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Life Sciences - Health - 11.06.2020
High doses of ketamine can temporarily switch off the brain, say researchers
High doses of ketamine can temporarily switch off the brain, say researchers
Researchers have identified two brain phenomena that may explain some of the side-effects of ketamine. Their measurements of the brain waves of sheep sedated by the drug may explain the out-of-body experience and state of complete oblivion it can cause. We think of anaesthetic drugs as just slowing everything down.

Health - 11.06.2020
Coronavirus transmission slowed in the UK but epidemic may continue for months
COVID-19 has slowed in the UK, but despite a drop in transmission rate the epidemic remains likely to continue for months, according to new analysis. Research led by Imperial College London found that the reproduction number, or R value, for COVID-19 in the United Kingdom was below the threshold of one as of 10 May.

Health - Psychology - 11.06.2020
NHS staff tackling Covid-19 try out virtual reality to help reduce stress and anxiety
NHS staff tackling Covid-19 on the front line are, for the first time, using virtual reality to help support their mental health and wellbeing. Twenty-one staff working in intensive care units at the Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles hospitals had access to a single-use VR headset for two weeks to evaluate if it was a useful aid to help with stress and anxiety.

Politics - 11.06.2020
Effective communication between politicians and constituents vital for sustained political participation, experts say
The way politicians communicate with constituents has never been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic, say experts. Dr Nikki Soo of Cardiff University led a study with Dr James Weinberg and Dr Kate Dommett at the University of Sheffield, which investigated how people reacted to different communications they might receive from an MP.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.06.2020
Extinct camelids reveal insights about North America's ancient savannas
Extinct camelids reveal insights about North America’s ancient savannas
Although savanna habitats (treed grasslands) are only found in the tropics today, around 18 million years ago, during the Miocene epoch, savanna ecosystems, similar to those of modern Africa, existed in the mid latitudes of North America. At their peak - around 12 million years ago - they were comparable in their mammalian diversity to that of the Serengeti today.

History / Archeology - 10.06.2020
Archaeologists may have discovered London's earliest playhouse
Archaeologists may have discovered London’s earliest playhouse
The earliest playhouse in London may have been discovered at a site in Whitechapel, by a team of archaeologists from UCL. The elusive remains of what is thought to be the earliest Elizabethan playhouse, known as the Red Lion, were discovered by Archaeology South-East, part of UCL's Institute of Archaeology.

Health - 10.06.2020
Widespread facemask use could shrink the 'R' number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave - study
Widespread facemask use could shrink the ’R’ number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave - study
Even basic homemade masks significantly reduce transmission at a population level, according to latest modelling. Researchers call for information campaigns that encourage the making and wearing of facemasks.    We have little to lose from the widespread adoption of facemasks, but the gains could be significant Renata Retkute Population-wide use of facemasks keeps the coronavirus 'reproduction number' under 1.0, and prevents further waves of the virus when combined with lockdowns, a modelling study led by the University of Cambridge suggests.

Health - 09.06.2020
Improved MRI scans could aid in development of arthritis treatments
Improved MRI scans could aid in development of arthritis treatments
An algorithm that analyses MRI images and automatically detects small changes in knee joints over time could be used in the development of new treatments for arthritis. Thanks to the engineering expertise of our team, we now have a better way of looking at the joint James MacKay A team of engineers, radiologists and physicians, led by the University of Cambridge, developed the algorithm, which builds a three-dimensional model of an individual's knee joint in order to map where arthritis is affecting the knee.

Health - 09.06.2020
High levels of PPE prevented transmission of COVID-19 for frontline healthcare workers in China
High levels of personal protective equipment provided to frontline healthcare workers in China treating patients with COVID-19, prevented the transmission of the infection, a new international study has found. Published today in the British Medical Journal , the study, which brings together experts from the University of Birmingham, UK and Sun Yat-sen University and Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China, evaluated a cohort of 420 healthcare professionals (HCP's) who were deployed to Wuhan from Guangzhou during the peak of the epidemic in January 2020.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.06.2020
COVID-19 was introduced on multiple occasions to Scotland in February and March 2020
Scientists sequencing the virus samples from the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Scotland have determined multiple introductions, mainly from European countries such as Italy, Austria and Spain - and showed that Scotland's first introductions of the virus likely occurred prior to the country's first confirmed case on March 1st.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.06.2020
Scientists ’re-train’ immune system to prevent attack of healthy cells in new UK study into autoimmune diseases
The body's immune system can be re-wired to prevent it from recognising its own proteins which, when attacked by the body, can cause autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, a significant new study by UK scientists has found. Autoimmune diseases are caused when the immune system loses its normal focus on fighting infections or disease within and instead begins to attack otherwise healthy cells within the body.

Life Sciences - Environment - 09.06.2020
Analysis: Invasive species threaten most protected areas across the world - new study
New research conducted by Professor Tim Blackburn (UCL Biosciences) and the Chinese Academy of Science have found that in many of the world's protected areas, non-native 'invasive species' were living close by. The human population is growing rapidly and making increasing demands on the planet for food, water and natural resources.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.06.2020
Bacteria perform mass suicide to defend their colony | University of Oxford
Bacteria perform mass suicide to defend their colony | University of Oxford
A new study from researchers at Oxford University's Departments of Zoology and Biochemistry shows that warring bacteria will engage in suicidal attacks in vast numbers to take down competitors. Bacteria are aggressive organisms that have evolved a host of draconian ways to kill and inhibit their competitors.

Health - 08.06.2020
Codecheck confirms reproducibility of COVID-19 model results
Cambridge researcher confirms reproducibility of high-profile Imperial College coronavirus computational model. The code, script and documentation of the 16 March report, which is available on Github , was subject to an independent review led by Dr Stephen Eglen , from Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.06.2020
Kawasaki-like syndrome linked to COVID-19 in children is a new condition
A study on children suffering from severe inflammatory symptoms shows the condition is new and distinct from Kawasaki disease. In April, researchers in the UK and several European countries with high numbers of COVID-19 cases recognised a new inflammatory syndrome in children that was similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare syndrome known to affect young children.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.06.2020
Protected areas worldwide at risk of invasive species
Protected areas across the globe are effectively keeping invasive animals at bay, but the large majority of them are at risk of invasions, finds a China-UK research team involving UCL. The research, led by the Chinese Academy of Science and published , show that for most protected areas, there is an invasive animal species living less than 10km away that is well suited to the protected area's environment.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2020
Repetitive negative thinking linked to dementia risk
Persistently engaging in negative thinking patterns may raise the risk of Alzheimer's disease, finds a new UCL-led study. In the study of people aged over 55, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia , researchers found 'repetitive negative thinking' (RNT) is linked to subsequent cognitive decline as well as the deposition of harmful brain proteins linked to Alzheimer's.

Health - 08.06.2020
Lockdown and school closures in Europe may have prevented 3.1m deaths
Large-scale lockdowns and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in Europe have been successful in reducing the transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2. This is the conclusion of a modelling study from Imperial College London scientists which suggests lockdown measures have been sufficient to control the growth of the epidemic.

Health - Materials Science - 08.06.2020
Virus DNA spread across hospital ward in 10 hours
Virus DNA left on a hospital bed rail was found in nearly half of all sites sampled across a ward within 10 hours and persisted for at least five days, according to a new study by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The study, published as a letter in the Journal of Hospital Infection , aimed to safely simulate how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, may spread across surfaces in a hospital.

Health - Social Sciences - 08.06.2020
Birmingham designed test confirms COVID-19 as trigger for rare Kawasaki-like syndrome in children
A test developed by experts in Birmingham has offered evidence confirming COVID-19 to be the cause of a newly emerged multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, who have tested negative for the virus by the PCR test. This raises the possibility that children who may have had the virus in their system, even if they haven't been unwell, could be at risk of developing this new condition.
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