news 2020

Life Sciences - Nov 30
Life Sciences
Hurricanes, pollution, disease, bleaching and the effects of an increasingly warmer planet are all negatively impacting the health of coral reefs around the world. However, those in the Caribbean are facing a new threat - an aggressive, golden-brown, crust-like alga that is rapidly overgrowing shallow reefs.
Social Sciences - Nov 30

Women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are nearly seven times more likely than other women to die by suicide, according to a new study led by UCL researchers. The study of over 3 million people in Sweden, published in The Journal of Affective Disorders , found a similar but weaker relationship among men, who were four times more likely to die by suicide if they had a prior PTSD diagnosis.

Administration - Nov 27

Referendums on the future of the island of Ireland should only be held with a clear plan for what follows, according to an interim report from the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland, set up by the UCL Constitution Unit.

Physics - Nov 30
Physics

The first experimental observation of three-dimensional magnetic 'vortex rings' provides fundamental insight into intricate nanoscale structures inside bulk magnets and offers a fresh perspective for magnetic devices.

Pharmacology - Nov 27

There are encouraging signs that people in treatment for drug addiction can manage their medication when they are entrusted with a substantial quantity of opiate substitutes and told to take it in small daily doses, finds a new 'early insight' report from researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Bath.


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Life Sciences - Environment - 30.11.2020
New aggressive alga threatening the health of Caribbean coral reefs
New aggressive alga threatening the health of Caribbean coral reefs
Hurricanes, pollution, disease, bleaching and the effects of an increasingly warmer planet are all negatively impacting the health of coral reefs around the world. However, those in the Caribbean are facing a new threat - an aggressive, golden-brown, crust-like alga that is rapidly overgrowing shallow reefs.

Social Sciences - 30.11.2020
PTSD contributes to suicide risk, particularly for women
Women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are nearly seven times more likely than other women to die by suicide, according to a new study led by UCL researchers. The study of over 3 million people in Sweden, published in The Journal of Affective Disorders , found a similar but weaker relationship among men, who were four times more likely to die by suicide if they had a prior PTSD diagnosis.

Physics - Materials Science - 30.11.2020
Magnetic vortices come full circle
Magnetic vortices come full circle
The first experimental observation of three-dimensional magnetic 'vortex rings' provides fundamental insight into intricate nanoscale structures inside bulk magnets and offers a fresh perspective for magnetic devices. One of the main puzzles was why these structures are so unexpectedly stable - like smoke rings, they are only supposed to exist as moving objects Claire Donnelly Magnets often harbour hidden beauty.

Administration - 27.11.2020
Interim report issued on unification referendums on the island of Ireland
Referendums on the future of the island of Ireland should only be held with a clear plan for what follows, according to an interim report from the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland, set up by the UCL Constitution Unit. The report examines the legal rules for referendums north and south of the border, and assesses different ways of designing them based on criteria of procedural legitimacy, stability, simplicity, informed choice and inclusivity.

Pharmacology - Psychology - 27.11.2020
Treatment for drug addiction - how do patients cope in lockdown?
There are encouraging signs that people in treatment for drug addiction can manage their medication when they are entrusted with a substantial quantity of opiate substitutes and told to take it in small daily doses, finds a new 'early insight' report from researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Bath.

Administration - 27.11.2020
Unification referendums on the island of Ireland interim report
Referendums on the future of the island of Ireland should only be held with a clear plan for what follows, according to an interim report from the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland, set up by the UCL Constitution Unit. The report examines the legal rules for referendums north and south of the border, and assesses different ways of designing them based on criteria of procedural legitimacy, stability, simplicity, informed choice and inclusivity.

Pedagogy - Mathematics - 27.11.2020
Storybooks could help children’s maths
Tutoring programmes and storybooks can help improve children's attainment in maths, according to a new evidence review led by UCL researchers. The evidence review, published today by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and written by a team from the UCL Institute of Education,the University of Brighton, Loughborough University and Ulster University, synthesises the best international evidence about the teaching and learning mathematics for children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 (between the ages of 3 and 7).

Health - 27.11.2020
New study highlights ’exceptional challenges’ of bereavement during COVID-19 pandemic
The interim findings of a survey of people bereaved in the UK since March have laid bare the difficulties and distress experienced by those who have lost a loved one this year. The first UK-wide survey exploring bereavement experiences and support was carried out by Cardiff University and the University of Bristol, with many participants describing a lack of support following a loved one's death.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
Ancient bird with sickle-shaped beak offers insights into evolution
A 68 million-year-old fossil of a crow-sized bird discovered in Madagascar offers new insights into the evolution of face and beak shape of modern birds' ancestors, according to a new study involving UCL researchers. The findings are helping scientists to understand convergent evolution of complex anatomy.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
World's first research programme to identify scarring gene launched
World’s first research programme to identify scarring gene launched
A world-leading 1.5 million research programme that aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation has been launched today [26 November] by The Scar Free Foundation, the only medical research charity which focuses solely on scarring. The five-year research study led by the University of Bristol will identify the gene(s) that causes scarring and inform future treatments.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.11.2020
New immunotherapy shows promise against rare childhood cancer
A novel CAR T-cell therapy developed by researchers at UCL and designed to target cancerous tumours, has shown promising early results in children with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. For this proof-of-principle study, researchers at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health (GOS ICH) and the UCL Cancer Institute modified the patient's own T-cells (a type of immune cell), equipping them to recognise and kill neuroblastoma tumour cells.

Health - Physics - 25.11.2020
Quantum nanodiamonds may help detect disease earlier
The quantum sensing abilities of nanodiamonds can be used to improve the sensitivity of paper-based diagnostic tests, potentially allowing for earlier detection of diseases such as HIV, according to a study led by UCL researchers in the i-sense McKendry group. Paper-based lateral flow tests work the same way as a pregnancy test in that a strip of paper is soaked in a fluid sample and a change in colour - or fluorescent signal - indicates a positive result and the detection of virus proteins or DNA.

Environment - Innovation - 25.11.2020
Scottish scientists join call for decade-long deep sea study
The deep seas - vast expanses of water and seabed hidden more than 200 metres below the ocean surface to depths up to 11,000 metres - are recognised globally as an important frontier of science and discovery. But despite the fact they account for around 60% of Earth's surface area, large areas remain completely unexplored, yet the habitats they support impact on the health of the entire planet.

Pharmacology - Health - 25.11.2020
New breakthrough in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) could soon benefit from a new drug treatment that not only suppresses inflammation but also significantly reduces patient reported pain scores. Otilimab is a monoclonal antibody, biologic drug, which targets and suppresses the inflammatory cytokine GM-CSF. In a multicentre, dose-ranging trial, led by Professor Chris Buckley at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, and sponsored by the Pharmaceutical company GSK, researchers explored the clinical effects of otilimab to prevent inflammation, tissue damage and pain in people with RA.

Life Sciences - 25.11.2020
Research creates hydrogen-producing living droplets, paving way for alternative future energy sources
Research creates hydrogen-producing living droplets, paving way for alternative future energy sources
Scientists have built tiny droplet-based microbial factories that produce hydrogen, instead of oxygen, when exposed to daylight in air. The findings of the international research team, led by the University of Bristol in collaboration with the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, are published today.

Health - Pharmacology - 24.11.2020
Rhythm and bleughs: how changes in our stomach’s rhythms steer us away from disgusting sights
Does the sight of maggots squirming in rotten food make you look away in disgust? The phrase 'makes my stomach turn' takes on a new meaning today as researchers at the University of Cambridge reveal that changes in the rhythm of our stomachs prompt us to look away from disgusting images.

Health - Psychology - 24.11.2020
Young people’s anxiety levels doubled during first COVID-19 lockdown, says study, but easing of restrictions unlikely to bring any improvement to mental health
The number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13% to 24%, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown 1, according to new research from the University of Bristol. The study, using Bristol's Children of the 90s questionnaire data, showed that young people (27-29 years) reported higher levels of anxiety during the early phases of the pandemic in the first national lockdown and this was higher than their parents.

Health - 24.11.2020
Schools play limited role in spread of Covid-19
The school holidays had no significant impact on the spread of Covid-19 in Germany, according to a new study by UCL researchers. The research, published as a Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) working paper, found that school closures for the summer and fall holidays did not reduce the number of infection cases, while the return to full schooling after the summer holidays similarly did not lead to an increase in the number of infection cases - neither among children nor among adults.

Life Sciences - 24.11.2020
Can drinking cocoa make you smarter?
Increased consumption of flavanols - a group of molecules which occur naturally in fruit and vegetables - can increase your mental agility, according to new research. A team at the University of Birmingham has found that people given a cocoa drink containing high levels of flavanols were able to complete certain cognitive tasks more efficiently than when drinking a non-flavanol enriched-drink.

Physics - Materials Science - 23.11.2020
Moths strike out in evolutionary arms race with sophisticated wing design
Moths strike out in evolutionary arms race with sophisticated wing design
Ultra-thin, super-absorbent and extraordinarily designed to detract attention, the wings of moths could hold the key for developing technological solutions to survive in a noisy world. As revealed in a new study published today in PNAS [date tbc], researchers from the University of Bristol have discovered the precise construction of moths wings that have enabled the species to evade its most troublesome predator in a 65 million-year-old evolutionary arms race.
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