Skip to site navigation

Research headlines

Ovarian cancer screening

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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'

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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?

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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'

Publication date:

New research led by Dr Elian Fink (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences), in conjunction with the Anna Freud Centre, has found that emotional problems in girls aged 11-13 in England increased by 55% between 2009 and 2014. Read: BBC News, More: Times (£), Telegraph, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Belfast Telegraph, TES, UCL News, Listen: BBC Radio 5 '5 live Breakfast' (from 39 mins 9 secs), More: BBC Radio 5 'Morning Reports' (from 4 mins 23 secs), BBC Radio 4 'News Briefing' (from 3 mins 27 secs), BBC London 94.9 'Breakfast' (from 1 hour 35 mins), BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour' (from 1 min 5 secs), Watch: BBC News

Stone Age man was a cannibal

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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

Publication date:

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'

Publication date:

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)

Child heart surgery deaths in UK 'halved'

Publication date:

An analysis co-authored by Professor Martin Utley (UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit) has found that death rates for children’s heart surgery in the UK have almost halved in a decade, despite a rise in the number and complexity of cases. Read: BBC News, More: Guardian

Computers learn to mimic humans when compiling forecasts

Publication date:

A project led by Dr Andreas Vlachos and Dr Sebastian Riedel (both UCL Computer Science) and Heriot-Watt University aims to develop a computer that can collate meteorological information and produce forecasts as if they were written by a human. Read: Daily Mail

HIV spreads like computer worms

Publication date:

A study led by Professor Benny Chain, Dr Clare Jolly (both UCL Infection & Immunity), Changwang Zhang and Dr Shi Zhou (both UCL Computer Science) has identified a new model for HIV progression which shows that it spreads through the body in a similar way to some computer worms. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail, UCL News

Parents rarely spot child obesity

Publication date:

A new study by UCL, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Great Ormond Street Hospital has found that a third of parents underestimate their child’s BMI. Read: BBC News, More: Telegraph, Guardian, Mirror, Mirror (2), Times (£), ITV News, Huffington Post, Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, Listen: BBC Radio 4 'Today' (from 2 hours 4 mins)

Only pub sceptics will insist this isn't Richard III

Publication date:

Explaining the statistical analysis of Richard III’s remains, Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) says: “There is a 0.0003 per cent chance that it's not him – and wars have been started over less". Read: New Scientist

Crossing your fingers might reduce pain

Publication date:

Research by Dr Elisa Ferrè, Angela Marotta and Professor Patrick Haggard (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) has found that crossing your fingers can confuse the way the brain processes feelings of hot, cold and pain. Read: Guardian, More: Telegraph, Metro, TIME, UCL News

America is a melting pot

Publication date:

A study by UCL, Oxford University and Universita' del Sacro Cuore of Rome has mapped the genetic ancestry of North and South America, revealing the genetic fingerprints of the slave trade and colonisation. Read: Daily Mail, More: UCL News

Antibiotic pills 'can hurt unborn baby'

Publication date:

Research by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital, co-authored by Professor Ruth Gilbert (UCL Institute of Child Health), highlights that a class of antibiotics known as macrolides may carry a small risk of term babies being born with epilepsy or cerebral palsy. Read: Daily Mail, More: Guardian, Telegraph

How immigration came to haunt Labour

Publication date:

Professor Christian Dustmann (UCL Economics) explains why the 2003 Home Office report on immigration was not as inaccurate as critics suggested. Read: Guardian

Search UCL News