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Satnavs 'switch off' parts of the brain

Using a satnav to get to your destination 'switches off' parts of the brain that would otherwise be used to simulate different routes, reveals new UCL research.

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Genome-based diets improve growth, fertility and lifespan

In flies and mice, diets based on an organism’s genome enhance growth and fertility with no costs to lifespan, according to a team of researchers from UCL and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne.

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Improving defence against earthquakes and tsunamis

A pioneering new computer model has been developed to simulate the whole chain of hazard events triggered by offshore mega subduction earthquakes, by a team involving UCL and Bristol engineers.

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Ancient stardust sheds light on the first stars

A huge mass of glowing stardust in a galaxy seen shortly after the Universe’s formation has been detected by a UCL-led team of astronomers, providing new insights into the birth and explosive deaths of the very first stars.

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Perceived weight discrimination linked to physical inactivity

People who feel that they have been discriminated against because of their weight are much less likely to be physically active than people who don’t perceive that they have suffered any such stigmatisation, according to new research led by UCL.

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UCL professors win The Brain Prize for 2017

The Brain Prize for 2017, worth €1m, has been awarded to Professor Peter Dayan (UCL Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit), Professor Ray Dolan (UCL Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research) and Professor Wolfram Schultz (University of Cambridge) for their analysis of how the brain recognises and processes reward. The capacity to link reward to events and actions is the foundation of human and animal survival, and problems with processing rewards can lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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Shorter Herceptin breast cancer treatment may produce better results

Breast cancer patients who receive the drug Herceptin for nine weeks as part of their post-surgery chemotherapy regime may enjoy better health outcomes, according to new research led by UCL, compared to those who receive it for 12 months, the period currently recommended in the English NHS.

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World’s oldest fossils unearthed

Remains of microorganisms at least 3,770 million years old have been discovered by an international team led by UCL scientists, providing direct evidence of one of the oldest life forms on Earth.

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Screening may reduce risk of advanced ovarian cancer diagnosis

Screening women at high risk of ovarian cancer every four months may reduce the likelihood of them being diagnosed with advanced cancer, according to the results of the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study (UK FOCSS), which is led by UCL.

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Long-term stress linked to higher levels of obesity

People who suffer long-term stress may also be more prone to obesity, according to research by scientists at UCL which involved examining hair samples for levels of cortisol, a hormone which regulates the body’s response to stress.

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Education does not protect against cognitive decline

A European-wide study published today in the journal Neuroepidemiology has found that whilst older people with a higher level of education have better memory function, it does not protect them from cognitive decline as they age.

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Cat ownership not linked to mental health problems

New UCL research has found no link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms, casting doubt on previous suggestions that people who grew up with cats are at higher risk of mental illness.

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Evidence of brain damage found in former footballers

Evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a potential cause of dementia caused by repeated blows to the head, has been found in the brains of former association football (soccer) players examined at the UCL Queen Square Brain Bank.

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Alien species on the rise globally

The number of alien species is increasing globally, and does not show any sign of saturation, finds an international team involving UCL researchers.

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Key friendships vital for effective human social networks

Close friendships facilitate the exchange of information and culture, making social networks more effective for cultural transmission, according to new UCL research that used wireless tracking technology to map social interactions in remote hunter-gatherer populations.

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Immune system defence force captured in action

How the natural defence force within our immune system attacks and destroys harmful invaders such as virus-infected and cancerous cells has been visualised in microscopic detail by scientists from UCL, Birkbeck, University of London, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Monash University, Australia.

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'Brute force' can overcome antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics can still kill drug-resistant bacteria if they 'push' hard enough into bacterial cells, finds new UCL-led research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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