Populations & Lifelong Health

Populations News Viewer

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.

Why other people's skin always feels softer

Publication date:

Holding hands

Have you ever touched someone else and wondered why his or her skin felt so incredibly soft? Well, now researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 10 present evidence that this experience may often be an illusion.

NFL fans and ESPN reporters overly optimistic about team prospects

Publication date:

NFL fan

US fans of the National Football League (NFL) and sports reporters assigned to specific teams have unrealistic expectations about how well their team will perform, finds new research from UCL and Oxford University.

Possible evidence for human transmission of Alzheimer’s pathology

Publication date:

Nature logo

Amyloid beta pathology in the grey matter and blood vessel walls characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the related cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is observed in the brains of deceased patients who acquired Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) following treatment with prion-contaminated human growth hormone.

Children of more caring, less controlling parents live happier lives

Publication date:

Mother and baby

A UCL-led lifelong study of people in England, Scotland and Wales has found that those who perceived their parents as more caring and less psychologically controlling during their childhood were likely to be happier and more satisfied throughout their lives.

UCL Qatar housing support allowance for staff

Publication date:

UCL Quad

UCL has clarified issues raised by media coverage this week of payments of housing support allowance to staff at UCL Qatar.

Antipsychotics inappropriately prescribed to people with intellectual disabilities

Publication date:

Antipsychotic medication

Large numbers of people with intellectual disabilities are being inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic drugs, finds a new UCL study.

Scientists warn only ‘simplified’, degraded tropical forest may remain by end of century

Publication date:

Cut Tree

A new and more dangerous phase of impacts on the world’s remaining tropical forests is emerging, threatening to simplify the world’s most diverse ecosystem including mass species loss, according to new UCL-led research published today in Science. 

Working long hours linked to higher risk of stroke

Publication date:

Working late

Working 55 hours or more per week is linked to a 33% greater risk of stroke and a more modest (13%) increased risk of developing coronary heart disease compared with working a standard 35 to 40 hour week, according to the largest study in this field so far, led by UCL and published in The Lancet.

Heat release from stagnant deep sea helped end last Ice Age

Publication date:

Arctic Ice Shelf

The build-up and subsequent release of warm, stagnant water from the deep Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas played a role in ending the last Ice Age within the Arctic region, according to new research led by a UCL scientist.

UCL awarded for its efforts to advance ‘race’ equality in pioneering new scheme

Publication date:

Race Equality Charter

UCL has become one of the first universities in the UK to be formally awarded for its efforts to understand, and take steps to address, racialised inequalities in the academy.

Artificial intelligence improves fine wine price prediction

Publication date:

Fine wine

The price fluctuation of fine wines can now be predicted more accurately using a novel artificial intelligence approach developed by researchers at UCL. The method could be used to help fine wine investors make more informed decisions about their portfolios and encourage non-wine investors to start looking at wine in this manner and hence increase the net trade of wine. It is expected that similar techniques will be used in other ‘alternative assets’ such as classic cars.

Switching off street lights at night does not increase car crashes and crime

Publication date:

street lights

Reduced street lighting in England and Wales is not associated with road traffic collisions or crime, according to research by UCL and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Professor Chris Husbands takes up new post as Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University 

Publication date:

Professor Chris Husbands

Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and Vice-Provost (Academic Development & London) has announced that he will be leaving UCL to take up the appointment of Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University from January 2016.

The world’s rarest skeleton stands on four legs once again

Publication date:


Using cutting-edge technology, the world’s rarest skeleton – a South African extinct zebra called a quagga – has regained its missing hind limb.

Cool summer of 2013 boosted Arctic sea ice

Publication date:

Arctic ice pack

The volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third after the summer of 2013 as the unusually cool air temperatures prevented the ice from melting, according to UCL and University of Leeds scientists. This suggests that the ice pack in the Northern hemisphere is more sensitive to changes in summer melting than it is to winter cooling, a finding which will help researchers to predict future changes in its volume.

UCL digital research facility gets go-ahead

Publication date:

NASA image of UK

The Government has committed to investing £4 million in a new facility at UCL to help policymakers develop ways of evening out the UK’s regional economic divides. This figure is matched by an additional £5.6 million of institutional funding.

Dr Celia Caulcott appointed Vice-Provost (Enterprise)

Publication date:

Dr Celia Caulcott appointed Vice-Provost (Enterprise)

Dr Celia Caulcott has been appointed the next Vice-Provost (Enterprise) at UCL, with effect from 1 October 2015.

Search UCL News