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Research headlines

Scientists discover why left-handers have the advantage in elite sports

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Professor Chris McManus (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) comments on a recent study he was acknowledged in about the advantages of being left-handed in sports, saying that the left-handed advantage was probably confined to elite players. Read: Guardian

The Brain Prize winners

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After winning this year's Brain Prize, Professor Peter Dayan (UCL Computational Neuroscience) speaks with the presenter about his ground-breaking work on how the brain recognises and processes reward.  Listen: BBC 4 'All in the mind' (from 4 mins, 3 secs)

UCL postgraduate student wins the Future of Europe Project

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Aron Kerpel-Fronius, a postgraduate student at UCL and the Jagiellonian University, is one of the six winners of the Future of Europe Project Award. He is studying for a double degree in political anthropology and comparative politics. Read: Financial Times

Millennials have more varied sex lives than their parents

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Researchers from UCL Infection & Population Health has carried out a study which look at the changes in sexual practices of young people since 1990. Times (£), More: Telegraph, UCL News, Mirror, Daily Mail

Higher risk of dementia among frail older adults

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Dr Nina Rogers (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health), Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) and Dr Dorina Cadar (UCL Behavioural Science & Health) author research linking dementia to frailty in older adults. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News, Express

Depression link between fathers and teenage children

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A study led by Dr Gemma Lewis (UCL Psychiatry) and co-authored by Professor Glyn Lewis (UCL Psychiatry) shows adolescents whose fathers have depressive symptoms are more likely to experience symptoms of depression themselves. Read: BBC News, More: UCL News, Daily Mail

Austerity linked to 120,000 extra deaths in England

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Research co-authored by Dr Wulan Wulaningsih (UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science), Professor Rosalind Raine (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) and Dr Mahiben Maruthappu (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) finds spending constraints in health and social care to be associated with a substantial mortality gap. Read: Independent, More: Daily Mail, Sun, Times (£)

Planting trees could mop up ten years’ worth of greenhouse gases

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Professor Chris Rapley (UCL Earth Sciences) says "whilst it is encouraging that human carbon emissions have levelled off over the last three years, the fact that 2016 still witnessed a record surge in atmospheric CO2 concentrations is ominous." Read: New Scientist 

Why we need more women in tech by 2030

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Dr Elen Stofan (UCL Earth Sciences) writes about the 'fourth industrial revolution', putting forward her recommendations on how women can be encouraged to take up tech careers. Read: Jamaican Gleaner

Britain’s socially excluded '10 times more likely to die early'

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Dr Robert Aldridge and Serena Luchenski (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) comments on the UCL led study which revealed the connection between social exclusion and health consequences. Read: Guardian, More: UCL News

Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football And Me

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UCL Institute of Neurology's study which provided evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of four former soccer players, all of whom had advanced dementia, is mentioned in the BBC documentary. The study has also inspired further funding into looking at brain injuries in footballers. Watch: BBC 1 (from 38 mins, 5 secs), More: BBC News, Telegraph

Study biomedical science: ‘We’re trying to find answers to the big diseases’

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PhD Student, Christina Murray (UCL Institute of Neurology), talks about the importance of her research in helping to find the answers to fight diseases. Her research is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK. Read: Guardian

Somaliland votes next week. Its biggest challenges come after the election

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Dr Michael Walls (UCL Development Planning Unit) writes the developmental challenges facing the new president of Somaliland. Read: Washington PostMore: Financial Times

Container Ships Use Super-Dirty Fuel. That Needs to Change

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Dr Tristan Smith (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) comments on the shipping industry’s reliance on high-carbon fuel, saying that companies have little reason to spend their time and money building a 'greener' cargo fleet.  Read: Wired 

AI: Urgent need to 'reconceive schooling' to ensure workforce not consigned to joblessness

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Professor Rose Luckin (UCL Institute of Education) comments on how Artificial Intelligence could transform education by freeing teachers of administrative tasks. Read: ABC News

Traditional Amazonian drug linked to improved sense of wellbeing

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Dr Will Lawn (UCL Clinical, Education & Health Psychology), lead author of a recent study on a 'Ayahuasca liana', an Amazonian shamanic psychedelic brew, comments on whether the drug could help treat depression and alcohol use disorders. Read: IFLScience, More: Mirror, Daily Mail, Newsweek, International Business Times, Nature, Vice, Independent

Human brain cells thrive inside the skull of a rat

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Professor Roger Lemon (UCL Institute of Neurology), senior author of a recent policy paper led by the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences, says that the two US transplant studies were important and legitimate but paved the way for much more controversial territory. Read: Times (£)

Brain probe breakthrough provides hope for quadriplegic patients

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Professor Matteo Carandini (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology) comments on the $5.5m international project he is working on. The project combine detailed recordings from individual neurons with observations across different brain regions. Read: Financial Times, More: UCL News

Broadcom's $130bn Qualcomm bid is a bold play to own AI

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Dr Neil Curson (UCL Centre for Nanotechnology) comments on the development of AI-capable chips, saying more companies will need to diversify their strategy to dominate individual markets. Read: Wired

Dementia now most deadly illness with it killing more than any other condition in UK

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Professor Nick Fox (UCL Neurology) says “We do not want to add years to life, we want to add life to years. We want to delay onset so people have a shorter time as possible with serious functional impairment.” Read: Daily Express

'To spend time with Mazzucato is to be made to think differently'

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Professor Mariana Mazzucato (UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose) talks about her life as one of the world's leading economists. Read: Times (£)

A Disney-21st Century Fox Merger Would Be Invincible

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Professor Jan Eeckhou (UCL Economics) has co-authored a paper evaluating the macroeconomic implications of an increase in average market power in the US since 1950. Read: The Atlantic

Mammals switched to daytime activity after dinosaur extinction

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PhD candidate Roi Maor and Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) have led a study demonstrating the close correlation between the disappearance of dinosaurs and the beginning of daytime activity in mammals. Read: Guardian, More: Telegraph, Forbes, Science Magazine, iNews, LA Times, New York Times, Daily Mail, Malay Online, Newsweek, Haaretz, UCL News, National Geographic 

A home DNA kit for £130?

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Having carried out extensive research on the use of DNA home kits, Debbie Kennett (UCL Genetics) says that while they are useful in matching cousins, it is less reliable in determining ethnicity figures. Read: Guardian

Breast cancer gene breakthrough set to spare thousands from chemotherapy

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Professor Rob Stein (UCL Oncology) has led a study to determine whether chemotherapy is needed to treat all levels of breast cancer. Read: Daily Mail

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