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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The past 12 months have provided many eye-grabbing headlines from the Imperial community from world-leading research to incredible inventions. Before 2018 is upon us with its own wave of news, we take a quick look back at the most popular articles on our award-winning news site (ranked by the number of page views).
Harvesting energy from our movements and a method for determining the composition of cement were two of the most widely downloaded papers in 2017. Spiral - Imperial College London's open access repository - allows academics to make journal articles and other research outputs open access, meeting the requirements of the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
Following years of research, AI is starting to have an impact on the way science is done, as these five Imperial studies from 2017 show. Barely a week has gone by in 2017 without warnings in the media about how Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is threatening to make all human workers redundant.
An inability to focus the brain on tasks may partially explain why paralysis commonly occurs in people following a stroke, according to a news study. Patients who have suffered a stroke - where the blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot or bleed - often experience a degree of paralysis on one side of the body, termed hemiplegia, affecting the strength and dexterity in their limbs.
Some surprise research headlines need a second look, but quirky studies can often reveal serious science. From a geological Brexit to jellyfish computers, some research announcements are more than a little bit quirky. However, look beyond the headline and you'll find fascinating research with powerful real world applications.
Robotic prosthetics, AI guessing your brain age and much, much more. It's been quite a year for research, so here's just a few of the top stories... At times this year it may have seemed like science took a back seat, with politics bullying its way to the forefront and Brexit shoehorned into every headline to contend with.
A new marker that could be used to diagnose fatal breast cancer up to one year ahead of current methods has been identified in a study led by UCL. The study, published in Genome Medicine today, found that changes detected in a part of DNA which the researches named EFC#93 could suggest early signs of deadly breast cancer.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have taken a peek into the secretive domain of quantum mechanics. In a theoretical paper published in the journal Physical Review A , they have shown that the way that particles interact with their environment can be used to track quantum particles when they're not being observed, which had been thought to be impossible. We can verify old predictions of quantum mechanics, for example that particles can exist in different locations at the same time.
New Oxford University research has revealed that as digital past-times have become intertwined with daily life, children have adapted their behaviours to include their devices. Much like adults, they are able to multi-task and do all the things that they would do anyway, such as, homework and playing outdoors with friends.
Chemotherapy for one type of leukaemia could be improved by giving patients a drug currently used to treat an unrelated condition, new research shows. Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer that stops healthy blood cell production. Chemotherapy is the standard treatment, but improvements are needed as the five-year survival rate in patients older than 60 is only 5-15 per cent.
A huge European astronomy survey, whose results are released today (21 December 2017), has revealed that the view of the Universe provided by traditional optical telescopes is seriously biased. The Herschel ATLAS (H-ATLAS) was a survey carried out by an international team led by researchers at Cardiff University with European Herschel Space Observatory in the far-infrared waveband, which consists of electromagnetic waves with wavelengths 200 times greater than optical light.
Scientists have discovered how the sun's influence on the remote planet Uranus changes its brightness in the sky. Changes in solar activity influence the colour and formation of clouds around the planet, researchers at Oxford and Reading universities found. The icy planet is second furthest from the sun in the solar system and takes 84 Earth years to complete a full orbit - one Uranian year.
Physical fitness is associated with better cognitive performance in older adults with dementia, according to a new study from UCL. The positive effects were found to be independent of past levels of exercise and illness duration, suggesting it's never too late to benefit from good levels of physical fitness, even after the onset of dementia.
Veterinary researchers at the University of Nottingham have produced a new tool to help UK dairy vets and farmers monitor and reduce use of antibiotics in their dairy herds to help combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the farming industry and beyond. It follows a new study by the Nottingham Vet School showing that, in a large sample of dairy farms, 25% of farms used 50% of the total antibiotics used across all farms in a year - with antibiotic footbaths accounting for the biggest volume dispersed into the food chain.
Image shows modern Mars (left) dry and barren, compared with the same scene over 3.5 billion years ago covered in water (right). The rocks of the surface were slowly reacting with the water, sequestering it into the Martian mantle leading to the dry, inhospitable scene shown on the left. Image credit: Jon Wade When searching for life, scientists first look for an element key to sustaining it: fresh water.
Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of "anthropogenic impact". Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability.
Protecting an area for wildlife can work-but only if there is robust political governance. That's the research conclusion of twenty-three years of bird counting by an international team of researchers, including a scientist from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath and published in the journal Nature .
Ambulance response times in London worsen when air temperatures rise or fall beyond certain limits in summer and winter, according to a new study. Current daily estimates at the London Ambulance Service (LAS) of vehicles likely to be required in the week ahead are based on statistics for the same days of the year over the last three years.
By attaching specialised molecules to the backbone of DNA, researchers have made it easier to detect rare molecules associated with early disease. The presence of, or changes in the concentration of, certain proteins in biological fluids can be indicators of disease. However, in the early stages of disease these ‘biomarkers' can be difficult to detect, as they are relatively rare.
The world's rainforests take up extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but their ability to do so is threatened by drought and fragmentation. Human activities pump extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but only around half of it stays there. The oceans and forests of the world are known to be carbon ‘sinks', absorbing much of the excess atmospheric carbon.