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Health - Politics - 01.12.2020
New study to investigate COVID-19 and misinformation
Researchers at the University of Bristol and King's College London are leading a major new study to investigate COVID-19 perceptions and misperceptions, lockdown compliance and vaccine hesitancy. The research team is gathering longitudinal survey data on trust and compliance with public health requirements over the course of the pandemic, enhancing and extending the 'Life Under Lockdown' study fielded between April and June this year.

Health - 01.12.2020
Meningococcus B vaccine prevents disease with 79 per cent effectiveness in under 18s
Meningococcus group B, the most prevalent strain of meningococcal infection, is prevented with 79 per cent effectiveness in children and young adults inoculated with the 4CMenB vaccine, also known as Bexsero, according to a new collaborative study from researchers in Portugal and the UK and led by the University of Bristol which evaluated the vaccine's performance in a real-world setting.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2020
Scientists identify warning signs over effectiveness of HIV 'wonder drug' in sub-Saharan Africa
Scientists identify warning signs over effectiveness of HIV ’wonder drug’ in sub-Saharan Africa
Dolutegravir, the current first-line treatment for HIV, may not be as effective as hoped in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests new research published on World AIDS Day. The study finds that this so-called 'wonder drug' may be less effective in patients resistant to older drugs. Dolutegravir was very much seen as a 'wonder drug', but our study suggests it might not be as effective in a significant number of patients who are resistant to another important class of antiretroviral drugs Ravi Gupta As HIV copies itself and replicates, it can develop errors, or 'mutations', in its genetic code (its RNA).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Health - Environment - 23.11.2020
Big cats and small dogs: solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers
If you think getting your cat to the veterinarian is tricky, a new study - led by Cornell Wildlife Health Center, the University of Glasgow and the Wildlife Conservation Society; and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - has revealed that vaccination of endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers is the only practical strategy to protect them from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.

Health - Chemistry - 23.11.2020
Helicates meet Rotaxanes to create promise for future disease treatment
A new approach to treating cancers and other diseases that uses a mechanically interlocked molecule as a ‘magic bullet' has been designed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. Called rotaxanes, the molecules are tiny nanoscale structures that resemble a dumbbell with a ring trapped around the central post.

Health - Physics - 23.11.2020
Magnetic brain waves to detect injury and disease
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have developed a new sensor to measure weak magnetic signals in the brain, which has the potential to increase understanding of connectivity in the brain, and detect signs of traumatic brain injury, dementia and schizophrenia. Magnetic signals in the brain are measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Health - Career - 20.11.2020
Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection for at least six months
A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published today as a pre-print.

Health - Social Sciences - 20.11.2020
People in prison should be prioritised for any COVID-19 vaccine
Preventing serious complications from COVID-19 in potentially vulnerable populations in high risk environments, such as prisons, and preventing spread to surrounding communities needs a coordinated evidence-based approach to managing outbreaks of COVID-19 in prison settings.

Health - 20.11.2020
Obesity, age and BAME ethnicity associated with higher COVID-19 antibody levels
Researchers studying a group of UK healthcare workers discovered that non-white individuals recovering from COVID-19 displayed higher antibody levels than white individuals, with significantly greater levels observed in Asian individuals. Led by experts at the University of Birmingham, the researchers studied a cohort of 956 UK healthcare workers who self-isolated between March and June 2020 because of COVID-19.

Health - 20.11.2020
Financial inequalities widen due to Covid-19
Existing financial inequalities within society are widening as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, find UCL researchers as part of the Covid-19 Social Study. Almost half (47%) of those who were finding things "very difficult" financially before lockdown are now reporting things are "much worse", with a further 23% saying things are "worse".

Health - 19.11.2020
Identifying frailty should be a routine part of diabetes care
Identifying and assessing frailty in people with diabetes should be a priority, in order to better treat and manage patients and reduce mortality. A new study, led by researchers at the University of Glasgow and published today in the Lancet Healthy Longevity, undertook a systematic review of more than 100 studies, and concluded that diabetes is a risk factor for the development and progression of frailty.

Health - 19.11.2020
UCL-led care home study expanded to prevent COVID-19 spread
Testing the immune response of care home staff and residents to COVID-19 is to be expanded to help combat the spread of the virus among vulnerable people, as part of a UCL-led study. The Vivaldi 2 study will more than triple in size to provide a detailed picture of coronavirus infection in care homes in England.
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