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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.

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.

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.

Britain's obese in denial about their weight

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Man on scales

A majority of obese people in Britain would not describe themselves as “obese”, and many would not even describe themselves as “very overweight”, according to research by UCL and Cancer Research UK published in BMJ Open.

The Experiment: a new model for scientific research?

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The Experiment

A new model for scientific research is being piloted by UCL neuroscientists, who will be launching ‘The Experiment’ on Monday 24 November at a secret underground venue in Clerkenwell.

Sense of meaning and purpose in life linked to longer lifespan

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Older person

A UCL-led study of 9,050 English people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest wellbeing were 30% less likely to die during the average eight and a half year follow-up period than those with the least wellbeing.

Positive economic impact of UK immigration from the European Union: new evidence

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Immigration

European immigrants to the UK have paid more in taxes than they received in benefits, helping to relieve the fiscal burden on UK-born workers and contributing to the financing of public services – according to new research by the UCL Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).

UCL awarded £4.2 million for stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy

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Blood for transplant

UCL has been awarded £4.2 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to fund a Blood and Transplant Research Unit for stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy, due to launch in October 2015.

Drug tests on mothers’ hair links recreational drug use to birth defects

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Hair sampling diagram

Drug tests on 517 mothers in English inner city hospitals found that nearly 15% had taken recreational drugs during pregnancy and that mothers of babies with birth defects of the brain were significantly more likely to have taken drugs than mothers with normal babies. The study found no significant links between recreational drug use and any other type of birth defect.

UCL-Lancet Commission argues that “health is as much about caring as it is about curing”

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As part of the Ebola sensitization, UNICEF asked community members to repeat what they have learned about Ebola

The systematic neglect of culture is the single biggest barrier to advancing the highest attainable standard of health worldwide, say the authors of a major new report on culture and health, led by Professor David Napier, a leading medical anthropologist from UCL and published in The Lancet.

Scientists identify potential cause for 40% of pre-term births

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Ultrasound scan of foetus

Scientists from UCL and Queen Mary University of London have identified what they believe could be a cause of pre-term premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM) which accounts for 40 per cent of pre-term births, the main reason for infant death world-wide.

UCL awarded £13.5 million to advance medical research facilities

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UCL Quad

As part of the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative, UCL has been awarded £13.5 million for a number of projects to help advance clinical research.

Simplifying TB treatments to improve patients’ lives

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Ways to simplify treatments for tuberculosis (TB) to reduce drug resistance and make it easier for patients to complete their course of treatment have been trialled by two international groups involving UCL scientists.

How glands expand to fight off disease

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Dendritic cell revealed

The same specialised immune cells that patrol the body looking for signs of infection also trigger the expansion of glands called lymph nodes, which are the control centres of our immune system, according to new research from UCL and Cancer Research UK.

People with diabetes are less able to regulate the body’s responses to stress

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Stress

People with type 2 diabetes are physically less able to recover from stress, finds a study by scientists at UCL and the University of Zurich, funded by the British Heart Foundation.

UCL research helps paralysed man to recover function

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Professor Geoff Raisman

A man who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack can now walk using a frame, following a pioneering cell transplantation treatment developed by scientists at UCL and applied by surgeons at Wroclaw University Hospital, Poland.

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills

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Mouse brain

New evidence of myelin’s essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research. Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates the brain's wiring and is a major constituent of ‘white matter’. It is produced by the brain and spinal cord into early adulthood as it is needed for many developmental processes, and although earlier studies of human white matter hinted at its involvement in skill learning, this is the first time it has been confirmed experimentally.

Amphibians being wiped out by emerging viruses

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161014-Common-midwife-toad

Scientists tracing the real-time impact of viruses in the wild have found that entire amphibian communities are being killed off by closely related viruses introduced to mountainous areas of northern Spain.

UCL Workshop with Neuroscience Center Zürich (ZNZ)

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UCL-Zürich Collaboration

On 22-23 September 2014, the second joint workshop ZNZ/UCL Neuroscience took place in Zurich. The goal of the meeting was to discuss the progress made in various collaborative projects  set up last year and identify future avenues for further collaboration.

UCL gets £15M to train the next generation of bioscientists

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UCL Life Sciences

Thirty PhD studentships will be available annually for the next five years in the areas of agriculture and food security, industrial biotechnology and bioenergy, health and other frontier biosciences following a £15M grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Experts gather at UCL Nervous System Tumour Research Workshop

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UCL Nervous System Tumour Research Workshop Brochure

Earlier this month Professor Paolo Salomoni (Samantha Dickson Brain Cancer Unit, UCL Cancer Institute) and Dr Darren Hargrave (GOSH) held a workshop funded by CRUK and the BRC Neuroscience Programme, which played host to some of the foremost experts on Nervous System Tumour Research from UCL/UCLH/NHNN, the Francis Crick Institute, GOSH, QMUL/BCI, ICR/Marsden and the University of Glasgow.

Interactive website helps lower-income smokers to stop smoking

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No smoking

People with lower incomes attempting to quit smoking are 36% more likely to succeed if they use a new interactive website called ‘StopAdvisor’ than if they use a static information website, finds a randomised controlled trial led by UCL researchers.

Modest effect of statins on diabetes risk and bodyweight related to mechanism of action

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Statins

The mechanism by which statins increase the risk of type 2 diabetes has been investigated in a large-scale analysis from an international team led by researchers from UCL and the University of Glasgow, using information from genetic studies and clinical trials.

Gene variant that dramatically reduces ‘bad’ lipids

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DNA helix

Research using data collected from around 4,000 healthy people in the UK has enabled scientists from UCL, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Bristol  to identify a rare genetic variant that dramatically reduces levels of certain types of lipids in the blood.

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