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Research headlines

'First human' discovered in Ethiopia

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A state-of-the-art computer reconstruction of a Homo habilis fossil by Professor Fred Spoor (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) indicates that the species has older evolutionary roots than previously thought. Read: BBC News, More: Guardian, Independent, The Week, NY Times, NBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Science, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Six O'Clock News' (from 15 mins 45 secs), More: BBC Radio 4 'The World Tonight' (from 6 mins 39 secs)

When pregnant women drink

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Professor Peter Hammond (UCL Institute of Child Health) has developed a mathematical technique that identifies facial damage caused by exposure to alcohol in the womb. Watch: ITV ‘Exposure - When Pregnant Women Drink’ (from 7 mins 40 secs)

Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial

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Research led by Professor Valerie Curran (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) reveals the positive and negative effects of different types of cannabis on the human brain, in a trial broadcast on Channel 4: Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial. Watch: Channel 4, Read: Guardian, Metro, UCL News

Super-dipoles linked to chloroform’s outstanding solvent properties

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A team led by Dr Christoph Salzmann (UCL Chemistry) has used neutron diffraction to gain insight into the microscopic structure of liquid chloroform. Read: Chemistry World

Wanted: 80,000 British babies for massive study

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The Life Study has been launched by a team led by Professor Carol Dezateux (UCL Institute of Child Health) and aims to follow 80,000 children throughout their lives. Read: Nature (£)

Britain's brightest leaving in brain drain

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A study led by John Jerrim (UCL Institute of Education) has found that one in ten of Britain’s best workers have been lured from the UK in a brain drain and been replaced by low skilled migrants. Read: Telegraph, More: Times (£), Daily Mail, The Economist

Daily pill Truvada cuts spread of HIV by 86%

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A study led by Dr Sheena McCormack (MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL) has found that a daily dose of Truvada cuts the risk of HIV infection among gay men considered to be at high risk by 86 per cent. Read: Guardian, More: Independent, Telegraph, City AM, Listen: BBC Radio 5 live '5 live Breakfast' (from 26 mins 25 secs), BBC London 94.9 'Vanessa Feltz' (from 1 hour 4 mins)

Why your brain needs touch to make you human

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Article on the sense of touch features research by Dr Katerina Fotopoulou (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) on the 'rubber hand illusion' and she talks about how it might help with stroke rehabilitation Read: New Scientist (£)

Thousands sacrifice their privacy to help DNA study

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A record 10,000 Britons have signed up to take part in the Personal Genome Project directed by Professor Stephan Beck (UCL Cancer Institute) which will analyse DNA data to help research into cancer and hereditary disorders. Read: Times (£)

Smokers are 70% more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression

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A study led by Professor Robert West (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) finds that smokers are more likely to have depression, but quitting can reverse the damage. Read: Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Metro

Jon Snow's negative experience on skunk is very understandable

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Professor Valerie Curran (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) explains the research behind Channel 4’s The Cannabis Trial. Read: Guardian

To vape or not to vape? More and more just say no…

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Data from the Smoking Toolkit Study run by Professor Robert West (UCL Public Health) suggests that usage of e-cigarettes among UK smokers is levelling off. Read: Observer

Depression and diabetes increase risk of dementia

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Research from Dr Claudia Cooper & Professor Gill Livingston (UCL Psychiatry) finds that people with mild cognitive impairment are at higher risk of developing dementia if they have diabetes or psychiatric symptoms such as depression. Read: The Times (£), Daily Express, Independent, Guardian

Carers say their role is having major impact on mental health

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Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) comments on a report by UCL Epidemiology & Public Health and the International Longevity Centre – UK which has found that more than two-thirds of older carers say the role is having an adverse effect on their mental health. Read: Yorkshire Post

The hunt is on for new antibiotics – but we have to start looking outside the lab

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Dr Jennifer Rohn (UCL Clinical Physiology) looks at the search for new antibiotics, including Swab and Send, a crowdfunding project launched by Dr Adam Roberts (UCL Microbial Diseases) which aims to engage the public in finding the next new antibiotic. Read: Guardian

Cancer screening – the gap between what people say and what they do

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Research by Dr Jo Waller (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) examines how the public views cancer screening. Read: The Conversation

Alzheimer's £30m research collaboration begins

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As part of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Drug Discovery Alliance, a new Drug Discovery Institute will be launched at UCL to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Read: BBC News, More: Daily Express, Independent, Financial Times, Scotsman, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 1 hour 33 mins)

Speed cameras

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Professor Richard Allsop (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) discusses the effectiveness of speed cameras. Listen: BBC Radio Leeds ‘Mark Forrest’ (from 1 hour 52 mins)

UK judges disillusioned after drop in pay and conditions

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The Judicial Attitude Survey, which was conducted and analysed by Professor Cheryl Thomas (UCL Judicial Institute), has found that two-thirds of salaried judges feel less respected by society than they were 10 years ago. Read: Guardian, More: Guardian (2)

Classrooms with mixed ethnicity can help boost tolerance of immigrants

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Research by Dr Germ Janmaat (UCL Institute of Education) has found that ethnic diversity in the classroom leads to more tolerance of immigrants among teenagers. Read: The Conversation

Alcohol has no health benefits after all

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A team of researchers at UCL, led by Craig Knott (UCL Epidemiology & Health), have concluded that alcohol has virtually no discernible health benefits and claims that a glass of wine is good for the heart have been exaggerated. Read: Times (£), More: Bloomberg, The Australian (£)

Stress and diabetes

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A study led by Professor Andrew Steptoe (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) has found that people with type 2 take longer to recover from a stressful event than those without diabetes. Read: Daily Mail

Doubling the distance of optical fibre communications

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A study led Dr Robert Maher and Professor Polina Bayvel (both UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering) has developed a new method to dramatically increase the distance data can be sent intact over ordinary fibre optic cables. Read: The Engineer, More: The Register, Gizmag, UCL News

How much sleep do you need to stay healthy?

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A UCL study has found that children who don’t get the recommended amount of sleep could have emotional difficulties and problems relating to their school friends. Read: Daily Mail, More: Mirror

Teaming up against tsunamis

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Professor Tiziana Rossetto (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering) explains her research into earthquake engineering. Read: Science

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