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Physics - 13.12.2011
Search for Higgs boson at an
Search for Higgs boson at an “exciting beginning”, Durham University expert says
Search for Higgs boson at an "exciting beginning”, Durham University expert says The search for the Higgs boson is at a "very exciting and positive beginning", according to a Durham University physics expert. Scientists working on two experiments - Atlas and CMS - at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), at CERN, in Geneva, today reported seeing hints of the Higgs boson at a similar mass, though they have not yet claimed a discovery.

Physics - 13.12.2011
CERN hints at existence of Higgs boson
Experiments at CERN point towards the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, scientists at the organisation have said. Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider, an underground facility near Geneva, have been searching for evidence of the theoretical particle first postulated by Peter Higgs. Scientists at have said that tantalising hints have been seen by experiments there, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.

Life Sciences - Environment - 13.12.2011
Insight could help develop new crops
Crops that can cope with sudden changes in the weather could be developed, thanks to fresh discoveries about plants. University scientists have studied how tiny algae survive by renewing old or damaged cell proteins. They say their findings could be useful in developing crops suited to climates in which weather changes quickly.

Health - Physics - 13.12.2011
Scanning strategy could help heart disease
Patients with life-threatening heart valve disease could be helped with alternative scanning techniques that provide greater insight into the condition. University researchers used an imaging technique that could help predict which patients will need open heart surgery to replace their heart valves.

Health - 13.12.2011
Antimalarial drugs appear safe in early pregnancy
Antimalarial drugs appear safe in early pregnancy
Malaria in early pregnancy significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, but taking antimalarial drugs is relatively safe and reduces this risk. That's the finding of the largest ever study to assess the effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy. Despite the risks of malaria for pregnant women, there is very little published evidence on the effects of malaria and taking antimalarial drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.12.2011
DNA damage across a cellular barrier depends on barrier thickness
DNA damage across a cellular barrier depends on barrier thickness
The use of nanoparticles in medicine is ever increasing and it is important to understand the effects these particles might have on human tissues and health in general. Scientists have shown that signalling molecules that damage the DNA of cells grown underneath a barrier are transmitted only when the barrier is more than one layer thick and DNA damage and cytokine release is signalled across the barrier.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.12.2011
Step forward in foot-and-mouth disease understanding
Scientists have discovered a mechanism they believe may play a key role in the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in animals. Researchers at the University of Leeds have been studying an enzyme - called 3D - which plays a vital role in the replication of the virus behind the disease. They have found that this enzyme forms fibrous structures (or fibrils) during the replication process.

Physics - 11.12.2011
Multi-purpose photonic chip paves the way to programmable quantum processors
Multi-purpose photonic chip paves the way to programmable quantum processors
A multi-purpose optical chip which generates, manipulates and measures entanglement and mixture - two quantum phenomena which are essential driving forces for tomorrow's quantum computers - has been developed by researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Quantum Photonics. This work represents an important step forward in the race to develop a quantum computer.

Health - 09.12.2011
Bowel cancer screening proven to save lives
The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in England is on course to cut bowel cancer deaths by 16 per cent, according to a University of Nottingham-led study of the first 1 million test results. But the survey suggests that better screening techniques should be developed because bowel cancers on the right side of the body were not as likely to be picked up as those on the left.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.12.2011
Rare gene variant implicates vitamin D in cause of multiple sclerosis
Rare gene variant implicates vitamin D in cause of multiple sclerosis
A rare genetic variant that appears to be directly and causally linked to multiple sclerosis (MS) has been identified by Oxford University researchers. Importantly, the mutation in the CYP27B1 gene affects a key enzyme which leads people with the variant to have lower levels of vitamin D, adding weight to the suggested link between vitamin D and MS.

Health - Administration - 08.12.2011
Child maltreatment shows no signs of significant decrease
New research published in The Lancet (9 December 2011) shows no consistent decrease in the maltreatment of children across several countries over the last two decades. Despite years of policy initiatives designed to achieve it, research revealed by a collaboration between Warwick Medical School and University College London Institute of Child Health (ICH) concludes that despite numerous government policy initiatives designed to achieve a reduction in child maltreatment, none has proved successful.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2011
Personalised treatment for Crohn's Disease a step closer following gene mapping
Personalised treatment for Crohn’s Disease a step closer following gene mapping
Three new locations for Crohn's Disease genes have been uncovered by scientists at UCL using a novel gene mapping approach. The complex genetic and environmental causes of Crohn's Disease (CD) have long been difficult to untangle. CD, a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease that affects about 100 to 150 people per 100,000 in Europe, is characterised by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Life Sciences - 08.12.2011
House-hunting honey bees shed light on how human brains come to a decision
House-hunting honey bees shed light on how human brains come to a decision
Avoiding deadlock in group decision making is a common problem for committees - but house-hunting honey bees may hold the answer, according to new research from Cornell University, the University of Cailfornia-Riverside, the University of Sheffield and the University of Bristol. The study also reveals a striking similarity between how honey bee swarms and our own brains choose between alternatives.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2011
Body’s fat switch discovered
Scientists at Warwick Medical School have made an important discovery about the mechanism controlling the body's 'fat switch', shedding new light on our understanding of how proteins regulate appetite control and insulin secretion. This research, led by Professor Victor Zammit, Head of Metabolic and Vascular Health at Warwick Medical School, found that the enzyme known as 'Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A' (CPT1) has a switch which is thrown depending on the composition and curvature of its cellular membrane.

Health - 08.12.2011
Improved technology may obviate need for drug when assessing patients for a coronary stent
A new method for measuring narrowing in the arteries of the heart may allow patients to be assessed for a stent without having to take a drug with unpleasant side effects. In England, it is estimated that one in seven men and one in 12 women over the age of 65 experience chest pain called angina caused by narrowing of the arteries in the heart.

Health - 08.12.2011
Babies born 32-36 weeks fare less well at school
Babies born 32-36 weeks fare less well at school
Only 71 per cent of babies born between 32 and 36 weeks are successful in key stage 1 (KS1) tests (defined as achieving at least level 2 in reading, writing and maths), compared to 79 per cent of babies born at full term (37-41 weeks). Babies born between 32 and 36 weeks ('late-preterm') make up 82 per cent of all premature births and six per cent of all live births in the UK and are generally considered to be in the 'safe zone' of premature births.

Physics - 07.12.2011
Rapidly Spinning Core Inside Ageing Stars
An international team of astronomers, including scientists from the University of Birmingham, has looked deep inside some old stars and discovered that their cores spin at least ten times as fast as their surfaces. The research, led by Leuven University in Belgium, is published today (7 December 2011) .

Health - 07.12.2011
Need for sleep lies in our genes
Why some people need more sleep is in our genes, a new study suggests. A new study by University researchers finds that one in five Europeans carry a variation of a gene known as ABCC9, which is involved in sensing energy levels of cells in the body. People with the gene need almost 30 minutes more sleep each night than those who do not have it.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.12.2011
Global sea surface temperature dataset provides new measure of climate sensitivity over the last half million years
Global sea surface temperature dataset provides new measure of climate sensitivity over the last half million years
Scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton have developed important new insight into climate sensitivity - the sensitivity of global temperature to changes in the Earth's radiation balance - over the last half million years. Climate sensitivity is a key parameter for understanding past natural climate changes as well as potential future climate change.

Economics - Administration - 07.12.2011
Warwick economist to lead 15 million research initiative into private enterprise in developing countries
University of Warwick economics professor Christopher Woodruff will oversee a new initiative that plans to invest 15 million into research on private enterprise development in low-income countries. The initiative, the largest research endeavour undertaken on the subject, is a joint venture co-ordinated by the Centre for Economic Policy Research in partnership with the Department for International Development.