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Research headlines

Cat ownership not linked to mental health problems

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A study led by Dr Francesca Solmi and Dr James Kirkbride (UCL Psychiatry) has found no link between cat ownership during pregnancy or childhood and the development of psychotic symptoms in adolescence, dispelling concerns about the impact of cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Read: CNN, More: NBC News, i News, The Conversation, UCL News

One pint a day can increase heart disease risk by prematurely ageing arteries

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Dr Darragh O'Neill (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) led a study finding that heavy drinking habits over the years may prematurely age arteries, especially in men, putting them at an increased risk for heart disease. Read: Daily Mail, More: The Sun

Humans are hard-wired to follow the path of least resistance

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Professor Patrick Haggard (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments on his study finding that the amount of effort required to do something makes people see it differently, as anything challenging looks less appealing. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

Education will not save your memory

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Dr Dorina Cadar (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) comments on her study finding that higher levels of education do not protect against cognitive decline in later life. Read: The Times, More: Daily Mail

Invasive species blamed as second biggest cause of extinctions

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Professor Tim Blackburn (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) is interviewed about his new study finding that the number of alien species is increasing globally and does not show any sign of saturation. Listen: BBC World Service 'Science in Action' (from 20 mins 54 secs), More: New Scientist (£), UCL News

Footballers could be at risk of dementia from blows to the head

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Dr Helen Ling, Professor Huw Morris and Professor John Hardy (UCL Institute of Neurology) discuss their study finding evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a potential cause of dementia caused by repeated blows to the head, in former professional football players. Professor Rob Howard (UCL Psychiatry) comments on the findings. Read: The Guardian, More: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 53 mins 41 secs), CNN, Financial Times, BBC News, Evening Standard, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Independent, Irish Times, CBC News, ABC News (Australia), The Independent (2), BBC Radio 4 'News Briefing (from 1 min 49 secs)

Qualified nursery teachers make little difference to attainment

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A study co-authored by a UCL researcher has found that access to a qualified teacher at nursery school has only a minimal impact on performance in reception. Read: Times Educational Supplement, More: BBC News

'Bright but poor' pupils years behind better-off peers, study claims

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A study carried out by Dr John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education) found that female pupils in the top 10% for attainment but bottom 10% by income in England trailed their bright and well-off female peers by the equivalent of three school years in science and reading. Read: The Guardian, More: The Times

Sore throats and antibiotics

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Professor Peter Wilson (UCL Infection & Immunity) comments on a trial study he co-led of a screening service that could be offered at pharmacies to test whether a sore throat needs antibiotics. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Health' (from 20 mins 5 secs)

Vaping backed as healthier nicotine alternative to cigarettes after latest study

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A new study led by Dr Lion Shahab and Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) found that e-cigarettes are less toxic and safer to use compared to conventional cigarettes. Read: Independent, More: The Times, Evening Standard, CBS News, Reuters, Financial TimesDaily Mail, New Scientist, The Sun, Mirror, Daily Mail (2)UCL News

Antibiotic resistance: Superbugs can be killed by modifying existing drugs

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Dr Joseph Ndieyira (UCL Liver & Digestive Health) led a study finding that antibiotics can still kill drug-resistant bacteria if they 'push' hard enough into bacterial cells. Read: Independent, More: Daily Mail, The Sun, ExpressUCL News

Misophonia: Scientists crack why eating sounds can make people angry

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Dr Sukhbinder Kumar and Professor Timothy Griffiths (UCL Institute of Neurology) led a study that identified the brain processes causing some people to have irrationally strong negative responses to the sounds of people eating or breathing. Read: BBC News, More: TIME, The Telegraph, ITV News, Sky News, City A.M., Wired, Mirror, Metro

Study shows how HIV infects macrophages, could be step towards cure

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A study led by Dr Petra Mlcochova and Professor Ravindra Gupta (UCL Infection & Immunity) identified how HIV is able to infect macrophages despite the presence of a protective protein. They discovered a treatment which could help lead to a complete cure for HIV/AIDS. Read: Newsweek, More: UCL News

Social mobility: Class pay gap found in UK professions

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Dr Lindsey Macmillan (UCL Institute of Education) was part of a research team with the government's social mobility commission that found professional people from working class backgrounds are paid £6,800 less than their colleagues from more affluent backgrounds. Read: BBC News, More: Financial Times, The Independent, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Daily Mail, New York Times

Apprentices just as happy with lives as university graduates

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A study conducted in part by the UCL Institute of Education found that people in their 20s who opted for an apprenticeship instead of university report similar life satisfaction to university graduates. Read: Daily Mail, More: The Times, City A.M., Times Educational Supplement

Anxious and depressed people more likely to die from cancer, study shows

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A study led by Dr David Batty (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) found that anxiety and depression may be linked to increased risk of death from some cancers. Read: The Telegraph, More: The Independent, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, The Sun

Beneficiaries of experimental gene editing therapy remain cancer-free

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Professor Waseem Qasim (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) led a team that treated two young leukaemia patients with an experimental therapy using genetically engineered immune cells from a donor. More than a year later, both girls have no sign of the leukaemia returning. Dr Simon Waddington (UCL Maternal & Fetal Medicine) comments. Read: The Independent, More: New Scientist, Reuters, The Times, Mirror

Childless women face higher risk of early menopause

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A study involving UCL researchers found women are more likely to enter menopause before age 40 - which typically only occurs among 2 per cent of women - if they haven't had children. Read: Daily Mail

GPs telling smokers how soon they will die makes them more likely to quit

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A study led by Dr Hazel Gilbert (UCL Primary Care & Population Health) found that offering smokers personalized disease risk information increases the likelihood they will seek help to quit. Read: The Sun

Sex is painful for nearly one in 10 women, study finds

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A study co-authored by UCL researchers has estimated the prevalence of painful sex among women in the UK. Read: BBC News, More: The Telegraph

Radical ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction

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A team led by Dr Ravi Das (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) is investigating whether ketamine's influence on memory development could help treat alcohol addiction. Read: The Guardian, More: Metro, Evening Standard, The Times

MRI scans can help one in four men avoid prostate biopsy

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Dr Hashim Ahmed (UCL Surgery & Interventional Science) led a trial at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL finding that over a quarter of men with a clinical suspicion of prostate cancer could avoid a biopsy if they undergo an MRI scan first. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 1 hrs 33 mins 40 secs), More: The Guardian, BBC News, The Telegraph, Daily MailSunHuffington Post, i News, Mirror

Delirium could accelerate dementia-related mental decline

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Dr Daniel Davis (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing at UCL) comments on his study finding that delirium, often occuring in hospital environments, may have long-lasting consequences including accelerating the dementia process. Read: The Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, Mirror, UCL News

Men and women cope with stress & anxiety in different ways

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Dr John Barry (UCL Psychology & Language Studies) led a study into different coping strategies men and women use to manage stress, and into gender differences in reasons to seek out therapy. Read: Daily MailMore: Evening StandardThe Sun

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

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