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Life Sciences - Mathematics - 03.07.2020
Analysis: How the brain builds a sense of self from the people around us - new research
MBPhD researcher Sam Ereira (UCL Medical School) shares his research on brains and discusses how we distinguish between thinking about our minds versus those of others. We are highly sensitive to people around us. As infants, we observe our parents and teachers, and from them we learn how to walk, talk, read - and use smartphones.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.07.2020
New sequencing technology will help scientists decipher disease mechanisms
New technologies capable of sequencing single molecules in fine detail will help scientists better understand the mechanisms of rare nucleotides thought to play an important role in the progression of some diseases. A review paper, led by a scientist at the University of Birmingham, describes how emerging sequencing technologies will transform our understanding of these molecules, ultimately leading to new drug targets.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.07.2020
Novel genetic causes of rare diseases, leading to improved diagnosis and better patient care
Novel genetic causes of rare diseases, leading to improved diagnosis and better patient care
Whole genome sequencing is the technology used by the 100,000 Genomes Project, a service set up by the government which aims to introduce routine genetic diagnostic testing in the NHS. The integration of genetic research with NHS diagnostic systems increases the likelihood that a patient will receive a diagnosis and the chance this will be provided within weeks rather than months.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.07.2020
Secrets of naked mole-rat cancer resistance unearthed
Secrets of naked mole-rat cancer resistance unearthed
Naked mole-rats can live for an incredibly long time and have an exceptional resistance to cancer thanks to unique conditions in their bodies that stop cancer cells multiplying, according to new research.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.06.2020
Brain complications in patients with severe COVID-19
Neurological and psychiatric complications observed in critically ill patients during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, shine new light on conditions which may be linked to coronavirus, finds new research co-led by UCL. The study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry , describes 153 patients treated in UK hospitals, who were deemed by doctors to represent the most severe cases.

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.06.2020
Shelling out for dinner: dolphins learn foraging skills from peers
Shelling out for dinner: dolphins learn foraging skills from peers
A new study demonstrates for the first time that dolphins can learn foraging techniques outside the mother-calf bond - showing that they have a similar cultural nature to great apes. The findings, led by an international research team including academics at the University of Bristol, are published in Current Biology.

Life Sciences - 26.06.2020
Does fossil study prove iconic sabretooth was really a ’pussycat’
Not all sabretooth cats were fearsome predators - some may have been scavengers using their teeth to rip open carcasses before extracting their prey's innards with a big tongue, according to a new study. Thylacosmilus atrox lived some five million years ago in Argentina - a jaguar-sized marsupial with huge canines, fuelling speculation it was an even more vicious predator than placental carnivores, such as the North American Smilodon fatalis, that it superficially resembled.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.06.2020
Scientists develop model that reproduces photosynthesis
An international team, led by the University of California (Riverside) in collaboration with scientists from the Universities of Glasgow and Amsterdam, has constructed a model that reproduces a currently unrecognized general feature of photosynthesis, that can be observed across many types of photosynthetic organisms.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 24.06.2020
On brain swelling in children with cerebral malaria reveals potential new treatment approach
Research on brain swelling in children with cerebral malaria reveals potential new treatment approach Through investigating the causes of brain swelling in cerebral malaria - a devastating parasitic disease that is fatal for one in five children - scientists have found a potential new treatment approach that could be safely used to improve outcome.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.06.2020
Genomes front and centre of rare disease diagnosis
Genomes front and centre of rare disease diagnosis
Cambridge-led study discovers new genetic causes of rare diseases, potentially leading to improved diagnosis and better patient care. This research shows that quicker and better genetic diagnosis will be possible for more NHS patients Willem Ouwehand A research programme pioneering the use of whole genome sequencing in the NHS has diagnosed hundreds of patients and discovered new genetic causes of disease.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 24.06.2020
Faulty brain processing of new information underlies psychotic delusions, finds new research
Faulty brain processing of new information underlies psychotic delusions, finds new research
Problems in how the brain recognizes and processes novel information lie at the root of psychosis, researchers from the University of Cambridge and King's College London have found. Their discovery that defective brain signals in patients with psychosis could be altered with medication paves the way for new treatments for the disease.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.06.2020
Certain human genes relate to gut bacteria
Certain human genes relate to gut bacteria
The role genetics and gut bacteria play in human health has long been a fruitful source of scientific enquiry, but new research marks a significant step forward in unraveling this complex relationship. Its findings could transform our understanding and treatment of all manner of common diseases, including obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, and Alzheimer's disease.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.06.2020
SARS-CoV-2 transmission to animals: monitoring needed to mitigate risk
As evidence mounts for the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infecting various animals, scientists at UCL say a global effort is needed to reduce the risk of the virus later returning to people. In a comment piece for The Lancet Microbe , researchers write that if the virus becomes common in an animal population that lives near people, such as pets or livestock, there would be a risk that another outbreak could occur even if the virus is eradicated in people in the area.

Mathematics - Life Sciences - 19.06.2020
An ant-inspired approach to mathematical sampling
An ant-inspired approach to mathematical sampling
In a paper published by the Royal Society, a team of Bristol researchers observed the exploratory behaviour of ants to inform the development of a more efficient mathematical sampling technique. Animals like ants have the challenge of exploring their environment to look for food and potential places to live.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.06.2020
Viruses can steal our genetic code to create new human-virus genes
Scientists have shown that a large group of viruses, including the influenza viruses and other serious pathogens, steal genetic signals from their hosts to expand their own genomes. The study - a collaboration between the University of Glasgow and researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and published today in Cell - shows that, by stealing genetic signals from their hosts, viruses can produce a wealth of previously undetected proteins.

Life Sciences - Palaeontology - 17.06.2020
Insect crunching reptiles on ancient islands of the UK
Insect crunching reptiles on ancient islands of the UK
By analysing the fossilised jaw mechanics of reptiles who lived in the Severn Channel region of the UK 200-million-years ago, researchers from the University of Bristol have shown that they weren't picky about the types of insects they ate - enjoying both crunchy and less crunchy varieties. The study, published today in the journal Palaeontology , describes how the team analysed the biomechanics of the skulls of some early lizard-like reptiles called rhynchocephalians to explore their diets.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.06.2020
Finds evidence that loneliness makes it harder to quit smoking
Finds evidence that loneliness makes it harder to quit smoking
In a study published in the journal Addiction, University of Bristol researchers have found evidence for a causal link between prolonged experience of loneliness and smoking. Although numerous studies have shown there is an association, it has been difficult to disentangle whether being lonely leads to substance abuse, or if substance abuse leads to loneliness.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.06.2020
Blocking brain signals detected in the kidney could help unlock future treatments for kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke
Blocking brain signals detected in the kidney could help unlock future treatments for kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke
Scientists have discovered an important cell signalling pathway in the kidney which if stopped, could hold the key to treating chronic kidney disease as well as other deadly conditions, including heart attack and stroke. The pathway was already known to exist in the brain, where it helps to maintain the body's energy balance, but this is the first time it has been found in the kidney.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.06.2020
Analysis: Negative thinking linked with more rapid cognitive decline, study indicates
Dr Natalie Marchant (UCL Psychiatry) explains how in a new study involving 292 patients aged 55 and older, her team's research found that persistent negative thinking was linked to a decline of cognitive reasoning and revealed indicators of Alzheimer's disease. Dementia affects an estimated 54 million people worldwide.

Palaeontology - Life Sciences - 12.06.2020
Women are majorly under-represented in COVID-19 research authorship
Women are majorly under-represented in COVID-19 research authorship
Scientists at the Universities of Oxford, Exeter, Yunnan and Bristol and have discovered the oldest fossil of the group of animals that contains earthworms, leeches, ragworms and lugworms. This discovery pushes the origin of living groups of these worms (polychaetes) back tens of millions of years, demonstrating that they played an important part in the earliest animal ecosystems.
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