Lords report today calls for a more positive approach writes Professor Graeme Reid (UCL Office of the Vice-Provost (Research)). Read: Guardian

'Pregnancy fluid' reverses ageing bones

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Cells in the amniotic fluid that surrounds a developing baby can revive ageing and weak bones according to new UCL research led by Dr Pascale Guillot (UCL Institute for Women’s Health). Read: BBC News, More: Guardian, Daily MailSun, Evening Standard

Gene discovery helps children with movement disorder walk again

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A team led by Dr Manju Kurian (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) has discovered a new genetic cause for a movement disorder, allowing a treatment to be developed that enables children to walk again. Read: Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, UCL News

Light therapy effectively treats early prostate cancer

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A new non-surgical treatment for low-risk prostate cancer effectively kills cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue, reports a new phase III clinical trial in 413 patients led by Professor Mark Emberton, Dean of UCL Medical Sciences. Read: BBC NewsListen: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 1h 15mins), More: Guardian, Times (£), Telegraph, IndependentSun, ITV, Express, ReutersUCL News, BBC Radio 2 'Chris Evans Breakfast Show' (from 2hrs 3mins)BBC Radio 5 Live 'Breakfast' (from 55mins 29secs), BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science'

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