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Research headlines

The danger virus mum can give her unborn baby

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A report by researchers from UCL, including Professor Paul Griffiths (UCL Infection & Immunity), has found that as many as 1,000 babies a year are born with cytomegalovirus, or CMV. Read: Daily Mail

Building bigger brains

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A new study co-authored by Professor Judith Mank (UCL Biosciences) has found that a single gene called Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) drives brain size and intelligence in fish. Read: Guardian, More: UCL News

What do rats dream of?

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New research by Dr Hugo Spiers (UCL Experimental Psychology), Dr Freyja Ólafsdóttir and Dr Caswell Barry (both UCL Biosciences) has found that when rats rest, their brains simulate journeys to a desired future such as a tasty treat. Read: Daily Mail, More: New Scientist, Belfast Telegraph, UCL News

Cancer drug lengthens fly lifespan

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Adult fruit flies given a cancer drug live 12% longer than average, according to a study led by the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing. Read: Nature, More: Daily Express, UCL News

Frozen in time

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Research by Melanie Smallman (UCL Science & Technology Studies) shows that participants in public dialogue are viewed as being outside the policy process. Read: Research Fortnight (£)

How we discovered the dark side of wearable fitness trackers

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New data from a study co-led by Rikke Duus (UCL Management Science & Innovation) shows fitness monitoring devices such as Fitbit can empower women but also lead to feelings of guilt. Read: The Conversation

Climate change threatens 50 years of progress in global health

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The second report by the UCL-Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change suggests that climate change threatens to undermine half a century of progress in global health. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Telegraph, Daily Express, Financial Times, Mirror, Daily Mail, Guardian (2), Express & Star, Reuters, NY Times, Washington Post, TIME, Huffington Post, New Scientist, The Engineer, UCL News

Is Titan Earth's toxic twin?

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A team from UCL, led by Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science laboratory), has observed a polar wind driving gas from the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, a phenomenon similar to Earth. Read: Daily Mail, More: Huffington Post

Singapore-style teaching helps solve problem of maths failure

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A study led by Dr John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education) shows that children in England who were taught through the Singaporean “maths mastery” approach learn faster than their classmates. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Financial Times, Telegraph, The Conversation

Don't like your pills? Just turn them into dinosaur sweets

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A team from UCL's School of Pharmacy have been experimenting with 3D printing to produce small numbers of specialist tablets at a fraction of the cost of a drugs company's typical mass-production run. Read: Daily Mail

Half 'have natural flu protection'

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A four-year study of 1,414 unvaccinated people, co-led by Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Farr Institute of Health Informations Research) has found that nearly half of people already have some defences that can prevent flu taking hold. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Times (£), Listen: BBC Radio Wales 'Good Morning Wales' (from 1 hour 55 mins)

Divorce not bad for your long-term health

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A new study by UCL Institute of Education, LSE and the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine has found that middle-aged men and women who have experienced separation, divorce and remarriage are as healthy as couples in stable marriages. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Telegraph, Times (£), Daily Mail, Nottingham Post

Autistic pupils find it more difficult to process sensory information

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A new study by Dr Liz Pellicano (UCL Institute of Education) has shown that autistic children find it more difficult to adapt to incoming sensory information when it comes to numbers. Read: TES

Which universities offer the most financial support?

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Dr Gill Wyness (UCL Institute of Education) examines which universities offer the most financial support. Read: Guardian

Scientists find CJD resistance gene

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Research by Professor John Collinge (UCL Neurodegenerative Diseases) has identified a gene that might make people resistant to the brain eating disease CJD. Read: BBC News, More: Independent, Daily Mail, Nature, The Week, National Post, Reuters

Poor pupils less likely to be seen as above average

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A study by Tammy Campbell (UCL Institute of Education) has found that children from poor and ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to be judged as clever by their teachers even if they perform as well as their classmates in tests. Read: Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail (2), TES

Blood test for Down's syndrome may save babies

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A new study, led by Professor Lyn Chitty (UCL Institute of Child Health), has shown that non-invasive prenatal testing for Down's syndrome is effective as an amniocentesis. Read: Telegraph, More: Independent, Times (£)

Couples who regularly complain last longer

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Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Dr Hannah Fry (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) says that couples with a low negativity-threshold tend to stay together longer. Read: Daily Mail

Doctors aim for single test to detect risk of four cancers in women

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A new trial, led by Professor Martin Widschwendter (UCL Women's Cancer), aims to develop a single screening test which can detect the risk of four different cancers in women. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail

Drugs to keep people with HIV alive should be given without delay

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A major international study involving the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, including Professor Ab Babiker and Dr Alejandro Arenas-Pinto (both MRC CTU at UCL), has found that HIV-infected individuals have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS if they start taking antiretroviral drugs sooner. Read: Guardian, More: UCL News

Hope for heart failure patients as 'pioneering' treatment helps the organ to heal itself

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Research co-led by Dr Linda Klotz (UCL Institute of Child Health) has identified a new way to heal a patient’s heart following a heart attack. Read: Daily Mail

UCL studies closure plans for overseas campuses 

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UCL's new Global Engagement Strategy confirms a move away from a model of branch campuses towards a network of local partnerships, outlining a number of initiatives to increase global impact. Read: FT (£), More: THE, THE (2)

Ovarian cancer patients do better if they have chemotherapy before surgery

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Research led by Matthew Nankivell (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL) finds that women with advanced ovarian cancer have fewer side effects and tend to have a better quality of life if given chemotherapy before surgery. Read: Daily Mirror, More: UCL News

UK children becoming obese at younger ages

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The average age at which people in the UK first become obese is decreasing, according to new research led by Dr Rebecca Hardy (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing). Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Listen: BBC London 94.9 'Breakfast' (from 1 hour 48 mins)

What rats in a maze can teach us about our sense of direction

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PhD student Francis Carpenter and Dr Caswell Barry (both UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) explain how the brain joins local maps together into a single, overarching map when we figure out how places connect geographically. Read: The Conversation

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