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Research headlines

Stone Age man was a cannibal

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A new study by Simon Parfitt (UCL Archaeology) and the Natural History Museum has found evidence of cannibalism on prehistoric human bones from Gough's Cave in Somerset. Read: Daily Mail, More: Independent

How men compete when donating cash to attractive women

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New research co-authored by Dr Nichola Raihani (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and the University of Bristol has found that men give more money through fundraising websites after seeing that other men have donated large amounts and when the fundraiser is an attractive woman. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Times (£), Guardian (2), Huffington Post, Belfast Telegraph, TIME, LA Times, Washington Post, The Australian (£), New Zealand Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, UCL News

‘Kick and kill’ HIV vaccine a step closer

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A study co-authored by Dr Ravindra Gupta (UCL Infection & Immunity) has observed that the human immune system can handle large bursts of HIV activity and so it should be possible to cure HIV with a ‘kick and kill’ strategy. Read: Times (£), More: Daily Mail, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio London 94.9 'Breakfast' (from 2 hours 25 mins)

MS drug 'may already be out there'

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A trial led by Dr Jeremy Chataway (UCL Institute of Neurology) aims to investigate whether existing medicines could be used to find treatments for Multiple Sclerosis. Watch: BBC News (from 1 min 27 secs), Listen: BBC Radio Merseyside 'Breakfast' (from 27 mins 32 secs)

Child heart surgery deaths in UK 'halved'

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An analysis co-authored by Professor Martin Utley (UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit) has found that death rates for children’s heart surgery in the UK have almost halved in a decade, despite a rise in the number and complexity of cases. Read: BBC News, More: Guardian

Computers learn to mimic humans when compiling forecasts

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A project led by Dr Andreas Vlachos and Dr Sebastian Riedel (both UCL Computer Science) and Heriot-Watt University aims to develop a computer that can collate meteorological information and produce forecasts as if they were written by a human. Read: Daily Mail

HIV spreads like computer worms

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A study led by Professor Benny Chain, Dr Clare Jolly (both UCL Infection & Immunity), Changwang Zhang and Dr Shi Zhou (both UCL Computer Science) has identified a new model for HIV progression which shows that it spreads through the body in a similar way to some computer worms. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail, UCL News

Parents rarely spot child obesity

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A new study by UCL, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Great Ormond Street Hospital has found that a third of parents underestimate their child’s BMI. Read: BBC News, More: Telegraph, Guardian, Mirror, Mirror (2), Times (£), ITV News, Huffington Post, Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 2 hours 4 mins)

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, Guardian, 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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