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Environment - 23.04.2024
More support needed to help households transition to green energy, research concludes
Citizens will need greater financial support and advice as they make the switch to decarbonised heat sources, research from Cardiff University shows. Published in the journal Nature Energy , this is the first paper to examine in-depth householder perceptions across a diverse range of low carbon heating technologies including heat pumps, hydrogen, hybrid heating and heat networks, as well as upgrades to home insulation and energy networks that will be needed to make each technology work.

Life Sciences - 22.04.2024
Pressure in the womb may influence facial development
Pressure in the womb may influence facial development
Physical cues in the womb, and not just genetics, influence the normal development of neural crest cells, the embryonic stem cells that form facial features, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The study published in Nature Cell Biology found that an increase in hydrostatic pressure sensed by the embryo can hinder the healthy development of facial features in mouse and frog embryos and in human embryoids (cell structures grown in the lab from human stem cells), suggesting that differences in pressure might affect the risk of facial malformations.

Health - Economics - 22.04.2024
Taxing unhealthy food helps cut obesity, says global study
Mexico is leading the way in implementing taxes on unhealthy food options, successfully helping to tackle obesity and related health issues. Taxes on foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) reduce the sale, purchase and consumption of those foods, according to a new peer-reviewed analysis of evidence from around the world from Imperial College Business School.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 22.04.2024
Mystery behind huge opening in Antarctic sea ice solved
Mystery behind huge opening in Antarctic sea ice solved
Researchers have discovered the missing piece of the puzzle behind a rare opening in the sea ice around Antarctica, which was nearly twice the size of Wales and occurred during the winters of 2016 and 2017. A study published today [1 May 2024] in Science Advances reveals a key process that had eluded scientists as to how the opening, called a polynya, was able to form and persist for several weeks.

Health - 22.04.2024
Cost increasingly important motive for quitting smoking in England
Cost increasingly important motive for quitting smoking in England
Health concerns are still the primary motive for more than half of those who say they want to stop smoking in England, but cost is now a key factor for more than one in four, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The researchers said that, given this shift in thinking, making much more of the potential savings to be had might encourage more people to stub out for good.

Earth Sciences - 22.04.2024
Feedback loop that is melting ice shelves in West Antarctica revealed
New research has uncovered a feedback loop that may be accelerating the melting of the floating portions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, pushing up global sea levels. The study, published in Science Advances , sheds new light on the mechanisms driving the melting of ice shelves beneath the surface of the ocean, which have been unclear until now.

Health - 19.04.2024
Virtual reality study will assess link between navigation and Alzheimer’s disease
Researchers at UCL will use a virtual reality game to assess how well people navigate their surroundings to try and spot early signs of Alzheimer's disease. The new study is recruiting healthy volunteers over the aged over 40 to play a game called the 'Cave Crystal Quest' for  two 90-minute sessions at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.04.2024
Link between maternal diabetes and child ADHD may not be causal
While children of mothers with diabetes and more likely to develop ADHD, a new global analysis co-led by UCL and University of Hong Kong researchers suggests the relationship is likely not causal. The authors of the new Nature Medicine study, using data from over 3.6 million mother-baby pairs across three continents, say the link is likely due to genetic and familial factors that are shared between people with diabetes and ADHD.

Criminology / Forensics - Politics - 19.04.2024
Trust levels in the police are falling in England
The University of Glasgow has contributed to research that finds only 40% of people in England trust their police force. The study, commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC), spotlights London's Metropolitan Police as the area where women trust the least - and Conservative voters have higher levels of trust in the force.

Health - Pharmacology - 19.04.2024
Training AI models to answer ’what if’’ questions could improve medical treatments
Machines can learn not only to make predictions, but to handle causal relationships. An international research team shows how this could make medical treatments safer, more efficient, and more personalised. Artificial intelligence techniques can be helpful for multiple medical applications, such as radiology or oncology, where the ability to recognise patterns in large volumes of data is vital.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 18.04.2024
Mess is best: disordered structure of battery-like devices improves performance
Mess is best: disordered structure of battery-like devices improves performance
The energy density of supercapacitors - battery-like devices that can charge in seconds or a few minutes - can be improved by increasing the 'messiness' of their internal structure. This could be a turning point for a field that's been stuck for a little while. Alex Forse Researchers led by the University of Cambridge used experimental and computer modelling techniques to study the porous carbon electrodes used in supercapacitors.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.04.2024
Scientists grow human mini-lungs as animal alternative for nanomaterial safety testing
Human mini-lungs grown by University of Manchester scientists mimic the response of animals when exposed to certain nanomaterials. The study at the University's NanoCell Biology Lab at the Centre for Nanotechnology in Medicine is published in the influential journal nanotoday . Though not expected to replace animal models completely, human organoids could soon lead to significant reductions in research animal numbers, the team led by cell biologist and nanotoxicologist Dr Sandra Vranic argues.

Health - 18.04.2024
New heart disease calculator could save lives by identifying high-risk patients missed by current tools
Collaborative research, led from the University of Oxford and published today in Nature Medicine , has developed a new tool called QR4 that more accurately predicts an individual's 10-year risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart disease and stroke, particularly identifying high-risk patients that current prediction tools miss.

Environment - Social Sciences - 18.04.2024
New study on Amazonia’s fire crises urges action ahead of the next burning season
In response to the escalating fire crises in the Amazon, a timely study has revealed alarming shortcomings in the emergency fire bans implemented by the Brazilian Government. Initially seen as a promising solution in 2019, these bans have consistently fallen short in subsequent years, revealing a pressing need for strategies that address the underlying causes of each type of fire.

Computer Science - Psychology - 18.04.2024
New research probes effectiveness of AR to improve self-driving car safety
As self-driving cars become more common on our roads, a key question for future road safety is how to balance passengers' desire to relax during their trip while still remaining aware of road hazards and be ready to retake control. Researchers from the University of Glasgow have been testing the potential of augmented reality technology to allow drivers to enjoy the benefits of being driven by an autonomous vehicle while enabling them to quickly take the wheel if required.

Pharmacology - Health - 17.04.2024
Antipsychotics for dementia linked to more harms than previously acknowledged
Risks highest soon after starting drugs, underscoring need for increased caution in early stages of treatment, say experts Antipsychotic use in people with dementia is associated with higher risks of a wide range of serious health outcomes compared with non-use, according to a new study from a collaboration across the Universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.04.2024
Researchers help uncover potential breakthrough in treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or Colitis)
RVC researchers help uncover potential breakthrough in treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's or Colitis) Pathologists from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have been working with scientists from the Francis Crick Institute (FCI) to untangle a complex pathway that could help explain how interactions between microorganisms and the body's immune defences lead to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Health - Chemistry - 17.04.2024
AI speeds up drug design for Parkinson's ten-fold
AI speeds up drug design for Parkinson’s ten-fold
Researchers have used artificial intelligence techniques to massively accelerate the search for Parkinson's disease treatments. Machine learning is having a real impact on drug discovery - it's speeding up the whole process of identifying the most promising candidates Michele Vendruscolo The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, designed and used an AI-based strategy to identify compounds that block the clumping, or aggregation, of alpha-synuclein, the protein that characterises Parkinson's.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.04.2024
Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human - defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates
Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human - defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates
Competition between species played a major role in the rise and fall of hominins, and produced a "bizarre" evolutionary pattern for the Homo lineage. This is almost unparalleled in evolutionary science Laura van Holstein Climate has long been held responsible for the emergence and extinction of hominin species.

Health - Psychology - 17.04.2024
Gay and bisexual men diagnosed with mpox faced substantial stigma
Gay and bisexual men diagnosed with mpox faced substantial stigma
Gay and bisexual men who were diagnosed with mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) during the 2022 outbreak in England, faced substantial issues related to stigma and potentially poor-quality care when accessing services, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The research, published in eClinicalMedicine, examined for the first time the experiences of those diagnosed with mpox in Europe.
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