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Latest Life Sciences News

Mapping movements of alien bird species

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Parakeet

The global map of alien bird species has been produced for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers. It shows that human activities are the main determinants of how many alien bird species live in an area but that alien species are most successful in areas already rich with native bird species.

High-sugar diet programmes a short lifespan in flies

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fly

Flies with a history of eating a high sugar diet live shorter lives, even after their diet improves. This is because the unhealthy diet drives long-term reprogramming of gene expression, according to a UCL-led team of researchers.

UCL staff recognised in New Year Honours 2017

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UCL Wilkins Portico statue

Congratulations to the members of the UCL community who have been recognised in the 2017 New Year Honours list.

Sex cells evolved to pass on quality mitochondria

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Future-Element-I

Mammals immortalise their genes through eggs and sperm to ensure future generations inherit good quality mitochondria to power the body’s cells, according to new UCL research.

Glaucoma drug may have potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease

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test tubes

A drug which is used to treat the common eye disease glaucoma may have potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists at UCL.

Worrying denial of invasive species threat

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Grey Squirrel

A new battlefront is opening in science denialism and this time the target is the science of invasive alien species and the fight to protect some of the world’s rarest species and most unique ecosystems, say a team involving UCL scientists.

UCL Lancet Lecture launches global initiative linking climate change to health

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Melting ice

UCL researchers are leading an initiative with The Lancet to address the global health implications of climate change, launching this week in conjunction with today’s 2016 UCL Lancet Lecture.

Conservation lessons from Pokémon GO

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Pokemon GO

The popular smartphone game, Pokémon GO, sets a benchmark for new conservation-focused augmented reality games and could be adapted to benefit environmental conservation, according to new research involving UCL scientists.

UCL spin-outs at heart of new £1 billion life sciences investment group

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UCL spin-out companies will be at the heart of a new £1 billion life sciences company which has been created by three major investors in cancer research and other biotech fields. 

Top ten universities conduct a third of all UK animal research

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UCL animal research facility

The ten UK universities who do the most world-leading biomedical research have announced their animal research statistics, revealing that they collectively conducted a third of all UK animal research in 2015.

Sneaky males and choosy females feature in new exhibition at the Grant Museum

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Ocellated wrasse

‘Natural Creativity: Sex and Trickery’ is a new exhibition at the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL. It explores the myriad elaborate shapes, sizes and crafty behavioural tactics some animals have evolved in order to survive, reproduce and pass on their genes.

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre wins building award

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SWC

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL (SWC) has been named Major Building Project of the Year (over £50m) at the British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) 2016.

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre appoints new Director

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Professor Thomas Mrsic-Flogel

Professor Thomas Mrsic-Flogel has today been announced as the new Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL.

UCL achieves first Gold Athena SWAN award for excellence in gender equality

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Athena SWAN Gold Logo

The MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at UCL has achieved the university’s first departmental Athena SWAN Gold award for gender equality – one of only two awarded to UK universities in this round.

UCL’s innovative retail coalition celebrates first anniversary

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UCL is today marking one year since the launch of the innovative retail coalition inspired by Malcolm Walker of Iceland Foods to address the dementia challenge. Since the coalition was created nine UK retailers have committed to support UCL in its fight against dementia, initially pledging in the region of £20 million. In the first year alone, the partnership has already raised around £10 million – equivalent to the sale of around 200 million carrier bags.

Garden ponds may help spread lethal frog disease

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frog

Keen gardeners stocking their domestic ponds with exotic or wild aquatic species could be inadvertently fuelling the rapid spread of the lethally infectious frog disease ranavirus, according to new research by scientists from UCL, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Queen Mary University of London. 

UCL receives largest share of NHS research funding

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UCL's Cruciform building

UCL’s three biomedical research centres (BRCs) have won more than £167 million in funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to further world-leading biomedical research conducted with partner hospitals. UCL has received more funding than any other UK university, followed by King's College London and Oxford University, which received £133m and £127m respectively.

Paving the way for new treatments to combat bacterial infections

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f-pilus

A team from Birkbeck, University of London and UCL has revealed new details of the structure of bacterial pili and how they interact with phages – viruses which can enter and kill bacteria.

Key mechanism behind brain connectivity and memory revealed

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nerve cells

Memory loss in mice has been successfully reversed following the discovery of new information about a key mechanism underlying the loss of nerve connectivity in the brain, say UCL researchers.

Science begins in the new Francis Crick Institute building

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Francis Crick Institute

The first scientists have moved into the new £650 million Francis Crick Institute building in London and are starting work in their purpose-built labs. Next to St Pancras station and the British Library, the Crick will be the biggest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe.

New imaging platform tracks cancer progression

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tracking cancer in zebrafish

A new rapid fluorescent 3-D imaging system developed by UCL and Imperial College London scientists offers a non-invasive approach to accurately monitor tumour development in adult zebrafish.

HIV doesn’t drive the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis

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HIV budding

While the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic fuels tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks, it does not drive the development and transmission of multidrug-resistance in TB patients as previously suspected, according to an international study led by UCL scientists.

UCL researchers honoured by The Royal Society

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Royal Society Prize Winners

The outstanding achievements of three UCL researchers have been recognised by The Royal Society, the UK’s national Academy of science, in this year’s Awards and Prizes announcement.

British Academy elects new Fellows

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ba-fellows

Congratulations to the three members of the SLMS community recognised by the British Academy: (l-r) Professor Sophie Scott, Professor Nilli Lavie and Professor Robyn Carston

Biodiversity falls below ‘safe levels’ globally

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biodiversity hotspots

Levels of global biodiversity loss may negatively impact on ecosystem function and the sustainability of human societies, according to UCL-led research.

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