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Research headlines

Concern over bowel cancer patients with symptoms year before diagnosis

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Dr Cristina Renzi (UCL Epidemiology & Health) led a study finding that one in five patients given an emergency diagnosis of bowel cancer experienced concerning symptoms long before diagnosis. Read: The Guardian, More: The Telegraph, Daily Mail

The long reach of UK slave-owning families

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UCL has launched a new Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership, which has an extensive database of historical slave owners. Read: The Observer, More: The Observer (editorial), Daily Mail

‘I can’t work under these (laboratory) conditions’

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A new study by Birendra Singh (UCL Institute of Education) found issues with science education in UK schools, including turnover rates being too high. Read: TES (£)

Use Mirroring to Connect With Others

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Emeritus Professor Chris Frith (UCL Neurology) comments on his recent study finding that when people mirror the behaviour of the person they're speaking with, their brains are adapting to signals from the other person. Read: Wall Street Journal

Reception children with poor language skills still struggling by Year 2

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Professor Courtenay Norbury (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments on her study comparing academic and behavioural outcomes of children who speak English as an additional language with their peers with similar levels of English language proficiency. Read: TES

Finding His Place, Reluctantly, in the Tribe of Judaism

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Professor Philippe Sands (UCL Laws) is interviewed about his research into the Holocaust and perspectives on genocide and crimes against humanity, and the stories of his family and of other descendants of perpetrators and victims of the Holocaust. He has just published a book on the subject. Read: New York Times

Flight response

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Haitham Baomar and Dr Peter Bentley (UCL Computer Science) are developing an autopilot system for aircraft that can learn how human pilots cope with emergencies, enabling more effective responses to unexpected problems. Read: The Economist

Health lifelines for wellbeing in the workplace

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Research by Professor James Thomas (UCL Institute of Education) into the success of workplace health programmes is mentioned. Read: Financial Times

Doctors 'often get it wrong' when predicting how long terminally ill people have left to live

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Professor Paddy Stone (UCL Psychiatry) discusses the implications of his new study finding that end-of-life prognoses are frequently inaccurate, even when done by experienced doctors. Read: Daily Mail, More: The Times (£), Independent

Study finds e-cigarettes helped 18,000 smokers to quit last year

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Professor Robert West (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) comments on his new study finding that e-cigarettes are effective at helping smokers quit smoking with a less harmful means of inhaling nicotine. Read: Financial Times, BBC News, The Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Fox News, Listen: BBC Radio London (from 1 hour 49 mins 21 secs)BBC Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ (from 4 mins 32 secs)

Can London mayor's car ban solve pollution crisis?

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Professor David Metz (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) comments on his research into the decline of car use in London. Read: CNN

What Happens in the Brain When We Misremember

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Dr Martin Chadwick (UCL Brain Sciences) discusses his brain scan research explaining the creation of false memories. Read: Scientific American

Pygmies share knowledge of medicinal plants through marriage

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Gul Deniz Salali (UCL Anthropology) discusses her new research into knowledge-sharing among the BaYaka people of the Republic of Congo. Read: Daily Mail

You're lost in a directionless universe

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A new study by Daniela Saadeh and Dr Andrew Pontzen (UCL Physics and Astronomy) and colleagues has determined the universe is isotropic, meaning there is no preferred direction. Read: Science, More: Daily Mail, International Business Times

Heavy drinkers who exercise regularly no more likely to die than teetotallers

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Dr Annie Britton (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) comments on her study finding that regular exercise can offset the dangers of alcohol. Read: Metro, More: The Telegraph, Daily Mail, ABC, Huffington Post, The IndependentVice

Blood samples from 9-year-olds can predict bipolar symptoms

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A study led by Dr Joseph Hayes (UCL Psychiatry) has found a link between high levels of inflammation during childhood and heightened risk of manic behaviour later in life. Read: New Scientist (£)

People born underweight do less exercise throughout their lives

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A new study led by Ahmed Elhakeem (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing at UCL) has found that people with low birth weight go on to engage in low levels of physical activity later in life. Read: New Scientist (£)

Why facts don’t unify us

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Dr Tali Sharot (UCL Experimental Psychology) writes in the New York Times, explaining her latest study showing that people react differently to information that confirms or challenges their ideology. Read: The New York Times

UCL researchers reverse memory loss in mice

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Professor Patricia Salinas (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) comments on her study about a key mechanism underlying the loss of nerve connectivity in the brain, and how the findings could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Read: i News, More: Forbes, UCL News

Getting high on cannabis makes you less likely to work hard for money

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Professor Val Curran and Will Lawn (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) and Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) are featured for their new study finding that people are less inclined to work for money when using marijuana. Read: The Independent, More: Daily Mail, Wall Street JournalInternational Business Times, The Times (£), The Conversation, IncUCL News

How to spot if a society is doomed

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Professor Stephen Shennan (UCL Institute of Archaeology) is part of a study team that has identified an early warning signal of population collapse, based on European Neolithic societies. Read: Daily Mail

How space weather poses a risk to the finance industry

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Professor Lucie Green (UCL Space & Climate Physics) writes about how solar flares can disrupt global finance by interfering with satellite signals and other telecommunications, and how companies are increasingly monitoring space weather forecasts and developing adaptive processes. Read: The Conversation

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 NewsListen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Inside Science’ (from 8 mins 17 secs)

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

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