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Law - Philosophy - 05.11.2019
Lawyers asked to advise on unethical issues
Nearly half (45%) of in-house lawyers have been asked to advise on an action with debatable ethics, according to research by UCL. The research, published in a new report ' Which way is the wind blowing? Understanding the moral compass of in-house legal counsel' also found that 39% of in-house lawyers had been asked to advise on something which was potentially illegal.

Environment - Chemistry - 05.11.2019
Deep sea vents had ideal conditions for origin of life
By creating protocells in hot, alkaline seawater, a UCL-led research team has added to evidence that the origin of life could have been in deep-sea hydrothermal vents rather than shallow pools. Previous experiments had failed to foster the formation of protocells - seen as a key stepping stone to the development of cell-based life - in such environments, but the new study, published in  Nature Ecology & Evolution , finds that heat and alkalinity might not just be acceptable, but necessary to get life started.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 05.11.2019
World-leading mental health research centre celebrates ’decade of discovery’
One of the world's leading centres for research into the underlying causes of mental health issues is marking its 10th anniversary. The MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics is also transitioning from a Medical Research Council Centre to a Cardiff University Centre, and Professor James Walters is taking over as director, replacing Professor Sir Michael Owen.

Electroengineering - Chemistry - 05.11.2019
Scientists develop adhesive which can be unstuck in a magnetic field, reducing landfill waste
Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a glue which can unstick when placed in a magnetic field, meaning products otherwise destined for landfill, could now be dismantled and recycled at the end of their life. Currently, items like mobile phones, microwaves and car dashboards are assembled using adhesives.

Environment - 05.11.2019
Satellite tracking shows how ships affect clouds and climate
By matching the movement of ships to the changes in clouds caused by their emissions, researchers have shown how strongly the two are connected. When ships burn fossil fuels, they release airborne particles containing various naturally occurring chemicals, including sulphur. These particles are known to modify certain types of clouds, which can affect climate.

Physics - Materials Science - 04.11.2019
Scientists spy unstable semiconductors
Scientists from Cardiff University have, for the first time, spotted previously unseen "instabilities" on the surface of a common compound semiconductor material. The findings could potentially have profound consequences for the development of future materials in the electronic devices that power our daily lives.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.11.2019
Researchers identify certain gut bacteria that may be involved in causing bowel cancer
People who have a certain type of bacteria in their guts may be at greater risk of developing bowel cancer. The findings were presented by University of Bristol researcher, Dr Kaitlin Wade, at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in Glasgow today [4 Nov]. While there is increasing evidence that the make-up of the gut microbiome plays a role in the human health and the body's susceptibility to disease including an association between the microbiome and bowel cancer, very few have provided convincing evidence for causality.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 04.11.2019
Discriminating diets of meat-eating dinosaurs
A big problem with dinosaurs is that there seem to be too many meat-eaters. From studies of modern animals, there is a feeding pyramid, with plants at the bottom, then plant-eaters, and then meat-eaters at the top. A new study by scientists at the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences , published in the journal Palaeontology, shows that dinosaurian meat-eaters, the theropod dinosaurs, specialised a great deal, and so broadened their food base.

Environment - 01.11.2019
Palestinian farmers benefit from Birmingham water technology project
University of Birmingham scientists have worked with international students to produce prototype desalination equipment that could help Palestinian farmers avoid water shortages and grow crops efficiently. The equipment is built from off-the-shelf parts and could be deployed easily and relatively cheaply across the Middle East.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.11.2019
Shows heavy smoking can have a damaging effect on facial ageing
Heavy smoking may have a causal effect on facial ageing, according to new research led by the University of Bristol. The study searched across 18,000 traits from the UK Biobank cohort to identify those that may be affected by how heavily someone smokes. As well as recognising several known adverse effects such as on lung health, the research also found heavy smoking could influence appearance.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.11.2019
New Glasgow Cancer Tests for research and clinical trials
The Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory (GPOL) at the University of Glasgow has developed a ground-breaking new cancer test for research and clinical trials that could ultimately change the way cancer medicine is delivered. The Glasgow Cancer Tests are a suite of affordable solid tumour and blood cancer tests, developed specifically to enable patients to benefit from real-world precision medicine-based cancer treatments.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 01.11.2019
A bird in the nest and moving to Mars: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From bird-chick recognition, to Mars explorations, here is some quick-read news from across the College. A bird in the nest Passerine (or 'perching') birds do not differentiate between the chicks in their nest - meaning they potentially raise chicks that aren't theirs, such as those that are the product of a cheating partner.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 01.11.2019
Gannets learn to hunt by following their elders
Gannets, the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, can travel hundreds of miles from their homes just to catch food for their chicks. However, with around a million square miles of ocean to choose from, it has always been a mystery how they decide where is best to search for fish. Now, new research led by the University of Glasgow and published today in the Journal of Avian Biology, offers new insights into why these iconic shaped seabirds choose to hunt the way they do.

Health - Pharmacology - 31.10.2019
Measles causes ’immune amnesia’ leaving us vulnerable to other diseases
Scientists have shown how measles causes long-term damage to the immune system, leaving people vulnerable to other infections. The international team, which includes the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Amsterdam and Imperial College London, revealed that the measles virus deletes part of the immune system's memory, removing previously existing immunity to other infections, in both humans and ferrets.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.10.2019
Cognitive differences linked to amyloid at age 70
People with more harmful amyloid plaques in the brain already score worse than their peers on cognitive tests at age 70, finds a new UCL-led study. Amyloid plaques are implicated in Alzheimer's disease, which typically develops multiple years later, so the new findings, published in Neurology , might show early warning signs before any disease develops.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 30.10.2019
Climate models and geology reveal new insights into the East Asian monsoon
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have used climate models and geological records to better understand changes in the East Asian monsoon over long geologic time scales. Their findings, published today in the journal Science Advances , suggest that the monsoon system's development was more sensitive to changes in geography (especially mountain height) rather than carbon dioxide, and that the monsoon came into existence around 40 million years earlier than previously thought.

Life Sciences - 30.10.2019
Frozen mosses reveal clues to Iceman Ötzi’s final journey
Clues to the final journey of Ötzi - a remarkable 5,300-year-old human corpse found frozen in ice in the Italian Alps - have now been revealed through the identification of mosses and liverworts frozen with the Iceman, according to new University of Glasgow research. The study -published today in PLOS ONE and in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck - identified at least 75 species of brypophytes - mosses and liverworts -preserved with the Iceman, holding important clues to Ötzi's final surroundings and last moments.

Music - 30.10.2019
Name that tune: Brain takes just 100 to 300 milliseconds to recognise familiar music
The human brain can recognise a familiar song within 100 to 300 milliseconds, highlighting the deep hold favourite tunes have on our memory, a UCL study finds. Anecdotally the ability to recall popular songs is exemplified in game shows such as 'Name That Tune', where contestants can often identify a piece of music in just a few seconds.

Economics / Business - 30.10.2019
New report shows complex nature of prostitution and sex work in England and Wales
A large-scale report into the nature and prevalence of prostitution in England and Wales, carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol, has been published today [30 October]. The research, commissioned and published by the Home Office, is a significant step in understanding sex work, the variety of different services and for what reasons people become involved.

Health - 30.10.2019
Quitting smoking and more exercise can halve risk of life-threatening frailty
Quitting smoking and doing more exercise can cut the chances of becoming frail in later years by more than half, according to new research led by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and UCL. A team of researchers from UCL, De Montfort University Leicester and St George's University, Grenada, studied data collected by the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA), which collects information from people aged over 50 to understand aspects of growing old.
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