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Having a romantic partner present can make pain feel worse

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Image of a similar experiment where the hand was stimulated by 'pinprick' laser pain pulses

The support of a romantic partner is often advised for painful medical procedures, but new research from UCL, King’s College London and the University of Hertfordshire finds that this can actually make the pain feel worse.

Major cause of blindness linked to calcium deposits in the eye

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Thousands of hydroxyapatite spheres (magenta), each just a few microns across, are found in large drusen deposits within the eye

Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, by UCL-led research.

Human activity puts Earth’s systems at risk

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Reef

Four of the nine systems that regulate the interaction between land, ocean, atmosphere, ice-sheets and life on Earth are at risk from destabilisation due to human activity, according to an international team including UCL scientists.

Bloomsbury Research Institute awarded £7.5 million

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A technician inspects cells under the microscope

UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been awarded a grant of £7.5 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund to develop the Bloomsbury Research Institute, a partnership dedicated to addressing the global challenge of infectious disease.

Which fossil fuels must remain in the ground to limit global warming?

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oil-field

A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2°C target agreed by policy makers, according to new research by the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.

Using light to understand the brain

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Neurons in the cortex of a mouse expressing proteins enabling the 'reading' and 'writing' of electrical activity

UCL researchers have developed an innovative way to understand how the brain works by using flashes of light, allowing them to both ‘read’ and ‘write’ brain signals.

Origin of polar auroras revealed

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Theta

Researchers from UCL, University of Southampton and University of Leicester together with ESA and NASA have uncovered the origin of a colourful display in the night sky called ‘theta aurora’, explaining for the first time how auroras at high-latitudes form.

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind and body

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Older person

The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new UCL research.

Scientists locate ‘homing signal’ in the brain, explaining why some people are better navigators

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Homing signal in the brain

The part of the brain that tells us the direction to travel when we navigate has been identified by UCL scientists, and the strength of its signal predicts how well people can navigate.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

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UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Main characters more likely to die in kids' cartoons than in films for adults

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Snow White

Principal cartoon characters are more than twice as likely to be killed off as their counterparts in films for adults released in the same year, reveals research from the University of Ottawa and UCL, published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Feeling younger than actual age meant lower death rate for older people

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Older person

A UCL study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that older people who felt three or more years younger than their chronological age had a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.

Poor diet links obese mothers and stunted children

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Education fair in Egypt

Malnutrition is a major cause of stunted growth in children, but new UCL research on mothers and children in Egypt suggests that the problem is not just about quantity of food but also quality.

UCL launches dedicated animal research information website

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UCL research mouse

UCL has today launched a new public information website on animal research, describing how and why animals are used across the university.

Half of English women are taking prescribed medicines

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Statins

Results published today in the latest Health Survey for England show that 50% of women and 43% of men reported taking at least one prescribed medicine in the past week. 22% of men and 24% of women reported taking at least three prescribed medicines in the past week. These figures exclude smoking cessation products and contraception.

£14M to develop HIV self-testing in southern Africa

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Clinic

A partnership involving UCL has been awarded £14M to accelerate access to simple self-tests in African countries. Self-testing for HIV using rapid diagnostic kits is becoming increasingly widely used, allowing high-risk people to test their own HIV status in private.

Discovery of ‘drunk and incapable’ arrest record shows Orwell’s ‘honesty’

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George Orwell press photo

A court record unearthed in a London archive detailing George Orwell's 1931 conviction for being ‘drunk and incapable’ confirms his account of the incident, lending foundation to the lore surrounding Orwell’s truthfulness as a writer.

UCL professors use probabilities to persuade doubters skeleton is King Richard III

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Richard III skull

Two UCL professors led a key part of the new analysis of ‘Skeleton 1’; which was discovered in a Leicester car park in 2012 on the site of the Grey Friars friary, the last known resting place of King Richard III. They used probability calculations to combine several different lines of evidence, producing an overall weight-of-evidence for the skeleton being that of King Richard III. Their work forms part of a research study led by Dr Turi King at the University of Leicester and published in Nature Communications.

UCL has announced a second campus – UCL East – on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site in East London

UCL is to build a new second campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to form part of a wider Education and Cultural Quarter following the government's announcement of £141m in support of the project.

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.

UCL to pay all interns at London Living Wage rate

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UCL Quad

All UCL interns are to be paid at the rate of the London Living Wage (LLW) with effect from today (1 December), under UCL’s updated Internships, Work Experience and Volunteering Policy.

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.

Professor David Lomas appointed as new UCL Vice-Provost (Health)

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Professor David Lomas

UCL is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor David Lomas to the role of Vice-Provost (Health), replacing Professor Sir John Tooke, from 1st August 2015.

Scientific methods shed new light on evolution of kinship patterns

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People of the Makua (Makhuwa) Bantu ethnic group in Mozambique

New biological methods used to trace the evolutionary history of kinship patterns shed new light on how societies developed as farming spread across the globe during the Neolithic, according to new research by a UCL-led international team.

UCL and the Institute of Education confirm merger

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UCL IOE

UCL and the Institute of Education (IOE) have today confirmed that they will be merging with effect from 2 December. The merger will create a new institution with over 35,000 students, confirming UCL as the biggest higher education institution in London, and the largest postgraduate institution in the UK, with 19,000 postgraduate students. It will have over 11,000 staff and a combined income of over £1bn.

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