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Family history screening misses people at high risk of cancer

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Eve Appeal

UCL research into the BRCA gene mutation in the Jewish population show that only assessing family history misses half of the people with the mutation.

Secret of tetanus toxicity offers new way to treat motor neuron disease

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Image showing how tetanus neurotoxin (red) binds to areas rich in nidogen-2 (green)

The way that tetanus neurotoxin enters nerve cells has been discovered by UCL scientists, who showed that this process can be blocked, offering a potential therapeutic intervention for tetanus. This newly-discovered pathway could be exploited to deliver therapies to the nervous system, opening up a whole new way to treat neurological disorders such as motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathies.

Improving the lives of dementia carers

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Dementia patient

A psychological intervention that provides stress relief and emotional support for people caring for relatives with dementia can reduce depression and anxiety and improve wellbeing at no extra cost to standard care, finds new UCL research published in Lancet Psychiatry.

One in ten British men say they have paid for sex

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Red light district

11% of men in Britain report ever paying for sex and 3.6% report paying for sex in the past five years, finds a UCL-led study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council.

Most people would rather harm themselves than others for profit

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Example choice presented to participants

A UCL-led experiment on 80 pairs of adults found that people were willing to sacrifice on average twice as much money to spare a stranger pain than to spare themselves, despite the decision being secret.

Virtual reality helps people to comfort and accept themselves

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Virtual_reality

Self-compassion can be learned using avatars in an immersive virtual reality, finds new research led by UCL. This innovative approach reduced self-criticism and increased self-compassion and feelings of contentment in naturally self-critical individuals. The scientists behind the MRC-funded study say it could be applied to treat a range of clinical conditions including depression.

UCL awarded £13.5 million to advance medical research facilities

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UCL Quad

As part of the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative, UCL has been awarded £13.5 million for a number of projects to help advance clinical research.

Simplifying TB treatments to improve patients’ lives

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Ways to simplify treatments for tuberculosis (TB) to reduce drug resistance and make it easier for patients to complete their course of treatment have been trialled by two international groups involving UCL scientists.

People with diabetes are less able to regulate the body’s responses to stress

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Stress

People with type 2 diabetes are physically less able to recover from stress, finds a study by scientists at UCL and the University of Zurich, funded by the British Heart Foundation.

UCL research helps paralysed man to recover function

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Professor Geoff Raisman

A man who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack can now walk using a frame, following a pioneering cell transplantation treatment developed by scientists at UCL and applied by surgeons at Wroclaw University Hospital, Poland.

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills

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Mouse brain

New evidence of myelin’s essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research. Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates the brain's wiring and is a major constituent of ‘white matter’. It is produced by the brain and spinal cord into early adulthood as it is needed for many developmental processes, and although earlier studies of human white matter hinted at its involvement in skill learning, this is the first time it has been confirmed experimentally.

UCL Workshop with Neuroscience Center Zürich (ZNZ)

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UCL-Zürich Collaboration

On 22-23 September 2014, the second joint workshop ZNZ/UCL Neuroscience took place in Zurich. The goal of the meeting was to discuss the progress made in various collaborative projects  set up last year and identify future avenues for further collaboration.

UCL gets £15M to train the next generation of bioscientists

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UCL Life Sciences

Thirty PhD studentships will be available annually for the next five years in the areas of agriculture and food security, industrial biotechnology and bioenergy, health and other frontier biosciences following a £15M grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Experts gather at UCL Nervous System Tumour Research Workshop

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UCL Nervous System Tumour Research Workshop Brochure

Earlier this month Professor Paolo Salomoni (Samantha Dickson Brain Cancer Unit, UCL Cancer Institute) and Dr Darren Hargrave (GOSH) held a workshop funded by CRUK and the BRC Neuroscience Programme, which played host to some of the foremost experts on Nervous System Tumour Research from UCL/UCLH/NHNN, the Francis Crick Institute, GOSH, QMUL/BCI, ICR/Marsden and the University of Glasgow.

Creating brain cells from skin to study Alzheimer’s

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Dr Selina Wray with some of her stem cells

An early-career researcher at UCL has just been awarded £900,000 for a stem cell study to develop new treatments for dementia.

40% of women with severe mental illness are victims of rape or attempted rape

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Depression

Women with severe mental illness are up to five times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault and two to three times more likely to suffer domestic violence, reveals new research led by UCL and King’s College London funded by the Medical Research Council and the Big Lottery.

How to rejuvenate ageing immune cells

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Dr Sian Henson pipettes samples

Researchers from UCL have demonstrated how an interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immunity is involved in the process of ageing.

Toxic proteins implicated in frontotemporal dementia and motor neurone disease

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The brain of a fruit fly used to study neurodegenerative diseases

Scientists at UCL and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne have discovered how a specific genetic mutation may damage nerve cells in frontotemporal dementia and motor neurone disease.

What's the best way to brush teeth? Even dentists and dental associations don't agree

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Toothpaste on toothbrush

Advice on how we should brush our teeth from dental associations and toothpaste companies is ‘unacceptably inconsistent’, finds new UCL research.

Losing weight won’t make you happy

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Man on scales

Weight loss significantly improves physical health but effects on mental health are less straightforward, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

London’s centralised stroke services save 96 extra lives per year

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Ambulance

Every year, London’s centralised stroke services save around 96 stroke patients who would have died under standard hospital treatment, finds UCL-led research.

Double mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia

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Double mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia

Researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology have found for the first time a double mutation in a family with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which may further our understanding of the underlying processes involved in these diseases.

Equation to predict happiness

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happy kids

The happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide has been predicted by a mathematical equation developed by researchers at UCL, with results showing that moment-to-moment happiness reflects not just how well things are going, but whether things are going better than expected.

Goalkeepers prone to ‘gambler’s fallacy’ but penalty takers fail to exploit it

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French penalty against Uraguay in the 2013 U-20 World Cup final

After a string of penalties aimed in the same direction, goalkeepers are more likely to dive in the opposite direction on the next penalty but kickers fail to exploit this pattern, finds new UCL research.

The bit of your brain that signals how bad things could be

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The human habenula (in red, 3 mm diameter), in which activation tracked the degree to which electric shocks were anticipated

An evolutionarily ancient and tiny part of the brain tracks expectations about nasty events, finds new UCL research funded by the Medical Research Council.

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