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Research headlines

Drones listen in on bats to reveal their in-flight secrets

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Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says that little known about what bats get up to high in the air and using drones like this could give us clues, providing the bats don't fly away from them. Read: New Scientist

Behind the scenes of the Lux-Zeppelin experiment into dark matter

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Dr Chamkaur Ghag (UCL Physics & Astronomy) explains UCL's role in screening the 500 materials that will be used in the Lux-Zeppelin experiment to detect one of the candidates for dark matter - the weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP). Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science' (from 21 mins 10 secs)

Test may spot glaucoma before symptoms begin

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Professor Francesca Cordeiro (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) is leading the development of a simple eye test, patented by UCL Business, that can detect glaucoma before symptoms begin by enabling doctors to see individual nerve cell death in the back of the eye. Read: BBC News, More: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 47 mins 54 secs), The Telegraph, ITV News

'Exciting' blood test spots cancer a year early

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Research led by Professor Charles Swanton (UCL Cancer Institute & The Francis Crick Institute), Dr Mariam Jamal-Hanjani and Dr Chris Abbosh (UCL Cancer Institute) has found that a blood test could predict lung cancer's return up to one year earlier than standard scans by tracking unstable chromosomes. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Express

The toxic air in Britain’s cities demands urgent action – not legal delays

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The air quality problem in Britain's cities needs immediate solutions including higher taxes on the dirtiest of vehicles and low-emissions zones in most cities, writes Dr Aaron Eveleigh (UCL Mechanical Engineering). Read: The Conversation

Bittersweet feeling as Cassini mission embarks on its ‘grand finale’ ahead of death plunge

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Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) reflects on the finale of the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its moons that he's worked on for 28 years. Read: The Conversation

Extra powers for councils to boost cycling

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A UCL study is mentioned, which will assess the benefits of 20mph speed limits. Read: The Times (£)

Sinking the Bermuda Triangle Theory

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Dr Helen Czerski (UCL Mechanical Engineering) debunks the myth that ships lost in the so-called Bermuda Triangle may have been pulled under by methane bubbles from undersea gas explosions. Read: Huffington Post

LGBT London: what venue closures mean for the capital's future

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An article about the closure of LGBTQI nightlife spaces in London includes quotes from a report on the issue by the UCL Urban Laboratory. Read: The Guardian

Brain's 'hand area' used by other body parts in people born with one hand

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A study co-led by Dr Tamar Makin (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) found that the area of the brain used to control the hand gets used instead to support the lips, feet or arms of people who were born with only one hand. Read: The Independent, More: The Times (£), Daily Mail, UCL News

What Brexit should have taught us about voter manipulation

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Research from UCL explains how a large group of bots can misrepresent public opinion. Read: The Guardian

Toshiba's US nuclear problems provide cautionary tale for UK

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Dr Paul Dorfman (UCL Energy Institute) says that the deepening crisis at Toshiba has showed the need for ministers to consider a new energy policy.
Read: Guardian

Assessing PhD supervisors 'leads to higher completion rates'

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Speaking at an international conference on developments in doctoral education and training, Professor David Bogle (UCL Doctoral School) said that universities’ goal must be to create doctoral graduates who were "creative, critical, autonomous intellectual risk-takers" and could act as "drivers of their professional development".
Read: Times Higher Education

Hungarian politics

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Professor Jan Kubik (UCL SSEES) discusses the current situation in Hungary regarding the government and the Central European University (CEU), as well as the broader impact of political change in Eastern Europe on the European Union Project.
Listen: BBC World Service ‘World Update’ (from 7 mins 24 secs)

Everyone has different 'bad spots' in their vision

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A study led by Dr John Greenwood (UCL Experimental Psychology) found that the ability to distinguish objects in peripheral vision varies significantly between individuals. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

Life skills are important for wellbeing in later life

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A study led by Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health) found that five life skills – emotional stability, determination, control, optimism and conscientiousness – play a key role in promoting educational and occupational success throughout life. Read: The Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, UCL News

Doctors trained abroad are more likely to face performance assessments

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A study by Dr Henry Potts (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) found that doctors trained abroad are more likely to get their performance assessed by the General Medical Council than UK-trained doctors, which may be due to training, language barriers, cultural differences, demographics, or patient prejudices. Read: The Times (£), More: Daily Mail, The Sun

Scientists sniff out a whiff of the past

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Cecilia Bembibre and Professor Matija Strlic (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) are conducting a research project documenting and archiving the aromas of old books. Read: The Times (£), More: Daily Mail, ITV News, The Guardian, Popular Science

Teenagers don't know why the First World War mattered

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Simon Bendry (UCL Institute of Education) comments on his study finding that teenagers do not understand the importance of the First World War because there are no longer any survivors to tell them about it. Read: Daily Mail

Everything you ever wanted to know about urinary tract infections

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A UCL study is mentioned, which is developing nanocapsules containing an antibiotic to treat urinary tract infections. Read: The Guardian

Food trade drains global water sources at 'alarming' rates

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A study led by Dr Carole Dalin (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) found that the global food trade is depleting water sources in much of the world at a far faster rate than they can be replenished. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail

Everest experiment shows low-oxygen environments lead to cognitive decline

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A study involving UCL researchers found that low-oxygen environments such as Everest Base Camp can contribute to cognitive decline, which may also have implications to low-oxygen conditions during surgery. Read: The Telegraph

Forensic science in Hindi pulp fiction blockbusters

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Scientific crime scene analysis is more popular in India’s pulp fiction than in real life investigations explains Dr Kartikeya Tripathi (UCL Security & Crime Science). Read: Independent, More: The Conversation

Europa: Our best shot at finding alien life?

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Knowing there is liquid under the surface of Europa makes it one of the most exciting potential targets to look for life say Professor Andrew Coates and Dr Geraint Jones (UCL Space & Climate Physics) as NASA announces new mission to Jupiter's moon. Read: BBC News, More: Mirror

Pupils should learn to talk to avoid a future divorce

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Poor communication is the main cause of marriage and cohabitation breakdown finds a new UCL-led study. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

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