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Physics - Art and Design - 22.10.2013
Atomic movies reveal 'ultimate spring'
Atomic movies reveal 'ultimate spring'
An international team, including Oxford University scientists, has used the powerful X-ray laser at the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create atomic-scale movies of 'the ultimate spring'. Normally, when a metal is crushed suddenly, as during an impact, it deforms and buckles, with the atoms re-arranging themselves in a complex way to take up the deformed shape - and usually only small pressures allow a metal to 'bounce back' like a spring.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 22.10.2013
Transforming lives of children and young people in care
An innovative new study has been announced aiming to explore and develop new ways of positively transforming the life chances of children and young people in care in Wales over the next 10 years. Commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund, the study could also pave the way for a new £5 million investment which could dramatically improve the outcomes of children in care in Wales.

Linguistics / Literature - 22.10.2013
Diversity is good for your English
22 Oct 2013 New research from experts at The University of Manchester has revealed that as the country's linguistic diversity increases, speakers of other languages are also becoming more proficient in English. Professor Yaron Matras and Deepthi Gopal say England and Wales' ethnic minorities are now much more likely to know English well.

Environment - Astronomy / Space - 21.10.2013
Atmosphere of Mars turned to stone
Scientists at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, the University of Glasgow and the Natural History Museum in London may have discovered how Mars lost its early carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere to become the cold and arid planet we know today. This research provides the first direct evidence from Mars of a process, called 'carbonation' which currently removes carbon dioxide from our own atmosphere, potentially combating climate change on Earth.

Health - Administration - 21.10.2013
The role of uncertainty in infectious disease modelling
The study found that many models provided only cursory reference to the uncertainties of the information and data, or the parameters used Research by scientists at the University of Liverpool has found that greater consideration of the limitations and uncertainties in infectious disease modelling would improve its usefulness and value.

Health - Administration - 18.10.2013
Cognitive behaviour therapy is effective for reducing health anxiety
Cognitive behaviour therapy is effective for reducing health anxiety
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is substantially more effective than standard care at reducing symptoms of health anxiety, a study has found. The findings are good news for the 10 to 20 per cent of hospital patients who excessively worry that they have a serious, undiagnosed illness. Published in The Lancet , this is the first large-scale trial to test the effectiveness of CBT for health anxiety.

Social Sciences - 18.10.2013
Scientists analyse global Twitter gossip around Higgs boson discovery
A model of the spread of gossip on Twitter prior to the Higgs boson discovery announcement has been developed by University of Birmingham computer scientists, according to research published in the journal Nature today (18 October 2013). For the first time scientists have been able to analyse the dynamics of social media on a global scale before, during and after the announcement of a major scientific discovery.

Environment - 18.10.2013
Ecologists uncover ’hyperdominant’ tree species in the Amazon
Academics from the University of Leeds have joined researchers from around the world to generate the first basin-wide estimates of the abundance and distribution of trees in the Amazon rainforest. The research which spans nine countries, belong to only a tiny fraction of the different species found there.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.10.2013
Genetic disease which causes recurrent respiratory infections
We believe that now many more APDS patients will be identified all over the world Sergey Nejentsev Cambridge scientists have discovered a rare genetic disease which predisposes patients to severe respiratory infections and lung damage. Because the scientists also identified how the genetic mutation affects the immune system, they are hopeful that new drugs that are currently undergoing clinical trials to treat leukaemia may also be effective in helping individuals with this debilitating disease.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 17.10.2013
The strange misalignment of Kepler-56 and its planets
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a stellar system in our Galaxy where the spin of its 'red giant' star and the orbits of its planets are misaligned, according to research published in the journal Science today (17 October 2013). In our own solar system the rotation of the Sun and the orbits of the planets are perfectly aligned, with the spin axis of the Sun at right angles to the orbits of the planets.

Life Sciences - 17.10.2013
Maths study of photosynthesis clears the path to developing new super-crops
Maths study of photosynthesis clears the path to developing new super-crops
How some plant species evolved super-efficient photosynthesis had been a mystery. Now, scientists have identified what steps led to that change. Around three per cent of all plants use an advanced form of photosynthesis, which allows them to capture more carbon dioxide, use less water, and grow more rapidly.

Health - 17.10.2013
Female hormones key to breast and ovarian cancer in BRCA gene carriers
Researchers announced today in the journal Lancet Oncology that they are well on the way to discovering why women with the faulty genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 develop breast and ovarian cancer rather than other cancers. The study, carried out by researchers at the UCL Department of Women's Cancer, found that abnormal levels of female hormones in the bloodstream could be the answer.

Life Sciences - Sport - 17.10.2013
Brain scans show unusual activity in retired American football players
Brain scans show unusual activity in retired American football players
A new study has discovered profound abnormalities in brain activity in a group of retired American football players. Although the former players in the study were not diagnosed with any neurological condition, brain imaging tests revealed unusual activity that correlated with how many times they had left the field with a head injury during their careers.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 17.10.2013
Enzyme catalysis unmasked in new research
What makes enzymes such fantastic catalysts? New research from the University of Bristol is significantly advancing our understanding of how these proteins increase the rate of chemical reaction. Using a combination of experimental approaches and multiscale computational methods, including the hybrid QM/MM (quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics) approach for which Karplus, Warshel and Levitt won this year's Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the team of researchers from England, Wales and Spain studied the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase - an important target for anti-infective and anti-cancer drugs.

Life Sciences - 17.10.2013
Cuckoos impersonate hawks by matching their 'outfits'
Evolutionary trick allows cuckoos to 'mimic' the plumage of birds of prey, and may be used to scare mothers from their nests so that cuckoos can lay their eggs. Parasitism in cuckoos may be more much more widespread than previously thought. There is no benefit in looking like a dangerous species your target is not familiar with Thanh-Lan Gluckman New research shows that cuckoos have striped or "barred" feathers that resemble local birds of prey, such as sparrowhawks, that may be used to frighten birds into briefly fleeing their nest in order to lay their parasitic eggs.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 17.10.2013
Archaeologists rediscover the lost home of the last Neanderthals
Archaeologists rediscover the lost home of the last Neanderthals
A record of Neanderthal archaeology, thought to be long lost, has been re-discovered by UCL scientists working in the Channel island of Jersey. The study, published in the Journal of Quaternary Science, reveals that a key archaeological site has preserved geological deposits which were thought to have been lost through excavation 100 years ago.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.10.2013
One in 2,000 of UK population carries variant CJD proteins 
One in 2,000 of UK population carries variant CJD proteins 
One in 2,000 people in the UK are estimated to be carrying variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) proteins, according to a study led by Professor Sebastian Brandner (UCL Institute of Neurology). The research, published in this week's BMJ , is based on samples from more than 32,000 people and provides the most robust prevalence measure to date.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.10.2013
Light triggers cancer death switch
University researchers have created a peptide (a small piece of protein), linked to a light-responsive dye, capable of switching 'on' death pathways in cancer cells. The peptide remains inactive until exposed to external light pulses which convert it into a cell death signal. Complex mechanisms in healthy cells normally protect us from developing cancer.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.10.2013
Rodents provide clues as to causes of human illness in African slums
One in five rodents in a Kenyan slum carries a disease that causes fever and illness in humans, a study has found. Scientists discovered a significant percentage of the rats and mice in Nairobi's Kibera slum - one the largest in the world - were carrying Leptospira bacteria in their kidneys. The bacteria can be passed to humans through with urine causing the disease leptospirosis which in mild forms results in fever, headache and nausea, or in serious cases can cause organ damage - when it is more commonly known as Weil's disease.

Life Sciences - Administration - 15.10.2013
Tuning into the melody of speech
In a groundbreaking new study, Cambridge researchers have mapped out the neurobiological basis of a key aspect of human communication: intonation. If you were to read out loud the words, "I'm absolutely delighted that Kate blamed Paul and Tessa Arnold" in a flat voice, with no rises or falls and placing equal weight on each syllable, you would quickly demonstrate the fundamental importance in human communication of intonation.
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