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Archive of Research headlines

<< 2016 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2018 >>

Microbes might thrive after crash-landing on board a meteorite

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A study led by Professor Paul McMillan and Dr Rachael Hazael (UCL Chemistry and UCL Earth Sciences) has found that bacteria on an incoming meteorite may be able to survive the violent shockwave created when crash-landing on a planet by changing their cell walls. Read: New Scientist

Do students shun courses taught by ‘neurotic’ lecturers?

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A study led in part by Professor Adrian Furnham (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) found that students prefer conscientious, agreeable and extroverted lecturers. Read: THE

Chemists may be zeroing in on chemical reactions that sparked the first life

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Dr Matthew Powner and Dr Shaun Stairs (UCL Chemistry) have identified simple reactions that, using the raw materials on early Earth, can synthesize all four building blocks of RNA, closing in on a plausible scenario for how life on Earth began.  Read: Science, More: UCL News

A report says that Mexico is the second-deadliest conflict zone in the world – it’s just not true

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Patricio Estévez-Soto (UCL Security & Crime Science) refutes claims in a report that says Mexico has become the second-deadliest conflict zone in the world in 2016. Read: The Conversation

Key to infertility in older women is revealed

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Researchers from UCL Life Sciences found that insufficient levels of the protein securin may help explain why older women have higher incidences of miscarriage and other complications. Read: Mail Online

Carbon - the backbone of life

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Dr Andrew Pontzen (UCL Physics & Astronomy) and Dr Matthew Powner (UCL Chemistry) discuss carbon - from how it forms in stars from helium atoms to it being the building block of life. Listen: BBC Radio 4 'In their Element' (from 1 minute 35 seconds)

Ancient-genome study finds Bronze Age ‘Beaker culture’ invaded Britain

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Dr Marc Vander Linden (UCL Archaeology) and Dr Garrett Hellenthal (UCL Genetics Institute) comment on findings from a large genetic study suggesting Britain's Neolithic farmers were displaced by individuals connected to Beaker pots. Read: Nature, More: The Guardian

Invasive 'alien' species represent a massive threat to our animals and plants

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Professor Tim Blackburn (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains that denialism in science is not new, but its growth in the context of invasive species is especially worrying for people trying to conserve unique native biodiversity. Read: The Independent

The WannaCry ransomware cyber-attacks 

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Dr Steven Murdoch (UCL Computer Science) says that not installing a patch carries a risk and that more recent versions of Microsoft software offer improvements to make systems less vulnerable. Listen: BBC Radio 5Live 'Afternoon Edition' (from 50 mins 45 seconds)

Can knowing your genetic make-up lead to a healthier life?

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Dr Jess Buxton (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) explains why the amount of useful information that personalised health tests can offer is currently very limited. Read: BBC News

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