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Research headlines

Our large brains evolved thanks to an ancient ‘arms race’ for resources and mates

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Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) draws from his new book to explain why humans developed large brains, attributing it to social aptitude. Read: The Conversation

Measuring distance with a single photo

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Dr Gabriel Brostow (UCL Computer Science) is the supervising researcher behind new technology at UCL which accurately estimates the 3D shapes of objects that have been captured through only a single lens. Read: UCL News

The hidden extra costs of living with a disability

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Dr Daniel Mont and Professor Nora Groce (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) have contributed to a study showing that people with disabilities face a higher cost of living. Read: The Conversation

Cocktail of drugs could prevent 10,000 HIV deaths a year, claim scientists

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Professor Diana Gibb (UCL MRC Clinical Trials Unit) explains the impact of a new drug package for HIV sufferers who start treatment late, shown in a UCL led trial to save three lives for every 100 people treated. Read: Guardian, More: UCL News, BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 53 mins 33 secs), BBC World Service 'World Update' (from 14 mins)

New research project launched to improve challenging behaviour in children

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Professor Angela Hassiotis (UCL Psychiatry) speaks about a new national clinical trial she is leading that seeks to reduce challenging behaviour in three- to five-year-old children with learning disabilities. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour' (from 35 mins 50 secs), More: UCL News

The nine lifestyle changes that could save you from dementia

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Professor Gill Livingston (UCL Psychiatry) led a report for The Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care, suggesting that a third of dementia cases could be prevented via lifestyle change. Co-authors Dr Claudia Cooper, Dr Vasiliki Orgeta and Dr Naaheed Mukadam (UCL Psychiatry) also comment. Read: Telegraph (£), More: GuardianIndependent, Mail Online, Express, The Sun, ITV News, CBS News, BBC News, Financial Times, Reuters, Al JazeeraWashington Post, ABC News, The ConversationBBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 53 mins 14 secs), BBC Two 'Victoria Derbyshire' (from 1 hr 34 mins 56 secs), BBC World Service 'The Newsroom', talkRADIO 'Carole Malone' (10:30-11:00 segment, from 20 mins 50 secs), BBC Radio Stoke 'Stuart George' (from 1 hr 7 mins 34 secs)UCL News

Young people frequently change their minds about tertiary education

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A new study by Dr Jake Anders and Professor Claire Callender (UCL Institute of Education) has found that young people frequently change their minds about tertiary education, often along socio-economic lines. Read: The Australian

Fear of crime is contagious, even in low crime communities

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Fear of crime can be considered contagious, because social interaction is the mechanism through which fear is shared and chronically worried populations are created, according to a study led by Rafael Prieto Curiel (UCL Mathematics). Read: Mail Online, More: iNews, Sputnik News, UCL News

Market competition and mass participation ‘reduces diversity’

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Professor Simon Marginson (UCL Institute of Education) says that increased market competition and the growth in participation in higher education has led to “imitation” behaviour and the narrowing of university missions around the world. Read: Times Higher Education

London's homeless 'dying in hostels rather than hospices'

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New research, led by Dr Caroline Shulman (UCL Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department), finds that homeless people in London who are terminally ill are failing to get the support the need from the community. Read: Evening Standard

Scientists cook up self-cleaning kitchens

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A UCL team led by Dr Kristopher Page (UCL Chemistry) has created paints and plastics that react with anything landing on them, driving off stains, repelling water or producing micro-doses of toxic molecules to assassinate microbes. Read: The Times (£), More: BBC World Service 'Healthcheck' (from 58 secs)

Sponsored academies not succeeding with bright, disadvantaged pupils

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A study by Professor Becky Francis (UCL Institute of Education) finds that while academy schools produce good results for disadvantaged pupils overall, only a handful nurture the talents of bright, poorer pupils. Read: The Independent, More: TES

No-show women at cervical screening 'unaware of test'

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A study led by Dr Jo Waller (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) finds that  nearly a quarter of women who don't make cervical screening appointments are unaware that the process even exists. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Express

Sex differences important for medical research

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Professor Judith Mank (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains that genetic variations may lead to medicines behaving differently in men and women. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science' from the startRead: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

The thinking process of the visual artist

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Architects, painters and sculptors conceive of spaces in different ways from other people and from each other, finds a new study led by Dr Hugo Spiers (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences). Read: Pacific Standard, More: Fast Company, The ConversationUCL News

Why victims of Facebook's bizarre hate speech policy have trouble leaving the network

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Dr Steven Murdoch (UCL Computer Science) says that Facebook is a social monopoly and in order to get an audience, people need to stay involved with the dominant player. Read: Wired

How to eavesdrop on urban bats with smart sensors

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UCL scientists led by Professor Kate Jones (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and Dr Gabriel Brostow (UCL Computer Science) are studying the urban life of bats in unprecedented detail using sensors installed in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Read: BBC News, More: BBC Radio 4 'Today', BBC Breakfast News (from 2 hours 21 mins), BBC Radio 4 'Inside Science' from (14 mins)BBC World Service ‘Weekend’ (from 19 mins 42 secs), BBC World Service 'Newshour' (from 14 mins 28 secs), UCL News

How a simple haircut can save a man's life

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Dr John Barry (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) conducted a study into the potential mental health benefits of barber shops as men-only spaces. Read: The Telegraph

NotPetya: virus behind global attack ‘masquerades’ as ransomware but could be more dangerous

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It is too early to say who is to blame for the latest global ransomware cyber-attack explains Dr Steven Murdoch (UCL Computer Science). Read: New Statesman

Decaf coffee chemical could delay recovery of ozone layer

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Dr David Rowley (UCL Chemistry) says that a gas used in many industrial processes as well as decaffeination has a much wider range of uses than CFCs and would therefore be much harder to restrict than the CFCs. Read: The Times (£)

We're all related to royalty (if you go back far enough)

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Dr Adam Rutherford (a UCL honorary research fellow) and a UCL team say that most Europeans have a direct lineage to a monarch who ruled between years 768 and 814. Read: Daily Mail, More: Metro

The scientist who helped create a new prostate cancer scan (that's now saved his life, too)

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Professor David Hawkes (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) discusses the technology he developed with Dr Dean Barratt (UCL Engineering) and Professor Mark Emberton (UCL Medical Sciences) to improve prostate cancer screening. Read: Daily Mail

Magnetic implants used to treat ‘dancing eyes’

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Dr Parashkev Nachev (UCL Institute of Neurology), Professor Quentin Pankhurst (UCL Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering) and colleagues successfully used magnets implanted behind a person’s eyes to treat nystagmus, a condition characterised by involuntary eye movements. Read: BBC News, Listen: BBC World Service 'Newshour' (from 14 mins 6 secs)More: Evening Standard, The Times (£)

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots

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Professor Julienne Stroeve (UCL Earth Sciences) discusses the dramatic changes happening in the Arctic, highlighting that 2017 is already setting records in terms of low levels of ice cover. Read: Guardian

Genetic variants linked to obesity could protect against Parkinson’s

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A new study published by UCL researchers finds that genetic variants linked to higher body mass index (BMI) are associated with lower risk of Parkinson's disease. Read: Mail Online

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