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Research headlines

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

The internet is running out of room – but we can save it

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Researchers met at the Royal Society in London this week to discuss a coming internet "capacity crunch". Professor Polina Bayvel (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering) explains how her work can help prevent this by increasing the useful capacity of optical fibres. Read: New Scientist (£)

Early men and women were equal, say scientists

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A study by Mark Dyble and Dr Andrea Migliano (both UCL Anthropology) has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their group lives and who they live with. Read: Guardian, More: Guardian (2), Independent, Daily Mail, Times of India, The Hindu, South China Morning Post, The Scientist, The Conversation, UCL News

Record numbers of female and minority-ethnic MPs in new House of Commons

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Drawing on data from the UCL/Birkbeck Parliamentary Candidates UK project, which is co-authored by Dr Jennifer Hudson (UCL Constitution Unit), the new House of Commons will be more diverse than ever before, with more women and more minority-ethnic MPs than in any previous parliament. Read: Guardian

Ovarian cancer screening

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Professor Max Parmar (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL) explains the findings of an analysis of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening, the world’s largest ovarian cancer screening trial. Listen: BBC Radio WM ‘Paul Franks Show’ (from 1 hour 23 mins)

Predicted Carmageddon did not happen as global traffic appears to have stalled

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Professor Phillip Goodwin and Professor David Metz (both UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) explore whether we have reached ‘peak car’, the point at which traffic growth stops and even falls on a per capita basis. Read: South China Morning Post

Clinical leaders 'more willing to challenge diktats'

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A study co-led by Professor Martin Marshall (UCL Primary Care & Population Health) has found that clinical leaders are ‘more willing to challenge or ignore diktats and messages from above’ than their managerial colleagues in clinical commissioning groups. Read: Health Service Journal (£)

English language is changing faster than ever

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A new study led by Professor John Sutherland (UCL English Language & Literature) has found that the English language is evolving at a faster rate now than at any other time in history because of social media and instant messaging. Read: Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, Times (£), Mirror, Huffington Post, BBC News, ITV News, Nottingham Post, Arab News

Exploding batteries filmed in 3D

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New research by Donal Finegan and Dr Paul Shearing (both UCL Chemical Engineering) shows for the first time what happens when lithium-ion batteries overheat and explode, which could help engineers improve their design and make them safer for transport. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, The Engineer, Wired, UCL News

Did life begin in underwater volcanoes?

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A team led by Professor Nora De Leeuw and Dr Nathan Hollingsworth (both UCL Chemistry) has found that hot vents on the seabed could have spontaneously produced the organic molecules necessary for life. Read: Daily Mail

Exploring memory-extraction

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Speaking at the 2015 Wired Health event, Professor Eleanor Maguire (UCL Imaging Neuroscience) explains her research into how memory works. Read: Wired

Sound of crinkling tin foil can cause seizures in cats

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A study by Professor Robert Harvey (UCL Pharmacology) and Davies Veterinary Specialists has identified a rare feline disorder in which a seizure is triggered by high pitched or metallic sounds. Read: Telegraph, More: Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Mirror, Science, South China Morning Post

Comedians’ ‘gift of the gab’ linked to differences in brain activity

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A study led by Dr Joe Devlin (UCL Experimental Psychology) has found that professional speakers, such as comedians, are better at focusing intensely on tasks and drawing on memories when constructing speech. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail, Listen: Guardian Science Weekly

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri

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Commenting on his work translating the Oxyrhynchus papyri, Professor Vivian Nutton (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) said: “It is the largest single collection of medical papyri to be published”. Read: Daily Mail

Girls face 'sharp rise in emotional problems'

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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, BBC News, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Times (£), Guardian (2), Huffington Post, The Conversation, Belfast Telegraph, TIME, LA Times, Washington Post, The Australian (£), New Zealand Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 5 live '5 live Science' (from 27 mins 23 secs)

‘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)

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