news 2020

Environment - May 28
Environment
The ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic coastline retreated at speeds of up to 50 metres per day at the end of the last Ice Age, far more rapid than the satellite-derived retreat rates observed today, new research has found.
Life Sciences - May 28
Life Sciences

New research has revealed the evolution of colour vision in elapid snakes following their transition from terrestrial to fully marine environments, and for the first time, provided evidence of where, when and how frequently the species have adapted their ability to see in colour.

Health - May 28

A new type of test that uses complex sugars to detect prostate cancer earlier and with greater accuracy is being developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The test works by identifying sugars, known as glycans, in blood.

Life Sciences - May 28

The Near East was a crossroad for the ancient world's greatest civilizations, and invasions over centuries caused enormous changes in cultures, religions and languages. However, a new study of the DNA of ancient skeletons spanning 4,000 years has revealed that most of these changes had no lasting effect on the genetics of the local population of Beirut.

Health - May 28

A new coalition of more than 500 scientists from 18 countries, involving UCL, will data on COVID-19 gleaned from the use of mass spectrometry techniques which examine people's blood and other biomarkers.


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Environment - 28.05.2020
Antarctic ice sheets capable of retreating up to 50 metres per day
Antarctic ice sheets capable of retreating up to 50 metres per day
The ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic coastline retreated at speeds of up to 50 metres per day at the end of the last Ice Age, far more rapid than the satellite-derived retreat rates observed today, new research has found.

Life Sciences - 28.05.2020
Evolution of colour vision in sea snakes
Evolution of colour vision in sea snakes
New research has revealed the evolution of colour vision in elapid snakes following their transition from terrestrial to fully marine environments, and for the first time, provided evidence of where, when and how frequently the species have adapted their ability to see in colour. Published in the journal Current Biology , the study is an international collaboration between the University of Adelaide, the University of Plymouth, University of Bristol and The Natural History Museum, London, and others, involving scientists from the UK, Australia, Denmark, Bangladesh and Canada.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 28.05.2020
4000 Years of contact, conflict and cultural change had little genetic impact in Near East
The Near East was a crossroad for the ancient world's greatest civilizations, and invasions over centuries caused enormous changes in cultures, religions and languages. However, a new study of the DNA of ancient skeletons spanning 4,000 years has revealed that most of these changes had no lasting effect on the genetics of the local population of Beirut.

Health - Pharmacology - 28.05.2020
Sugars could be the key to an earlier, more accurate test for prostate cancer
A new type of test that uses complex sugars to detect prostate cancer earlier and with greater accuracy is being developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The test works by identifying sugars, known as glycans, in blood. These sugars are attached to protein molecules called PSA and are known to undergo distinct but subtle changes when cancer is present in the body.

Health - Pharmacology - 28.05.2020
Mapping COVID-19 effects and treatments in patients’ blood
A new coalition of more than 500 scientists from 18 countries, involving UCL, will data on COVID-19 gleaned from the use of mass spectrometry techniques which examine people's blood and other biomarkers. Announced in The Lancet today, and coordinated from The University of Manchester, the COVID-19 MS Coalition is made up of many of the world's leading mass spectrometry experts who will work together to look at the ways in which the novel coro rus is present in patients' blood and examine in detail how the virus is structured.

Event - 28.05.2020
High tech printing makes checking banknotes possible in the blink of an eye
New ‘3D micro-optic' security features in banknotes enable the general public to detect counterfeits reliably within a fraction of a second, according to new research at the University of Birmingham. During a typical cash transaction, people glance at banknotes for about a second, not giving them much time to check banknotes for authenticity.

Life Sciences - Environment - 28.05.2020
50 billion years of evolutionary history threatened by human activity
50 billion years of evolutionary history threatened by human activity
Unique animals with long evolutionary histories are under increased threat of extinction around the world, according to a new study. Our analyses reveal the incomprehensible scale of the losses we face if we don't work harder to save global biodiversity. Rikki Gumbs Many of these unique species live in areas that are facing unprecedented levels of human pressure from activities such as urban development, deforestation and road building, including the Caribbean, the Western Ghats of India, and large parts of Southeast Asia.

Pharmacology - Health - 27.05.2020
’Signatures’ in blood reveal how sepsis patients will respond to condition
A leading university in the heart of a thriving capital city Over 95 % of our undergraduates enter employment or further study shortly after graduating (HESA 2016/17) Top 5 UK University for research quality (REF 2014) Welcoming and ambitious we are truly a global university £ 600 m invested in our biggest Working to make a better future for Wales and the world Scientists have identified molecular “signatures” in the immune component

Life Sciences - 27.05.2020
Strong convictions can blind us to information that challenges them
When people are highly confident in a decision, they take in information that confirms their decision, but fail to process information which contradicts it, finds a UCL brain imaging study. The study, published , helps to explain the neural processes that contribute to the confirmation bias entrenched in most people's thought processes.

Health - 27.05.2020
Users of high-potency cannabis four times more likely to report associated problems
Published today [27 May] on JAMA Psychiatry the research uses data from Children of the 90s , a long-term health study that recruited more than 14,000 pregnant women and their babies born in and around Bristol in the early 1990s and has been following their health and development ever since. This is the first research of its kind to look at data from a general population sample, with previous research into the between cannabis potency and mental health only looking at clinical and self-selecting samples of people who use drugs.

Health - Life Sciences - 27.05.2020
Genetic database provides rare disease clues and Parkinson’s hope
Scientists have created the world's largest publicly available database of genetic variants - changes in DNA that can sometimes lead to disease. The use of this resource, called the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) and including information from over 140,000 people from across the globe, is described in a landmark collection of seven papers, published today in the journals Nature , Nature Communications and Nature Medicine.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.05.2020
Optimal time to treat Huntington’s disease identified
The earliest brain changes due to Huntington's disease can be detected 24 years before clinical symptoms show, according to a new UCL-led study. The researchers say their findings, published in The Lancet Neurology , could help with clinical trials by pinpointing the optimal time to begin treating the disease.

Health - 26.05.2020
Urgent need for coronavirus testing in care homes, suggests study
A team of academics from the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) has undertaken a coro rus outbreak investigation in four London nursing homes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 26.05.2020
Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets
Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets
Giant planets in our solar system and circling other stars have exotic clouds unlike anything on Earth, and the gas giants orbiting close to their stars - so called hot Jupiters - boast the most extreme. A team of astronomers from the United States, Canada and the Universities of Bristol and Oxford in the UK have now come up with a model that predicts which of the many types of proposed clouds, from sapphire to smoggy methane haze, to expect on hot Jupiters of different temperatures, up to thousands of degrees Kelvin.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 26.05.2020
Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at 'deadliest possible' angle
Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at ’deadliest possible’ angle
New simulations from Imperial College London have revealed the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs struck Earth at the -deadliest possible- angle. The simulations show that the asteroid hit Earth at an angle of about 60 degrees , which maximised the amount of climate-changing gases thrust into the upper atmosphere.

Health - 26.05.2020
Patient notes could offer solution to the 'missing' Coronavirus diagnoses
Patient notes could offer solution to the ’missing’ Coronavirus diagnoses
GPs' notes currently u ailable to medical researchers could provide clues to help manage major health crises such as Covid-19. And, according to a ‘citizens' jury' study at Brighton and Sussex Medical School ( BSMS ), the main thing stopping the use of such information - concerns over patient privacy - could be overcome.

Health - 26.05.2020
BBC Contagion experiment offers insights into Covid-19 control
Data from a BBC citizen science experiment has helped predict how different strategies could control the spread of Covid-19 - according to new preliminary research from Oxford University, University of East Anglia, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The team of researchers re-purposed the BBC data to simulate outbreaks of Covid-19, and see which public health interventions might be effective.

Life Sciences - 25.05.2020
Through glass frogs' translucent camouflage
Through glass frogs’ translucent camouflage
Using a combination of behavioural trials in the field, computational visual modelling and a computer-based detection experiment, the study published in PNAS reveals that, while glass frog translucency does act as camouflage, the mechanism differs from that of true transparency. Lead author, Dr James Barnett who began the research while a PhD student at the University of Bristol and is now based at McMaster University in Canada, said: “The frogs are always green but appear to brighten and darken depending on the background.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.05.2020
Antibody designed to recognise pathogens of Alzheimer's disease
Antibody designed to recognise pathogens of Alzheimer’s disease
Researchers have found a way to design an antibody that can identify the toxic particles that destroy healthy brain cells - a potential advance in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Health - 23.05.2020
BSMS researchers lead the way in international trial to protect healthcare workers from Covid-19
BSMS researchers lead the way in international trial to protect healthcare workers from Covid-19
Martin Llewelyn, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Brighton and Sussex Medical School ( BSMS ), is leading the UK arm of a global study, which is opening at hospital sites in Brighton and Oxford, to test if either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine can prevent Covid-19 in vital frontline healthcare workers.
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