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Research headlines

How crashing neutron stars killed off some of our best ideas about what ‘dark energy’ is

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Dr Thomas Kitching (UCL Space & Climate Physics) writes about different theories of dark energy and how images of gravitational waves have derailed investigation of why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Read: The Conversation

Excitement as trial shows Huntington's drug could slow progress of disease

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Why is giving birth so hard?

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Research by Professor Jonathan Wells (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) is cited in a discussion on the 'obstetrical dilemma'. Read: Atlantic

Will the UK get a Brexit deal on research? That's the €160bn question

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Dr Ludovic Highman (UCL Institute of Education) writes that eighteen months have passed since the EU referendum and the government's position on science and research is no clearer. Read: The Guardian 

Children's reading on screen: in the beginning was the word, not a hotspot

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Dr. Natalia Kucirkova (UCL Institute of Education) writes about the 'content' crisis digital books and apps are facing, but also their potential. Read: The Guardian

Children grouped by ability from two years old

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Dr Alice Bradbury and Dr Guy Robert-Holmes from UCL Institute of Education discuss their report which says school leadership teams expect teachers to group pupils aged between 2 and 4. The practice is seen as preparation for tests such as the phonics screening check and KS1 Sats tests. Read: BBC , More: The Times (£)  Listen: BBC Radio 4, Today programme (10 mins in) 

Growing nerve graft tissue

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Dr Becky Shipley (UCL Mechanical Engineering) discusses a new modelling system being developed at UCL for the growing of new nerve graph tissue in a dish. Listen: BBC 5 live '5 live Science' (from 42 mins 45 secs)

Oldest known waterway system is discovered in China

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Dr Yijie Zhuang (UCL Institute of Archaeology) has co-authored a study revealing the water management system of an agricultural Neolithic society in China. Read: Newsweek, More: Daily Mail

Paris, London have highest rates of psychosis: study

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Dr James Kirkbride (UCL Psychiatry) has led an international study showing that Paris and southeast London have the highest rates of reporting of psychotic episodes. Read: AFP

Massive primordial galaxies found nestling in vast halo of dark matter

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Two enormous galaxies sitting right on the edge of space, forged in the early stages of the universe, have been discovered by an international team of scientists including Dr Thomas Greve (UCL Physics & Astronomy). Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

Venezuelan rock art mapped in unprecedented detail

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Dr Philip Riris (UCL Institute of Archaeology) has published new research showing how he and a team of UCL researchers helped uncover 2,000 year old rock art. Read: National Geographic, More: Independent, Daily Mail, UCL News, Newsweek, Artnet

One in five young people obese at age 14, study reveals

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Professor Emla Fitzsimons and Dr Benedetta Pongiglione (UCL Institute of Education) co-author research showing that one in five young people born in the UK at the turn of the century was obese by the age of 14. Read: Times (£), More: Sun, Daily Mail, Express, Mirror, ITV News

Sparkling conversation: could listening to champagne reveal its quality?

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Professor Andrea Sella (UCL Chemistry) and Dr Helen Czerski (UCL Mechanical Engineering) comment on a new study that reports listening to bubbles form in a glass of fizz indicates their size and perhaps the quality of the drink. Read: Guardian, More: Independent

How storytellers helped shape society

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Researchers from UCL Anthropology have led a study demonstrating that storytelling promoted co-operation in hunter-gatherers prior to the advent of organised religion. Read: TIME, More: UCL News, Atlantic, ForbesDaily Mail

The race to create body parts in the lab

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Professor Paolo De Coppi (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health) is profiled for his work on the development of artificial organs. Read: Guardian

Why Mount Agung’s volcanic ash is a particular problem for aircraft

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Dr Carina Fearnley (UCL Science & Technology Studies) writes about the impact of Mount Agung's eruption on airline travel. Read: The Conversation

Apple's root problem

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Professor Angela Sasse (UCL Computer Science) explains what root access is and the huge risks of the security bug that let anyone take full control of Mac computers without entering a password. Listen: BBC Tech Tent (from 1 min 12 secs)

The camera that can see INSIDE a beating heart - developed by research team in London

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Heart tissue can be imaged in real-time during keyhole procedures using a new optical ultrasound needle developed by a team led by Dr Adrien Desjardins, Dr Richard Colchester (both UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) and Dr Malcolm Finlay (UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science and UCL Engineering). Read: Evening Standard, More: UCL News, Mail OnlineThe Engineer

Stressed babies may feel more pain than they show

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In stressed newborn babies, behaviour alone is not a reliable way of assessing pain, according to a new led by Dr Laura Jones (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) and Dr Judith Meek (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust). Read: Daily Mail, More: Times (£), UCL News

Early baldness puts heart at greater risk than obesity

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Professor Alun Hughes (UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science) says that early male baldness could reflect differences in responses to androgens that might influence the risk of heat disease. Read: BBC News,  More: Times (£)

Cross Section with Sophie Scott

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Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) speaks to the presenter about the role that human language and interaction can play in society. Listen: Guardian 'Science Weekly'

Five ways to fix statistics

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Professor David Colquhoun (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) comments on the use statistics by scientists to analyse and interpret data and how to prevent cognitive mistakes. Read: Nature

Bali volcano warning

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Dr. Carina Fearnley (UCL Science & Technology Studies) speaks about the important work of Indonesian scientists and their emphasis on getting the community involved in monitoring the volcano. Dr Simon Day (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction) comments. Watch: Channel 4 News (from 2 mins, 4 secs),  More: Daily Star

Christian qualification fails to prepare students for university, UCL study claims

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A study led by Professor Michael Reiss and Dr Jonny Scaramanga (UCL Institute of Education) found that a Christian qualification offered by schools is too heavily based on learning and regurgitating information and not enough on analysis and understanding. Read: Telegraph 

Boys At Risk Of Becoming Psychopaths Don't React To Laughter Normally: U.K. Study

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Researchers at University College London has published a study which show that boys at risk of psychopathy don't react to or join in laughter in the same way that average boys might. Lead author, Professor Essi Viding (UCL Clinical, Education & Health Psychology), comments. Read: Huffington Post

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