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PROUD study shows Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is highly protective against HIV infection

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PROUD study logo

Researchers from the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit (MRC CTU) at UCL and Public Health England have presented results at a conference in Seattle, Washington, indicating that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly protective against HIV for gay and other men who have sex with men in England.

Dr Jade Alglave named as winner of prestigious Royal Society award

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Dr Jade Alglave (UCL Computer Sciences) has been named as the winner of the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation by the Royal Society,

Diabetes and depression predict dementia risk in people with slowing minds

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Old woman waiting at bus stop

People with mild cognitive impairment are at higher risk of developing dementia if they have diabetes or psychiatric symptoms such as depression, finds a new review led by UCL researchers.

UCL awarded £10m to develop new dementia treatments

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Examining embryos under the microscope

Alzheimer’s Research UK today announced a £30m Drug Discovery Alliance, launching three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at UCL, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. The Drug Discovery Institutes will see 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Brain’s GPS system influenced by shape of environment

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Grid

Patterns created by the brain’s grid cells, which are believed to guide navigation, are modified by the shape of the environment, according to UCL researchers. This means grid patterns aren’t a universal metric for the brain’s GPS system to measure distance, as previously thought.

New technique doubles the distance of optical fibre communications

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Strand of optical fibers

A new way to process fibre optic signals has been demonstrated by UCL researchers, which could double the distance at which data travels error-free through transoceanic sub-marine cables.

Cancer fear can impact screening uptake

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Colorectal cancer tumour

People who worry about cancer are more likely to want to get screened for colon cancer, but feeling uncomfortable at the thought of cancer makes them less likely to actually go for the test, finds new UCL-led research.

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.

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