The skulls of toothed whales have become more asymmetric over time, according to a new study led by UCL and the Natural History Museum in London. The team also found that early ancestors of living whales had little cranial asymmetry and likely were not able to echolocate, in the findings published in BMC Biology .
A gene has been discovered that can naturally suppress the signs of Alzheimer's disease in human brain cells, in research involving UCL and led by Queen Mary University of London. The scientists have also developed a new rapid drug-screening system for treatments that could potentially delay or prevent the disease, they report in Molecular Psychiatry.
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From a study into the risks of smokers developing more severe forms of COVID-19, to a new method for automatically detecting the ‘fingerprint' of soundscapes, here is some quick-read news from across the College.
Cardiff University scientists have devised a new way of making reactions up to 70 times faster by using state-of-the-art equipment to spin chemicals around.
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26 Dec 2013 Researchers from Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics at The University of Manchester have helped discover a further 42 genetic markers associated with rheumatoid arthritis in the largest international study to date on the topic. Scientists in 38 separate institutions across seven countries contributed data from their own studies so that a much more powerful single combined analysis could be performed that examined over 10 million genetic markers in over 100,000 individuals, 29,880 of whom have rheumatoid arthritis.
Highest intakes are found in regions lying along the old Silk Road - from East Asia, through Central Asia to Eastern Europe and the Middle East Dr John Powles The global average salt intake in 2010 was around 10 grams per person per day, corresponding to 4 grams per day of sodium, according to a study published today in the BMJ Open.
For the first time, astronomers have observed a massive starless cloud, providing the answer to a long held question: How do some stars grow to be behemoths when the vast majority are much smaller? In the new study, published in the Astrophysical Journal , astronomers used the ALMA telescope in Chile, South America, to survey the cores of some of the darkest, coldest, and densest clouds in our Galaxy to search for the telltale signs of star formation.
Scientists from across the world have "scanned the horizon" in order to identify potentially significant medium and long-term threats to conservation efforts.
Scientists have taken an important step towards new malaria treatments by identifying a way to stop malaria parasites from multiplying. In a study published in Nature Chemistry , they show that blocking the activity of an enzyme called NMT in the most common malaria parasite prevents mice from showing symptoms and extends their lifespan.
20 Dec 2013 Scientists from The University of Manchester – part of Manchester Cancer Research Centre believe they have discovered a new way to make chemotherapy treatment more effective for pancreatic cancer patients. Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer with poor prognosis and limited treatment options and is highly resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Researchers at the University of Leeds have shown that greater dietary fibre intake is associated with a lower risk of both cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Dr Victoria Burley, from the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds and senior author of the study, said: It has previously been difficult to demonstrate the long-term influence of diet on heart attacks or strokes.
Researchers investigating whether children and young adults are exposed to advertising from major alcohol brands on the three most popular social networks - Facebook, YouTube and Twitter - find that some channels and brands don't have, or use, age restrictions.
Video and computer games have seen a huge rise in popularity worldwide. The fact that such games provide an immersive virtual experience has led to public concerns, often articulated in the media, about a possible link between gaming and real world aggression. However, a new study by the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University has found that although the general population has a diverse set of attitudes towards gaming, our belief in whether there is a link between video and computer games and aggressive behaviour is often influenced by whether we have actual experience of gaming.
A new gene mutation which will help doctors give a more accurate diagnosis of a type of brain and muscle disease in children has been discovered for the first time by University of Leeds experts. Mitochondrial myopathy, as it is known, causes muscle weakness, movement problems and learning difficulties and affects more than 70,000 people in the UK.
o Study by psychologists suggests that we're motivated to ignore our goals over the festive period o People intentionally bury their head in the sand and avoid information that can help them to monitor their progress o Ignorance is bliss and few people watch their weight, monitor household energy consumption or check bank balances It's the festive season, time for eating, drinking and being merry, and any thoughts of reaching goals like losing weight or keeping on top of finances go out of the window.
A group of researchers from the UK have used inkjet printing technology to successfully print cells taken from the eye for the very first time.
The 150-year-old proverb 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' stands the test of time, say Oxford University researchers. Writing in the more light-hearted Christmas edition of the BMJ medical journal, the scientists estimated how effective this Victorian health advice would be today in preventing heart disease among people over 50.
18 Dec 2013 New research on schoolchildren shows the more languages they speak, the better they can speak them. The School Language Survey, a new method developed at the University of Manchester, was carried out by the University's Multilingual Manchester project, led by Professor Yaron Matras. According to Professor Matras, the survey has a powerful potential to change our understanding of the role of heritage languages in schools and communities.
Scientists have developed a device that can take a "biopsy" of a living cell, sampling minute volumes of its contents without killing it. Much research on molecular biology is carried out on populations of cells, giving an average result that ignores the fact that every cell is different. Techniques for studying single cells usually destroy them, making it impossible to look at changes over time.
Mutations in a gene causing mixed neurological and muscular disease in children have been found for the first time. Researchers at UCL and the University of Leeds have identified an entirely novel mechanism responsible for a childhood onset neuromuscular diseases with associated brain involvement. The research identified mutations of the gene MICU1 in a group of children affected by this previously undescribed condition, and provides the first evidence that a defective MICU1 gene can cause disease 'in man'.
17 Dec 2013 A study by Manchester scientists backs preventative surgery to improve survival for women who are at greater risk of getting ovarian cancer and suggests it appears helpful for women at risk of getting breast cancer because of genetic faults. Women who carry, a fault in one of two high-risk genes known as BRCA1 or BRCA2, have an increased risk of dying from breast and/or ovarian cancer.
A 12-year study of massive stars has reaffirmed that our Galaxy has four spiral arms, following years of debate sparked by images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope that only showed two arms. The new research, which is published online today [17 December] in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, is part of the RMS Survey, which was launched by academics at the University of Leeds.
Scientists have confirmed that variations in a particular gene play a key role in the autism spectrum condition known as Asperger Syndrome. They have also found that variations in the same gene are also linked to differences in empathy levels in the general population. This study confirms that variation in GABRB3 is linked not just to Asperger Syndrome but to individual differences in empathy in the population.