Populations & Lifelong Health

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New screening technique could pick up twice as many ovarian cancer cases

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Ovarian cancer under the microscope

A new screening method can detect twice as many women with ovarian cancer as conventional strategies, according to the latest results from the largest trial of its kind led by UCL.

Tracking exploding Lithium-ion batteries in real-time

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battery_cell

What happens when lithium-ion batteries overheat and explode has been tracked inside and out for the first time by a UCL-led team using sophisticated 3D imaging.

UniSA and UCL forge new partnership to ignite future industries

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Hawke building UniSA

The University of South Australia (UniSA) and UCL have today signed a partnership agreement committing the two institutions to work together to develop teaching and research in South Australia in fields that include minerals processing, advanced manufacturing, sustainable future energy production and protection, and care of the environment.

Connecting places causes mental maps to merge

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CASA_Tube

Realising how places connect geographically causes local maps in the brain to join, forming one big map which helps with planning future journeys, finds a new UCL study.

Mummified bodies from 18th century Europe found to have multiple tuberculosis infections

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Bodies found in a 200 year-old Hungarian crypt have revealed the secrets of how tuberculosis (TB) took hold in 18th century Europe, according to a research team involving UCL scientists.

Emotional problems in schoolgirls rose dramatically over past 5 years

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Young student takes exam

Emotional problems in girls aged 11-13 in England increased by 55% between 2009 and 2014, finds new research from UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. On average, this means that a mixed classroom of 30 children today is likely to contain one more girl with emotional difficulties than a comparable class 5 years ago.

Men donate competitively on women’s fundraising webpages

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runner

Men give more money through fundraising websites after seeing that other men have donated large amounts and when the fundraiser is an attractive woman, according to new UCL and University of Bristol research.

Human immune system can control re-awakened HIV, suggesting ‘kick and kill’ cure is possible

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Scanning electromicrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell

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, finds new research led by UCL, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Oxford and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Body’s defences hijacked to make cancers more aggressive

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Lung cancer cells

UCL scientists have discovered that a vital self-destruct switch in cells is hijacked - making some pancreatic and non small cell lung cancers more aggressive, according to research published in Cancer Cell.

HIV spreads like internet malware and should be treated earlier

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HIV-1 infected T cell (purple) interacting with an uninfected target T cell (brown) during cell-to-cell spread at the virological synapse

A new model for HIV progression finds that it spreads in a similar way to some computer worms and predicts that early treatment is key to staving off AIDS.

New role uncovered for ‘oldest’ tumour suppressor gene

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Professor Sibylle Mittnacht interviewed by Clare Hastings at The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Scientists have revealed a brand new function for one of the first cancer genes ever discovered – the retinoblastoma gene – in a finding that could open up exciting new approaches to treatment.

Teenagers shape each other’s views on how risky a situation is

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Group of teenagers

Young adolescents’ judgements on how risky a situation might be are most influenced by what other teenagers think, while most other age groups are more influenced by adults’ views, finds new UCL research.

Crossing fingers can reduce feelings of pain

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Cold stimulus on the crossed middle finger

How you feel pain is affected by where sources of pain are in relation to each other, and so crossing your fingers can change what you feel on a single finger, finds new UCL research.

Complex genetic ancestry of Americans uncovered

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Approximate geographic sampling location of donor (circles) and recipient (diamonds) populations analyzed.

By comparing the genes of current-day North and South Americans with African and European populations, a new study has found the genetic fingerprints of the slave trade and colonisation that shaped migrations to the Americas hundreds of years ago.

Weight discrimination has major impact on quality of life

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Man on scales

Weight discrimination is linked to significantly lower quality of life, and accounts for approximately 40% of the negative psychological effects associated with obesity, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

‘Most attractive’ male birds don’t have the best genes

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Peacock

‘Attractive’ male birds that mate with many females aren’t passing on the best genes to their offspring, according to new UCL research which found promiscuity in male birds leads to small, genetic faults in the species’ genome. Although minor, these genetic flaws may limit how well future generations can adapt to changing environments. 

Lack of government data-sharing hindering social mobility research

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Parliament

Better sharing of routinely collected data could accelerate progress towards improving social mobility and reducing child poverty, as well as generate significant financial savings, according to a new UCL report published today.

More than a third of 12-year-olds embarrassed to smile because of their teeth

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Mother brushing child's teeth

More than a third (35%) of 12-year-olds and 28% of 15-year-olds say they have been embarrassed to smile or laugh due to how they felt about their teeth, finds a new UCL-led report commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The first fine-scale genetic map of the British Isles

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The regions of ancient British, Irish and Saxon control in the 7th Century

Many people in the UK feel a strong sense of regional identity, and it now appears that there may be a scientific basis to this feeling, according to a landmark new study into the genetic makeup of the British Isles.

Structure of genetic messenger molecules reveals key role in diseases

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Illustration of how many connections form across mRNA molecules, where colour indicates the length of each connection

Messenger RNAs (mRNA) are linear molecules that contain instructions for producing the proteins that keep living cells functioning. A new study by UCL researchers has shown how the three-dimensional structures of mRNAs determine their stability and efficiency inside cells. This new knowledge could help to explain how seemingly minor mutations that alter mRNA structure might cause things to go wrong in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Epoch-defining study pinpoints when humans came to dominate planet Earth

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Columbian Exchange

The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the New and Old Worlds, according to new research published today in Nature.

Assumptions of equality lead to poorer group decisions

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European Central Bank governing council meeting

People of differing competence tend to give each other’s views equal weight, preventing them from making the best group decisions, finds new UCL-led research.

How drinking behaviour changes through the years

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Old man drinking in pub

In the UK, frequent drinking becomes more common in middle to old age, especially amongst men, according to UCL research published in the open access journal, BMC Medicine. Doctors are seeing a growing number of cases of alcohol misuse among the elderly and this finding supports concerns that older people might be abusing alcohol.

New paint makes tough self-cleaning surfaces

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water-bead-dirt

A new paint that makes robust self-cleaning surfaces has been developed by a team led by UCL researchers. The coating can be applied to clothes, paper, glass and steel and when combined with adhesives, maintains its self-cleaning properties after being wiped, scratched with a knife and scuffed with sandpaper.

Computer reconstruction of human fossil sheds light on our origins

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Handy man 1

The fossil of Homo habilis, or ‘handy man’, has undergone state-of-the-art computer reconstruction, revealing new information about its jaw shape which indicates the species has older evolutionary roots than previously thought and shows that three different Homo species existed between 2.1 and 1.6 million years ago, according to UCL researchers who led the study.

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