news 2020



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Health - Administration - 18.09.2020
Five things we’re doing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19
Our ground breaking research has never been so critical during the Covid-19 pandemic. Amongst other things, we're helping to detect the virus, support people suffering from the effects of lockdown and understand how we could be better prepared if there was another pandemic. Here are five things our researchers have done to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Health - Psychology - 17.09.2020
Hospitals miss mental illness diagnosis in more than a quarter of patients
Severe mental illness diagnoses are missed by clinicians in more than one quarter of cases when people are hospitalised for other conditions, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. People from ethnic minority groups are even more likely to have previously diagnosed mental illnesses go unnoticed by medical staff, according to the findings from hospitals in England, published in PLOS Medicine .

Health - Computer Science - 17.09.2020
Extent of India's COVID nudge campaign revealed
Extent of India’s COVID nudge campaign revealed
The Government of India's use of nudge theory in the first three months of the pandemic helped to tackle the virus on numerous fronts, a new study suggests. The government urgently needed to buy time and... bring a deeply divided population together to fight a common struggle Ronita Bardhan India has reported nearly five million COVID-19 cases and well over 80,000 deaths (as of 17 September 2020), making the country one of the worst hit in the world.

Health - Psychology - 17.09.2020
Analysis: Post-traumatic stress disorder linked to increased risk of dementia
Dr Vasiliki Orgeta (UCL Psychiatry) shares new research which shows that PTSD is a risk factor for developing dementia. Dementia is one of the greatest global health challenges. As the world's population continues to age and to live longer, the number of people affected by dementia is expected to rise to 130 million by 2050.

Health - 16.09.2020
9/11 can teach us how to support those bereaved during COVID-19, researchers find
Researchers from a leading end-of-life charity have looked to 9/11 and other mass death events for approaches to support people bereaved through COVID-19. The team from the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre in Cardiff and the University of Bristol, led by Dr Emily Harrop with senior authors Professor Anthony Byrne and Dr Lucy Selman, conducted a rapid review looking at which approaches were most effective in times of mass bereavement.

Health - 16.09.2020
High levels of a growth factor increases risk for several cancers
A study of almost 400,000 British participants has identified a new link between raised levels of the growth factor IGF-1 and increased thyroid cancer risk and has confirmed associations with breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.  This could lead to new preventative strategies, including diet and lifestyle interventions.

Health - Psychology - 16.09.2020
PTSD may double risk of dementia
People who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are up to twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a new study by UCL researchers. The research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry , is the first meta-analysis of global evidence on PTSD and dementia risk.

Campus - Health - 14.09.2020
Stopping the spread of coronavirus in universities
As universities prepare to welcome students back, infectious disease modelling experts at the University of Bristol have conducted a rapid review and developed a new epidemic model which contributed to evidence considered by SAGE to assess the effectiveness of different interventions that could stop the spread of Sars-CoV-2 in a university setting.

Health - 11.09.2020
Study to identify transmission risk of COVID-19 aerosols during medical procedures
Many operations, due to the potential risk of COVID-19 aerosols being generated, have been delayed or are being performed with additional personal protective equipment (PPE), which has greatly reduced NHS services. A new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded study will identify which medical procedures are truly aerosol generating and whether the virus remains viable in the aerosol produced.

Health - Social Sciences - 11.09.2020
How can we get pupils and staff back-to-school safely during COVID-19?
Ensuring pupils and staff stay safe when they return to school this autumn is a major challenge because there is very little scientific evidence on the incidence and transmission of COVID-19 within schools. A ground-breaking research project will test whether 5,000 staff and pupils have active or past COVID-19 infection, develop systems to help schools prevent and cope with an outbreak and assess strategies to support the mental wellbeing of the school community now and moving forward.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.09.2020
COVID-19 exposure and viral carriage in health care workers
2.4% of asymptomatic health care workers at work in Birmingham were carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and over a third of those individuals subsequently became unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, a new cross-sectional study by researchers at the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has found.

Health - 10.09.2020
Autistic adults have a higher rate of physical health conditions
Autistic adults have a higher rate of physical health conditions
Autistic individuals are more likely to have chronic physical health conditions, particularly heart, lung, and diabetic conditions, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The results are published in the journal Autism. This is a first step in better understanding why autistic individuals are so much more likely to have chronic physical health problems Elizabeth Weir Earlier research has shown that autistic people on average die younger than others and that this may be, in part, due to chronic physical health conditions.

Health - Agronomy / Food Science - 10.09.2020
Older people in Sierra Leone face ’ticking time bomb’ of health issues - study
Three-quarters of people over-40 in Sierra Leone have at least one health factor that could contribute to cardiovascular disease - creating a ‘ticking time bomb' of death and disability in one of the world's poorest counties, a new study reveals. Researchers found that cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs) such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity are much more common in Sierra Leone than expected, whilst access to health care for these conditions is low.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.09.2020
Previously unknown 'genetic vulnerability' in breast cancer cells target of research
Previously unknown ’genetic vulnerability’ in breast cancer cells target of research
The study, published in the scientific journal  Nature , has uncovered a genetic vulnerability present in nearly 10% percent of all breast cancers tumours, and found a way to target this vulnerability and selectively kill cancer cells. Each year, over five thousand newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in the UK alone will carry this particular genetic fault, a proportion roughly double that driven by hereditary mutations such as those in the well-known BRCA genes.

Health - Pharmacology - 10.09.2020
Punctured lung affects almost one in a hundred hospitalised COVID-19 patients
Punctured lung affects almost one in a hundred hospitalised COVID-19 patients
As many as one in 100 patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 develop a pneumothorax - a 'punctured lung' - according to a study led by Cambridge researchers. Doctors need to be alert to the possibility of a punctured lung in patients with COVID-19, even in people who would not be thought to be typical at-risk patients Stefan Marciniak Like the inner tube of bicycle or car tyre, damage to the lungs can lead to a puncture.

Health - Pharmacology - 10.09.2020
Discovery of four Covid-19 risk groups helps guide treatment
People who are admitted to hospital with Covid-19 can be divided into four distinct groups, according to data from the world's largest study of patients with the disease. Researchers identified the groups using clinical information and tests carried out upon arrival at hospital to predict the patients' risk of death - ranging from low to very high.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.09.2020
Patients set to benefit from new guidelines on Artificial Intelligence health solutions
Patients could benefit from faster and more effective introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) innovations to diagnose and treat disease - thanks to the first international standards for reporting of clinical trials for AI. As evaluation of health interventions involving machine learning or other AI systems moves into clinical trials, an international group has developed guidelines aiming to improve the quality of these studies and ensure that they are reported transparently.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.09.2020
New model predicts oesophageal cancer eight years early for half of all patients
New model predicts oesophageal cancer eight years early for half of all patients
DNA from tissue biopsies taken from patients with Barrett's oesophagus - a risk factor for oesophageal cancer - could show which patients are most likely to develop the disease eight years before diagnosis, suggests a study led by researchers at the University of Cambridge and EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

Pharmacology - Health - 07.09.2020
Genetic study of proteins is a breakthrough in drug development for complex diseases
Genetic study of proteins is a breakthrough in drug development for complex diseases
An innovative genetic study of blood protein levels, led by researchers in the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC-IEU) at the University of Bristol, has demonstrated how genetic data can be used to support drug target prioritisation by identifying the causal effects of proteins on diseases. Working in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, Bristol researchers have developed a comprehensive analysis pipeline using genetic prediction of protein levels to prioritise drug targets, and have quantified the potential of this approach for reducing the failure rate of drug development.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.09.2020
Research unravels what makes memories so detailed and enduring
Research unravels what makes memories so detailed and enduring
In years to come, personal memories of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be etched in our minds with precision and clarity, distinct from other memories of 2020. The process which makes this possible has eluded scientists for many decades, but research led by the University of Bristol has made a breakthrough in understanding how memories can be so distinct and long-lasting without getting muddled up.
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