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Research headlines

Only pub sceptics will insist this isn't Richard III

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Explaining the statistical analysis of Richard III’s remains, Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says: “There is a 0.0003 per cent chance that it's not him – and wars have been started over less". Read: New Scientist

Crossing your fingers might reduce pain

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Research by Dr Elisa Ferrè, Angela Marotta and Professor Patrick Haggard (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) has found that crossing your fingers can confuse the way the brain processes feelings of hot, cold and pain. Read: Guardian, More: Telegraph, Metro, UCL News

America is a melting pot

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A study by UCL, Oxford University and Universita' del Sacro Cuore of Rome has mapped the genetic ancestry of North and South America, revealing the genetic fingerprints of the slave trade and colonisation. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

Antibiotic pills 'can hurt unborn baby'

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Research by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital, co-authored by Professor Ruth Gilbert (UCL Institute of Child Health), highlights that a class of antibiotics known as macrolides may carry a small risk of term babies being born with epilepsy or cerebral palsy. Read: Daily Mail, More: Guardian, Telegraph

How immigration came to haunt Labour

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Professor Christian Dustmann (UCL Economics) explains why the 2003 Home Office report on immigration was not as inaccurate as critics suggested. Read: Guardian

Mocking the overweight 'should be illegal'

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A new study by Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) has found that weight discrimination is linked to significantly lower quality of life, and accounts for approximately 40% of the negative psychological effects associated with obesity. Read: Daily Mail, More: Express, Metro, UCL News

Moral decisions

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Dr Daniel Richardson (UCL Experimental Psychology) explains his research into whether we have set morals. Listen: BBC Radio 5 live ‘5 live Science’ (from 5 mins 54 secs)

Is this a miracle cancer vaccine?

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A trial led by Dr Emma Morris (UCL Infection & Immunity) is looking at whether genetically engineered immune cells can be used to help treat patients with leukaemia. Read: Daily Mail

What should the UK do about foreign aid?

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The UK is about to pass legislation committing it to ringfencing 0.7% of gross national income for international development spending. Professor Henrietta Moore (UCL Institute for Global Prosperity) offers a personal perspective on the way forward. Read: BBC News

Of mice and old men: is the elixir of youth finally coming of age?

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Dr Sian Henson (UCL Division of Infection & Immunity) discusses the role of senescent cells in the ageing process. Read: The Guardian, More: South China Morning Post

Britons still live in Anglo-Saxon tribal kingdoms

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A study by the University of Oxford, UCL and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia, co-led by Dr Garrett Hellenthal (UCL Genetics Institute), has created the first fine-scale genetic map of Britain. Read: Telegraph, More: Belfast Telegraph, UCL News

Beware, a ‘non-communicable’ disease may be socially infectious

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Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) explains why “buddying up” with a friend or family member could make it easier to change unhealthy behaviours. Read: The Conversation

Sharing laughs makes people more likely to reveal secrets

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A study by Alan Gray (UCL Cognitive Neuroscience) has found that sharing laughter makes people more willing to tell others personal information about themselves, without necessarily being aware that they are doing so. Read: Daily Mail

UK tied visa system 'turning domestic workers into modern-day slaves'

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Following a report by the UCL Institute for Human Rights on the UK government’s introduction of tied visas for foreign domestic workers, Dr Virginia Mantouvalou (UCL Laws) says: “We are recreating kafala”. Read: Guardian

Inactive children 'become middle-aged couch potatoes'

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A study by Dr Lee Smith, Dr Ben Gardner and Dr Mark Hamer (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) suggests that children who lead inactive lives are likely to grow up to become middle-aged couch potatoes. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Yorkshire Post, Herald Sun, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'News Briefing' (from 3 mins 30 secs)

Greens have fewer ethnic minority candidates

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A study by the UCL Constitution Unit has found that the Green Party has fewer black and ethnic minority candidates than any other major party — including Ukip. Read: Evening Standard

The Anthropocene age: what world will humans leave behind?

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Early-onset Alzheimer's disease

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Professor Nick Fox (UCL Neurodegenerative Diseases) is leading a new trial on early onset familial Alzheimer's disease. Read: BBC News, Listen: BBC Radio 5 live '5 live Breakfast' (from 1 hour 2 mins), More: BBC Radio 2 'Chris Evans Breakfast Show' (from 2 hours 33 mins)

Treating everyone as equal is a recipe for disaster

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A study led by Dr Bahador Bahrami (UCL Cognitive Neuroscience) has found that people of differing competence tend to give each other’s views equal weight, preventing them from making the best group decisions. Read: Times (£), More: UCL News

Learning from King Lear: the saving grace of low status

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A study led by Dr Ana Guinote (UCL Experimental Psychology) has found that people are less likely to help others when they feel they are powerful and are more altruistic when they feel they are of low status. Read: Wall Street Journal

How a man's alcohol habits change

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A study led by Dr Annie Britton (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) has found that frequent drinking becomes more common in middle to old age, especially amongst men. Read: Daily Mail, More: Telegraph, Daily Mail (2), UCL News

Gene therapy

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Professor Samuel Janes (UCL Internal Medicine) discusses a UCL trial into gene therapy and metastatic lung cancer. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ (from 2 hours 45 mins)

Scientists create self-cleaning paint

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A team of UCL led researchers, including Yao Lu, Professor Claire Carmalt and Professor Ivan Parkin (all UCL Chemistry), have developed a new paint that makes robust self-cleaning surfaces. Read: Telegraph, More: Independent, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Reuters, Times of India, The Engineer, UCL News, Listen: BBC World Service 'Science in Action' (from 7 mins 22 secs), More: BBC 5 live '5 live Science' (from 22 mins 5 secs), BBC World Service 'The Science Hour' (from 14 mins 18 secs)

Looking on bright side helps recovery from heart attacks

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A study led by Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health), in collaboration with the British Heart Foundation, has found that optimists are twice as likely as pessimists to recover well from heart attacks. Read: Times (£), More: Daily Express, Daily Mail, Independent

'First human' discovered in Ethiopia

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A state-of-the-art computer reconstruction of a Homo habilis fossil by Professor Fred Spoor (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) indicates that the species has older evolutionary roots than previously thought. Read: BBC News, More: Guardian, Independent, The Week, NY Times, Los Angeles Times, NBC, New Scientist, National Geographic, Discovery, Science, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Six O'Clock News' (from 15 mins 45 secs), More: BBC Radio 4 'The World Tonight' (from 6 mins 39 secs)

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