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Research headlines

Sitting down less can cut diabetes risk

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New research by Dr Joshua Bell (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) has found that sitting down too much during leisure time increases your risk of diabetes even if you work out regularly. Read: Daily Mail, More: Scotsman

The (atrocious) luck of the dinosaurs

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Research conducted by a team of international academics, including Dr Paul Upchurch (UCL Earth Sciences), has found that dinosaurs may have survived if the asteroid that killed them had struck slightly earlier or later. Read: Forbes

Capacity Mechanism

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Professor Michael Grubb (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources) discusses the government’s Capacity Mechanism and says that the likelihood of power cuts occurring is very small. Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ (from 38 mins 16 secs)

Great Brain Experiment

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Dr Peter Zeidman (UCL Imaging Neuroscience) discusses the Great Brain Experiment, a free mobile app run by neuroscientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL. Read: BBC News, Listen: BBC World Service ‘Science in Action’

Half-hour breast cancer treatment can replace weeks of radiotherapy

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Professor Michael Baum (UCL General Surgery) comments on intrabeam radiotherapy. Read: Daily Mail

Single-dose radiotherapy eases breast cancer stress

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Professor Jayant Vaidya (UCL General Surgery) has helped develop a new form of radiotherapy which can be given to breast cancer patients during surgery. Read: Times (£)

Creepy crawlies decline as human population soars

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A study co-authored by Dr Ben Collen (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) has found that invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% over the past 35 years, a period in which the human population has doubled. Read: Telegraph, More: Independent, Daily Mail, Herald, Times of India, New Zealand Herald, Straits Times (£), UCL News

Malaria drug could prevent liver cancer

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A study led by Professor Rajiv Jalan (UCL Liver & Digestive Health) has found that an over-the-counter malaria pill could prevent liver cancer and shrink established tumours. Read: Telegraph

Miscarriage leaves partners feeling invisible and without support

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New research by Dr Petra Boynton (UCL Medical School) and the Miscarriage Association has found that partners often feel unable to talk about their feelings of loss and pain following a miscarriage. Read: Telegraph, More: BBC News, Scotsman, The Herald

Web project allows readers to 'look over shoulders' of Renaissance scholars at work

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Professor Lisa Jardine (UCL Centre for Editing Lives & Letters) discusses a new cataloguing project, The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe, which will analyse and create a digital archive of centuries old marginalia. Read: The Guardian

Four in ten dementia carers suffer depression

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An analysis by UCL has found that 40 percent of those who look after a family member with dementia suffer from depression but a course devised by Professor Gill Livingston (UCL Psychiatry), called the START programme, has been found to cut depression rates amongst relatives by up to 7 times. Read: Daily Mail

Millions unnecessarily labelled pre-diabetic, health experts say

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An analysis led by Professor John Yudkin (UCL Medicine) has found that millions of people are being unnecessarily labelled pre-diabetic as the diagnosis is of little benefit and carries huge medical and social costs. Read: The Guardian, More: BBC News, Evening Standard, UCL News, BMJ, Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ (from 49 mins 19 secs), More: BBC Radio 5 Live ‘5 Live Breakfast’ (from 2 hours 3 mins), BBC Radio Wales ‘Good Morning Wales’ (from 5 mins 7 secs), Watch: London Live

Red hair is here to stay - 'extinction of the ginger gene' story is just bad science

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UCL Honorary Professor Debbie Kennett follows in the path of Professors David Balding and Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics) by debunking the promises of simple interpretations of DNA and ancestry. Read: Guardian

The science of the Sun

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Professor Louise Harra (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) discusses the science of our closest star - the Sun. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time'

Creating the world’s first artificial coronary arteries

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Professor Alex Seifalian (UCL Surgery and Interventional Science) has been working on developing artificial arteries for the last 10 years - these will now enter in-patient clinical trials in September for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. Read: London Evening Standard

Neuroscientists ask for open review on the Human Brain Project

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Researchers have requested an open review of the European Commission-funded initiative to simulate the human brain as they believe the money could be better spent on smaller grants for creative neuroscience research rather than one large computer simulation, says Professor Peter Latham (UCL Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit). Listen: BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ (from 50 mins)

Same genes 'drive maths and reading ability'

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Research led by Dr Oliver Davis (UCL Genetics) finds that around half of the genes that influence a child's aptitude for reading also play a role in how easily they learn maths, suggesting that hundreds of subtle DNA changes in genes combine to help shape a child's performance in both. Read: Guardian, More: BBC NewsTelegraphTimes (£), TES, UCL News

GP prescriptions to tackle loneliness in elderly

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Dr Helen Chatterjee (UCL Museums & Collections) comments on 'social prescribing' and its positive effects on health. Watch: BBC News

Cycling does not cause infertility, British scientists find

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Health myths which suggest cycling can lead to infertility and erectile dysfunction have been debunked in new research led by Dr Mark Hamer (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health). Read: Daily Telegraph, More: Huffington Post

Similar memories benefit from 'extra space' in brain

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Similar memories overlap physically in the brain and this produces less confusion if the brain area responsible is larger, according to research by Prof. Eleanor Maguire and Dr Martin Chadwick (UCL Brain Sciences). Read: BBC News

Cancer breakthrough as scientists discover how cells spread

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A study led by Professor Roberto Mayor (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) has uncovered insights into how cells move through the body, which could lead to innovative techniques to stop cancer cells from spreading and causing secondary tumours. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

Sir Michael Marmot on Desert Island Discs

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During his appearance on Desert Island Discs, Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health) discusses his research into how wealth and social status can affect lifespan and general health. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Desert Island Discs', Read: Sunday Express

Women’s groups save mothers and babies

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Dr Audrey Prost (UCL Institute for Global Health) looks at the ways women’s groups can be used to help cut maternal and newborn deaths in remote areas. Read: The Conversation

Insulin jabs 'may do more harm than good' for diabetes sufferers over 50

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A study co-authored by Professor John Yudkin (UCL Medicine) has found that treatments to reduce blood sugar levels do more harm than good in many type 2 diabetes patients, particularly older people. Read: Daily Mail, More: Express, BBC News, New Scientist, BMJ, UCL News

Blood test could give early warning of breast cancer

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A study led by Professor Martin Widschwendter (UCL Institute for Women's Health) has identified an epigenetic signature in the blood of women predisposed for breast cancer owing to an inherited genetic mutation of the BRCA1 gene. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times (£), Express, MetroBBC News, The Herald, Belfast Telegraph, Shropshire Star, Dundee Courier, Herald Sun, UCL News

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