news 2017


Life Sciences

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Health - Life Sciences - 31.12.2017
The 10 most popular Imperial news stories of 2017
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).

Life Sciences - 25.12.2017
Computer game highlights stroke paralysis partly due to a lack of ’mental focus’
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.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.12.2017
8 times Imperial research made you double-take in 2017
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.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.12.2017
7 times Imperial research blew your mind in 2017
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.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2017
New marker in blood could detect fatal breast cancer up to one year earlier
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.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.12.2017
Leukaemia treatment can be made more effective by using a drug for iron overload
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.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.12.2017
Could deer hold clues about the link between malaria resistance and sickle cell?
Scientists have identified the genetic mutations that cause sickle cells in deer, according to new research Ecology & Evolution. The scientists from Imperial College London say although their research is in its early stages, it shows promise that certain species of deer might potentially be a surprising model in which to study the effects of sickling in humans such as resistance to malaria.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.12.2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK’s most discussed scientific paper of 2017
Study into catastrophic population decline for flying insects is UK's most discussed scientific paper of 2017 A research project involving the University of Sussex detailing the catastrophic loss of insect populations on nature reserves has been named the most discussed journal article in the UK in 2017.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 18.12.2017
Birds learn from each other’s ’disgust’, enabling insects to evolve bright colours
A new study of TV-watching great tits reveals how they learn through observation. Social interactions within a predator species can have "evolutionary consequences" for potential prey - such as the conspicuous warning colours of insects like ladybirds. We suspect our findings apply over a wide range of predators and prey.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.12.2017
Dementia with Lewy bodies: unique genetic profile identified
Dementia with Lewy bodies has a unique genetic profile, distinct from those of Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, according to the first large-scale genetic study of this common type of dementia which was led by UCL. The genome-wide association study, conducted by a UCL-led collaboration of 65 academics in 11 countries and funded by Alzheimer's Society and the Lewy Body Society, is published today in The Lancet Neurology .

Life Sciences - Health - 14.12.2017
Toxic agents behind Parkinson’s disease seen at work for the first time
Researchers get their first look at how the toxic protein clusters associated with Parkinson's disease disrupt the membranes of healthy brain cells. Parkinson's disease is a degenerative nervous system disorder that affects more than six million people worldwide and causes nearly 120,000 deaths per year.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.12.2017
Womb natural killer cell discovery could lead to screening for miscarriage risk
o Previously unknown functions of natural killer cells identified o Cells remodel and 'refresh' the lining of the womb in preparation for pregnancy o Process isn't always balanced in each cycle o Could lead to screening and treatment for women at risk of miscarriage For the first time the functions of natural killer cells in the womb have been identified.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.12.2017
Gene mutation causes low sensitivity to pain
A UCL-led research team has identified a rare mutation that causes one family to have unusually low sensitivity to pain. The researchers hope the findings, published today in Brain , could be used to identify new treatments for chronic pain. They studied an Italian family, the Marsilis, which includes six people who have a distinctive pain response that has not been identified in any other people.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 13.12.2017
Even wild mammals have regional dialects
Researchers from Cardiff University's Otter Project have discovered that genetically distinct populations of wild otters from across the UK have their own regional odours for communicating vital information to each other. The findings could have implications for wild mammal conservation efforts. The study, which profiled chemical secretions from the Eurasian otter, suggests that genetically distinct populations of wild mammals have different odour dialects, which may have been driven by geographical separation.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.12.2017
Tapeworm drug could lead the fight against Parkinson’s disease
Researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with the University of Dundee, have identified a drug molecule within a medicine used to treat tapeworm infections which could lead to new treatments for patients with Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that, according to the charity, Parkinson's UK, affects one person in every 500.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.12.2017
Scientists successfully demonstrate a new way to help nerve regeneration in spinal cord injury
A new way of triggering nerve regeneration to help repair spinal cord injury and in the longer-term potentially paralysis has successfully been demonstrated by University of Bristol scientists. The work is published in PLOS ONE today [Monday 11 December]. There is currently no cure for spinal cord injury or treatment to help nerve regeneration so therapies offering intervention are limited.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.12.2017
Hormone discovery marks breakthough in understanding fertility
Scientists at The University of Nottingham have shown, for the first time, that a naturally occurring hormone plays a vital part in regulating a woman's fertility, a discovery that could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Research by Associate Professor Ravinder Anand-Ivell , Professor Richard Ivell and Yanzhenzi Dai in the School of Biosciences has been published in the online journal Frontiers in Physiology.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.12.2017
Twitter can reveal our shared mood
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from the University of Bristol have analysed mood indicators in text from 800 million anonymous messages posted on Twitter. These tweets were found to reflect strong patterns of positive and negative moods over the 24-hour day. Circadian rhythms, widely referred to as the 'body clock', allows people's bodies to predict their needs over the dark and light periods of the day.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.12.2017
Depression’s causal mechanisms identified with new method
People with major depressive disorder have alterations in the activity and connectivity of brain systems underlying reward and memory, according to a new study by the University of Warwick. The findings provide clues as to which regions of the brain could be at the root of symptoms, such as reduced happiness and pleasure, or negative memories, in depression.

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 07.12.2017
New insights into life and death of Jumbo the elephant revealed in BBC One documentary
New insights into the life and mysterious death of Jumbo the elephant - a celebrity animal superstar whose story is said to have inspired the film 'Dumbo' - will be revealed in a BBC One documentary hosted by Sir David Attenborough and featuring a University of Nottingham archaeologist on Sunday 10 December.
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