Populations & Lifelong Health

Populations News Viewer

Exploring the physics of chocolate fountains

Publication date:

Mathematics student Adam Townsend

A UCL mathematics student has found that the falling 'curtain' of chocolate in a chocolate fountain surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight downwards because of surface tension.

UCL announces the launch of gene therapy company Athena Vision

Publication date:

Athena Vision logo

Athena Vision is focused on developing gene therapies for eye diseases based on research conducted at UCL.

UCL Business PLC, the wholly-owned technology transfer company of UCL, today announced the formation of Athena Vision Limited, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of gene therapies to treat a range of devastating eye diseases causing blindness.

New target for macular degeneration gets funding for clinical trials

Publication date:

Professors John Greenwood and Stephen Moss

The Medical Research Council is to fund researchers at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital to conduct clinical trials into the use of a humanised monoclonal antibody to treat patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Queen’s Anniversary Prize awarded to UCL Institute of Education

Publication date:


In recognition of its “world leading contribution to the policy and practice of education with international reach around innovative social research” UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.  

Poorer dementia patients in England less likely to be prescribed drugs

Publication date:


Dementia patients from more affluent areas in England are 27% more likely to be prescribed anti-dementia drugs than patients from poorer areas, finds a new UCL study of 77,045 dementia patients across the UK. This inequality was not seen in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Changes in humour an early sign of dementia

Publication date:


Researchers at UCL have revealed that a change in sense of humour could be an early sign of dementia. The findings could help improve dementia diagnosis, by highlighting changes not commonly thought to be linked to the condition.

UCL professor is first UK winner of $3m Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Publication date:

Professor John Hardy

Professor John Hardy (UCL Institute of Neurology) was last night awarded the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his pioneering research into the genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

‘Dickensian’ lung disease rates on the rise in UK pensioners

Publication date:


The number of people diagnosed with bronchiectasis, a lung condition thought to be a ‘disease of the past’, has risen considerably in the past decade and now affects more than 1% of UK pensioners, finds a new study by UCL, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The research was funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research.

Being moody may help us adapt to change

Publication date:

Stress ball

It’s long been known that mood biases our judgments and perceptions, but this effect has usually been regarded as irrational or disadvantageous. A new theory published by UCL scientists in Trends in Cognitive Sciences argues that mood draws on experiences and can, in fact, help us quickly adapt to changes in our environment.

Engraved stones revealed at ice age pioneer basecamp

Publication date:

Engraved stones

Archaeologists from the UK working in the Channel Island of Jersey have found the remains of a 14,000 year old hunter-gatherer settlement offering great views over landscapes now drowned by the English Channel. 

Nearly 2/3 of secondary school children do not know what antisemitism means

Publication date:

High school student

World’s largest national Holocaust study finds nearly 2/3 of secondary school children do not know what antisemitism means. Students’ understanding of the Holocaust is often based on inaccuracies and myths.

New trial to find out whether aspirin fights cancer

Publication date:


A new trial launches today, which aims to answer once and for all whether or not a daily dose of aspirin can help prevent some cancers from coming back. Some previous studies have suggested it might, but the evidence has not been conclusive. Doctors need clear proof that it is a safe and effective treatment before prescribing it for their patients.

Images of pleasure and winning have unique distracting power

Publication date:

Happy smile

Images related to pleasure or winning attract attention from demanding tasks, while equally intense but negative images and those associated with losing can be fully ignored, finds a new UCL study.

First human trial for innovative new drug in development to treat Huntington’s disease

Publication date:

Gene silencing and Huntington’s disease

Patients in London are being dosed for the first time with an experimental drug for Huntington’s disease. This breakthrough could be one of the most important developments since the gene for Huntington’s disease was discovered in 1993. The trial of the revolutionary new ‘gene silencing’ treatment is being led by scientists at UCL’s Institute of Neurology.

Genes involved in schizophrenia and obesity highlighted

Publication date:


Genes involved in schizophrenia and obesity have been highlighted in a new UCL study, which could lead to a better understanding of the DNA variants which affect risk of these conditions and aid the development of improved strategies for prevention and treatment.

Extra brain cells make males remember sex

Publication date:

His and hers

A pair of neurons have been found in the brain of male nematode worms that allow them to remember and seek sex even at the expense of food. 

UCL and Takeda announce a new research partnership 

Publication date:


UCL and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited today announced a new research collaboration to identify and validate novel target genes for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

Our brain’s response to others' good news depends on empathy

Publication date:

MRI brain scan

The way our brain responds to others’ good fortune is linked to how empathetic people report themselves to be, according to new UCL-led research.

UCL and UK supermarkets unite to beat dementia with carrier bag funds

Publication date:

Iceland, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose logos

UK supermarkets Iceland, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose have today pledged funds from the new levy on single-use carrier bags to support the construction of a new world class dementia research centre at UCL.

UCL professor wins Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize 2015

Publication date:

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) has today been announced as the recipient of the 2015 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for her research on understanding emotional and social brain development during adolescence. The award will be presented on 4 December 2015, at an award ceremony at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

Islamist insurgency strongly influences where polio occurs

Publication date:

Polio Vaccination Campaign in South Sudan

Islamist insurgency has had a strong effect on where polio cases occur since 2011, potentially as a reaction to the use of counterinsurgency strategies, according to new research led by UCL.

Animals built of glass inspire art exhibition at the UCL Grant Museum

Publication date:

Photogram #2 by Eleanor Morgan

‘Glass Delusions’ is a new exhibition at the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL featuring works by the Museum’s Artist in Residence, Eleanor Morgan. Using prints, drawings, videos and objects Morgan explores the slippery boundary between living and non-living materials.

Having the ‘right’ connections only gets you so far

Publication date:


Working with a highly reputable corporate leader helps managers get promoted to senior positions in the short term, but such a career boost is balanced in the longer-term as competitive job markets, including professional sports, punish those managers who initially benefited.

How the Inuit adapted to Ice Age living and a high-fat diet

Publication date:


Greenland natives – the Inuit – have mutations in genes that control how the body uses fat which provides the clearest evidence to date that human populations are adapted to particular diets according to new UCL research. The genetic differences allow the Inuit to physically adapt to survive Arctic conditions and live healthily on a traditional diet which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from marine mammal fat.

England has the potential to have the lowest disease burden in the world

Publication date:


For the first time, a new study led by Public Health England (PHE) and authored by a number of UCL researchers, ranks the diseases and risk factors that cause death and disability in England compared with other high-income countries, revealing the nation’s potential to have the lowest total disease burden (years of life lost to death and lived with disability) in the world.

Search UCL News