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Research headlines

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

Leukaemia hope as GM cells fight back

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A pioneering trial led by Dr Emma Morris (UCL Research Department of Immunology) hopes to treat leukaemia patients with genetically modified immune cells, harnessing a patient’s white blood cells to attack cancer cells. Read: The Times

Alarm over climate turns people off

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A report published by the UCL Policy Commission on the Communication of Climate Science has recommended the establishment of a professional body to help facilitate better engagement between the climate science community and policymakers. Read: The Times, More: IndependentThe Australian (£), UCL News

Exercise guidelines 'hard to meet'

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Dr Mike Loosemore (UCL Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health) says government guidelines are discouraging people from being active and simply standing up three hours a day, five days a week for a year, would be the equivalent of "running ten marathons". Read: BBC News, More: Daily Mail, Independent, Telegraph, Listen: BBC Radio Newcastle 'Breakfast' (from 2 hours 4 mins)

Sunbathing 'may be addictive' warning

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Dr Clare Stanford (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) comments on a new study showing that repeated UV exposure led to 'addiction' in mice. Read: BBC News, More: Telegraph, Daily Express, TimesThe Australian, Huffington Post, Evening Standard

Unlocking the secrets of regeneration

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Research led by Dr Max Yun (UCL Institute of Structural & Molecular Biology) has identified a biological pathway that must be constantly active for salamander cells to regenerate. Read: Daily Mail, More: Business Standard, Yahoo News UK, Belfast TelegraphITV, Fox News, The ConversationUCL News

Europe must face up to the new antisemites

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Professor Noreena Hertz (Office of the UCL Vice-Provost, Research) discusses the growing levels of anti-Semitism in Europe. Read: The Guardian

The gamer in your life isn’t ignoring you, they’re blind to your presence

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Dr Charlene Jennett and Dr Anna Cox (UCL Interaction Centre) explain why people become so absorbed in playing videogames, a phenomenon known as “inattentional blindness”. Read: The Conversation

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