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Health - Life Sciences - 28.12.2015
Second contagious form of cancer found in Tasmanian devils
Transmissible cancers - cancers which can spread between individuals by the transfer of living cancer cells - are believed to arise extremely rarely in nature. One of the few known transmissible cancers causes facial tumours in Tasmanian devils, and is threatening this species with extinction. Today, scientists report the discovery of a second transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.12.2015
2015 Review: All creatures great and small
It's been a busy year for animal health and welfare stories, so we are taking a look back at a few of the highlights. From whales to fruit flies, our researchers have made fascinating discoveries from right across the animal kingdom. Test tube foal The first foal to be born as a result of IVF for 15 years marks the first step to producing an embryo bank that could be the last lifeline for some rare, traditional British breeds that are on the verge of disappearing.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2015
Intelligence 'networks' discovered in brain for the first time
Intelligence 'networks’ discovered in brain for the first time
Scientists from Imperial College London have identified for the first time two clusters of genes linked to human intelligence. Called M1 and M3, these so-called gene networks appear to influence cognitive function - which includes memory, attention, processing speed and reasoning. Crucially, the scientists have discovered that these two networks - which each contain hundreds of genes - are likely to be under the control of master regulator switches.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2015
Epigenetic discovery suggests DNA modifications more diverse than previously thought
The world of epigenetics - where molecular 'switches' attached to DNA turn genes on and off - has just got bigger with the discovery by a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge of a new type of epigenetic modification. It's possible that we struck lucky with this modifier, but we believe it is more likely that there are many more modifications that directly regulate our DNA Magdalena Koziol Published today , the discovery suggests that many more DNA modifications than previously thought may exist in human, mouse and other vertebrates.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.12.2015
Arctic cold season methane emissions much higher than predicted
New study finds amount of methane escaping the Arctic tundra is higher than estimated by current climate models Methane is a potent greenhouse gas which accelerates atmospheric warming The Arctic tundra is releasing at least as much methane during its cold season as it does during the summer, a new study has found.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2015
‘Superbug’ colony behaviours revealed in time-lapse video
A well-known 'superbug' which was thought to have been a static or non-motile organism has been observed showing signs of active motility by scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), or MRSA, is the bug responsible for several infections in humans ranging from superficial to life-threatening which are difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.12.2015
Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen
Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen
It took 100 million years for oxygen levels in the oceans and atmosphere to increase to the level that allowed the explosion of animal life on Earth about 600 million years ago, according to research carried out at the University of Bristol and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. Before now it was not known how quickly Earth's oceans and atmosphere became oxygenated and if animal life expanded before or after oxygen levels rose.

Life Sciences - 18.12.2015
Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen
Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen
It took 100 million years for oxygen levels in the oceans and atmosphere to increase to the level that allowed the explosion of animal life on Earth about 600 million years ago, according to a UCL-led study funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. Before now it was not known how quickly Earth's oceans and atmosphere became oxygenated and if animal life expanded before or after oxygen levels rose.

Life Sciences - 18.12.2015
Forgetting is key to learning
Do you often feel overwhelmed with the amount of information coming at you? Forgotten your shopping list as soon as you've heard the sports results? Don't worry, it's all completely normal - and necessary - according to new research which shows that such forgetting is a key part of learning. The study, by researchers from the University of Glasgow's Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, is published today in Current Biology and has found that our inability to hold onto new memories is essential to the brain's learning process.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2015
Heightened blood flow in the brain linked to development of psychosis
Scientists from King's College London and the University of Roehampton have identified a key mechanism in the brain which might be associated with the onset and development of psychosis. Using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique they found that 52 young people deemed to be at ultra high risk of psychosis had increased or ‘hyperactive'levels of blood flow compared to 27 healthy controls in the hippocampus, striatum and midbrain - all brain regions that are particularly implicated in the onset of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.12.2015
Stem cells likely to be safe for use in regeneration medicine, study confirms
Cambridge researchers have found the strongest evidence to date that human pluripotent stem cells - cells that can give rise to all tissues of the body - will develop normally once transplanted into an embryo. The findings, published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell, could have important implications for regenerative medicine.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.12.2015
Stem cells likely to be safe for use in regenerative medicine, study confirms
Cambridge researchers have found the strongest evidence to date that human pluripotent stem cells - cells that can give rise to all tissues of the body - will develop normally once transplanted into an embryo. The findings, published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell, could have important implications for regenerative medicine.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.12.2015
New test for cancer and diabetes biomarkers 1000x more detailed
University of Warwick researchers developed the test to help identify molecules in collagen The researchers say same test, 2DMS, can also be used to identify cancer and diabetes biomarkers in bloodstream New test is also 100% faster than currently used techniques Research originates from the work of Warwick undergraduate student A new test for detecting biomarkers for cancer and diabetes is more than 1000x more detailed and 100% faster than existing methods, new research by the University of Warwick suggests.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.12.2015
Face cream ingredient found to mimic life-extending effects of a calorie restriction diet
A commonly used skin care ingredient is one of several newly identified compounds that can mimic the life-extending effect of a starvation diet, new University of Liverpool research has revealed. Calorie restriction, a reduction in calorie intake without malnutrition, has been found to slow down the ageing process in several animal models from worms to mammals, and developing drugs that can reproduce this effect, without the side effects, could have widespread human applications.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.12.2015
Cancer cells take up nanoparticles more rapidly than normal brain cells
Cancer cells take up nanoparticles more rapidly than normal brain cells. New research carried out by drug delivery experts at The University of Nottingham has highlighted more advantages to using nanoparticles for the delivery of cancer drugs. This will help in developing improved ways to treat cancer.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.12.2015
Bacteria could be stopped from hiding in 'standby mode'
Bacteria could be stopped from hiding in ’standby mode’
Researchers are unraveling the mystery of how bacteria switch into 'standby mode' in the human body, enabling the bugs to evade antibiotics. Bacteria enter standby mode when they encounter adverse conditions in the body, such as when they are starved of nutrients. This enables them to shut down their metabolism, and remain in this state until conditions become more favourable.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.12.2015
Low cost, safe and accurate test could help diagnose rare childhood cancers
A non-invasive, low cost blood test that could help doctors diagnose some types of malignant childhood tumour has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Health NHS Foundation Trust. At the moment, we are not good enough at diagnosing these tumours and monitoring their treatment: we need better, safer and more cost-effective tests Nick Coleman Reported today in the British Journal of Cancer, the test could enable doctors to monitor the effectiveness of treatments without exposing patients to repeated doses of radiation.

Life Sciences - 16.12.2015
Fossils enrich our understanding of evolution
Fossils enrich our understanding of evolution
Our understanding of evolution can be enriched by adding fossil species to analyses of living animals, as shown by scientists from the University of Bristol. Their paper, published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , investigates patterns of evolutionary change in a group of mammals known as Afrotheria.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.12.2015
Body clock study unlocks prospect of treatment for osteoarthritis
Body clock study unlocks prospect of treatment for osteoarthritis
A University of Manchester biologist has for the first time established that the painful and debilitating symptoms endured by osteoarthritis sufferers are intrinsically linked to the human body clock. The study, led by Dr Qing-Jun Meng, who is a Senior Research Fellow for Arthritis Research UK, could in the years to come, pave the way for drug treatment of the joint condition that affects 8 million people in the UK.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.12.2015
Enhanced rock weathering could help counter fossil-fuel emissions and protect our oceans
Scientists have discovered enhanced weathering of rock could counter man-made fossil fuel CO2 emissions and help to protect our oceans. An international team, led by researchers from the University of Sheffield, found that speeding up the naturally occurring process of the weathering of rock to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere could help to significantly stabilise the climate and avert ocean acidification caused by humans burning fossil fuels.
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Life Sciences