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Research headlines

How scientists uncovered the invisible balloon around your head

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Professor Giandomenico Iannetti and Rory Bufacchi (UCL Biosciences) have conducted research shedding insight into personal space and the predilection to flinch. Read: New Statesman

'Fat but fit' still has higher risk of heart disease, study confirms

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Dr Camille Lassale (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) has led a study concluding that 'there is no such thing as being healthy obese.' Read: CNN, More: The Times (£)

Wrong A-level choices prevent poorer students gaining elite university places

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Catherine Dilnot (UCL Institute of Education) has authored a study showing that students who take vocational A-levels are less likely to attend elite universities. Dr Jake Anders (UCL Institute of Education) also comments. Read: Guardian, More: Telegraph, TES, Conversation

Men from wealthier families more likely to have partner in middle age

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Researchers from UCL have contributed to a study showing the disparity existing between men from richer and poorer backgrounds when it comes to having a partner in middle age. Read: Financial Times (£)

Prehistoric Britons ate their dead and carved mysterious markings on their bones

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Researchers from UCL have analysed human an animal bones from Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, finding cut-marks suggesting a ritual or symbolic purpose. Read: Telegraph (£), More: Mail Online, Independent, Metro, Reuters

Alesi the possible ancestor of apes and humans

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A fossil skull found in Kenya shows what the common ancestor of apes and humans may have looked like, according to a study involving Professor Fred Spoor (UCL Biosciences). Listen: BBC World Service 'Newsday', More: Washington Post, UCL News, Telegraph (£), Mail Online, Yahoo News, ReutersInternational Business Times

Can we spot when terrorism is a delusion?

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Dr Emily Corner (UCL Security & Crime Science) discusses research she conducted with Dr Paul Gill (UCL Security & Crime Science) concerning the link between mental health and terrorism. Read: New Statesman

Drug-carrying “nanoswimmers” could slither past the brain’s cellular defences

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A team led by Professor Giuseppe Battaglia and Dr Adrian Joseph (UCL Chemistry & UCL Chemical Engineering) has developed a transport vehicle the size of a virus that may ferry chemotherapies and other molecular cargo through the imposing blood–brain barrier. Read: Scientific American, More: UCL News

Why do we set in maths when all the evidence tells us not to?

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Professor Becky Francis (UCL Institute of Education) suggests we need to think more carefully about grouping students according to ability, saying it entrenches perceptions of inequality. Read: TES (£)

Universities have the power to create exciting, connected and inclusive cities – here’s how

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James Ransom (UCL Institute of Education) looks at how four cities in the world use their educational institutions to create better, more inclusive cities. Read: The Conversation

Diabetes drug could help those with Parkinson's disease

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A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may have disease-modifying potential to treat Parkinson’s disease, suggests a new study led by Professor Tom Foltynie and Dr Dilan Athauda (UCL Institute of Neurology). Read: BBC News, More: Guardian, The Times (£), Daily Mail, Express, New Scientist, Huffington Post, UCL News

Why clearing rainforests is nothing new

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Dr Manuel Arroyo-Kalin (UCL Institute of Archaeology) has co-authored a report examining the history of tropical forest clearing among hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists. Read: The Times (£)

Pensions latest: Baby boomers expect to work past their state pension age

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Professor Alissa Goodman and JD Carpentieri (UCL Institute of Education) are authors of a report demonstrating that large numbers of baby boomers expect to work past their state pension age. Read: Express, More: Mirror

Doctors cannot tell if patients are about to die

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Professor Paddy Stone (UCL Psychiatry) leads a study demonstrating that a method routinely used to identify patients who may be coming to their last year of life is frequently inaccurate. Read: The Times (£), More: Telegraph, The Sun, Express, Mail Online, UCL News

People with autism are less surprised by the unexpected

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Dr Rebecca Lawson (UCL Institute of Neurology) and Professor Geraint Rees (Dean, UCL Faculty of Life Sciences) author a study showing that adults with autism were less surprised when presented with unexpected images. Read: Yahoo News, More: The Times (£), UCL News

How travel websites convince customers into booking online by suggesting deals might soon sell out

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Joe Gladstone (UCL School of Management) has led a study showing that messaging on travel websites helps to boost profits. Read: Mail Online

Men’s sweet tooth may increase risk of anxiety and depression

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Anika Knüppel (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) has led a study showing that men who consume high levels of sugar are 23 per cent more likely to develop depression or anxiety. Read: New Scientist, More: Mail Online, The Conversation, International Business Times, Evening Standard, Express, Independent, UCL News, Guardian, Belfast Telegraph, Telegraph, The Times (£), Mirror, The Sun, Metro, Spectator, Huffington Post

Has Cassini found a universal driver for prebiotic chemistry at Titan?

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A team led by PhD student Ravi Desai and Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Space & Climate Physics) has detected an important type of molecule that helps produce complex organic material in Titan's hazy upper atmosphere. Read: New Scientist, More: The Conversation, Independent, Daily Star, Express, Scientific AmericanUCL News, Washington Post

Our large brains evolved thanks to an ancient ‘arms race’ for resources and mates

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Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) draws from his new book to explain why humans developed large brains, attributing it to social aptitude. Read: The Conversation

Measuring distance with a single photo

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Dr Gabriel Brostow (UCL Computer Science) is the supervising researcher behind new technology at UCL which accurately estimates the 3D shapes of objects that have been captured through only a single lens. Read: The EngineerMore: UCL News

The hidden extra costs of living with a disability

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Dr Daniel Mont and Professor Nora Groce (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) have contributed to a study showing that people with disabilities face a higher cost of living. Read: The Conversation

Cocktail of drugs could prevent 10,000 HIV deaths a year, claim scientists

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Professor Diana Gibb (UCL MRC Clinical Trials Unit) explains the impact of a new drug package for HIV sufferers who start treatment late, shown in a UCL led trial to save three lives for every 100 people treated. Read: Guardian, More: UCL News, BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 53 mins 33 secs), BBC World Service 'World Update' (from 14 mins)

New research project launched to improve challenging behaviour in children

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Professor Angela Hassiotis (UCL Psychiatry) speaks about a new national clinical trial she is leading that seeks to reduce challenging behaviour in three- to five-year-old children with learning disabilities. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour' (from 35 mins 50 secs), More: UCL News

The nine lifestyle changes that could save you from dementia

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Professor Gill Livingston (UCL Psychiatry) led a report for The Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care, suggesting that a third of dementia cases could be prevented via lifestyle change. Co-authors Dr Claudia Cooper, Dr Vasiliki Orgeta and Dr Naaheed Mukadam (UCL Psychiatry) also comment. Read: Telegraph (£), More: GuardianIndependent, Mail Online, Express, The Sun, ITV News, CBS News, BBC News, Financial Times, Reuters, Al JazeeraWashington Post, ABC News, The ConversationBBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 53 mins 14 secs), BBC Two 'Victoria Derbyshire' (from 1 hr 34 mins 56 secs), BBC World Service 'The Newsroom', talkRADIO 'Carole Malone' (10:30-11:00 segment, from 20 mins 50 secs), BBC Radio Stoke 'Stuart George' (from 1 hr 7 mins 34 secs)UCL News

Young people frequently change their minds about tertiary education

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A new study by Dr Jake Anders and Professor Claire Callender (UCL Institute of Education) has found that young people frequently change their minds about tertiary education, often along socio-economic lines. Read: The Australian

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