Populations & Lifelong Health

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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.

Research reveals how our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei

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AFM Image

The structure of pores found in cell nuclei has been uncovered by a UCL-led team of scientists, revealing how they selectively block certain molecules from entering, protecting genetic material and normal cell functions. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs against viruses that target the cell nucleus and new ways of delivering gene therapies, say the scientists behind the study.

Grant Museum starts major project to preserve rarest skeleton in the world

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Aye aye skeleton

The Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL is undertaking a major project to protect 39 of its rarest and most significant skeletons, some which have been on display in the Museum for 180 years. To help achieve this, the Museum is launching its first ever public fundraising campaign – aiming to raise £15,000 to support the costs of this crucial work.

Laser scanning accurately ‘weighs’ trees

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Tree scanning 1

A terrestrial laser scanning technique that allows the structure of vegetation to be 3D-mapped to the millimetre is more accurate in determining the biomass of trees and carbon stocks in forests than current methods, according to new research involving UCL.

UK cities spend £23 million annually on IT

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UK Cities

A new report by UCL and Arup reveals that UK city authorities spend an average of £23 million a year each on IT, which is 6% of their total expenditure.

Improving the lives of dementia carers

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Dementia patient

A psychological intervention that provides stress relief and emotional support for people caring for relatives with dementia can reduce depression and anxiety and improve wellbeing at no extra cost to standard care, finds new UCL research published in Lancet Psychiatry.

New i-sense collaboration to improve monitoring of UK flu hotspots

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Flu and texting

An exciting new project to help monitor the spread of flu in the UK more accurately and earlier than ever before has been funded by i-sense, an £11m EPSRC-funded collaboration led by UCL.

One in ten British men say they have paid for sex

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Red light district

11% of men in Britain report ever paying for sex and 3.6% report paying for sex in the past five years, finds a UCL-led study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council.

Most people would rather harm themselves than others for profit

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Example choice presented to participants

A UCL-led experiment on 80 pairs of adults found that people were willing to sacrifice on average twice as much money to spare a stranger pain than to spare themselves, despite the decision being secret.

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