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Social Sciences - Psychology - 15.06.2021
Teenagers at greatest risk of self-harming could be identified almost a decade earlier
Teenagers at greatest risk of self-harming could be identified almost a decade earlier
Researchers have identified two subgroups of adolescents who self-harm and have shown that it is possible to predict those individuals at greatest risk almost a decade before they begin self-harming. The current approach to supporting mental health in young people is to wait until problems escalate.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.06.2021
Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar
The spin of the Milky Way's galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by UCL and University of Oxford researchers. For 30 years, astrophysicists have predicted such a slowdown, but this is the first time it has been measured.

Health - 14.06.2021
Home carers’ mental health worsened during lockdown
A new study has found the mental health of home-carers deteriorated more during lockdown than non-carers. The research - led by the University of Glasgow's MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit with colleagues at the University of Essex - found that unpaid carers who looked after another member of their household (home-carers) had poorer mental health than the general population before lockdown and that this worsened as lockdown continued.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.06.2021
Recreating a step in the evolution of viruses
Recreating a step in the evolution of viruses
An international team of researchers has shed new light on the way viruses evolved highly effective ways of spreading disease. The scientists, involving a team from the universities of Leeds and York, believe understanding that key moment in the natural history of viruses may eventually help with the design of novel delivery mechanisms for gene therapies, where viruses are used to repair faulty genes.

Astronomy / Space Science - 11.06.2021
Astronomers spot a 'blinking giant' near the centre of the Galaxy
Astronomers spot a ’blinking giant’ near the centre of the Galaxy
Astronomers have spotted a giant 'blinking' star towards the centre of the Milky Way, more than 25,000 light years away. There are certainly more to be found, but the challenge now is in figuring out what the hidden companions are, and how they came to be surrounded by discs, despite orbiting so far from the giant star Leigh Smith An international team of astronomers observed the star, VVV-WIT-08, decreasing in brightness by a factor of 30, so that it nearly disappeared from the sky.

Chemistry - Computer Science - 10.06.2021
Robot chemist offers insight into the origins of life
A robotic 'evolution machine' capable of exploring the generational development of chemical mixtures over long periods of time could help cast new light on the origins of life, scientists say. A team of chemists from the University of Glasgow developed the robot, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to make decisions about which chemicals from a selection of 18 to combine in a reactor, and how to set conditions under which the reaction occurs.

Environment - Chemistry - 10.06.2021
'Vegan spider silk' provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics
’Vegan spider silk’ provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics
Researchers have created a plant-based, sustainable, scalable material that could replace single-use plastics in many consumer products. It was a surprise to find our research could also address a big problem in sustainability: that of plastic pollution Tuomas Knowles The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, created a polymer film by mimicking the properties of spider silk, one of the strongest materials in nature.

Social Sciences - 10.06.2021
Analysis of child deaths in England shows importance of care for premature and young babies
This latest report from Bristol's NCMD programme, which gathers information on all children who die in England below the age of 18 years, analysed the characteristics of the 3,347 child deaths between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 in England, and found that the majority of children who died (63 per cent) in this period were under one year old.

Health - 10.06.2021
England on track to achieve elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 as model shows sharp decrease in HIV incidence
England on track to achieve elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 as model shows sharp decrease in HIV incidence
The annual number of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men in England is likely to have fallen dramatically, from 2,770 in 2013 to 854 in 2018, showing elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 to be within reach - suggests work by researchers from the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge and Public Health England, published in The Lancet HIV .

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 10.06.2021
Astronomers join Twinkle space mission
Astronomers join Twinkle space mission
Astronomers from the School of Physics and Astronomy have joined the Science Team of the Twinkle space mission, a pioneering space telescope designed to study the atmospheres of exoplanets - planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. Twinkle will be launched in 2024 and will operate for seven years, making sensitive visible and infrared spectroscopic measurements to detect molecules in the atmospheres of planets as they pass in front of their host stars.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.06.2021
Scientists make DNA breakthrough which could identify why some people are more affected by Covid-19
Scientists from the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University have developed a method that allows them to see, with far greater accuracy, how DNA forms large scale structures within a cell nucleus. This breakthrough will improve understanding of how differences in DNA sequences can lead to increased risks of developing many different diseases.

Psychology - 09.06.2021
Does a mother’s stress and depression affect how her unborn baby moves?
New research from our Psychology and Mathematical Sciences departments found that stress and/or depression during pregnancy, affects how much unborn babies touch and engage in the womb. This ultrasound study suggests that a mother's stress and/or depression can influence the movement patterns of unborn babies reflecting their body awareness.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.06.2021
Experts call for new standards for diagnostic tests to address testing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has today published its review of the statistical evidence needed to assure the performance of future diagnostic tests, so we are better prepared for future pandemics. The RSS Working Group on Diagnostic Tests, which is co-chaired by University of Birmingham's Professor Jon Deeks , is calling on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to review and revise the national licensing process for in vitro diagnostic tests, to ensure that reliable evidence about the performance of tests is available and public safety is protected.

Health - 09.06.2021
Injectable microspheres to repair failing hearts
Biodegradable microspheres can be used to deliver heart cells generated from stem cells to repair damaged hearts after a heart attack, according to new findings by UCL researchers. This type of cell therapy could one day cure debilitating heart failure, which affects an estimated 920,000 people in the UK and continues to rise as more people are surviving a heart attack than ever before.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.06.2021
Welsh study to transform UK brain tumour trials to find ’kinder’ therapies
A new Welsh study is aiming to revolutionise how clinical trials measure the impact of new brain tumour drugs on a patient's physical and emotional wellbeing, alongside assessment of their survival. Led by Professor Anthony Byrne from Cardiff University, and in collaboration with Professor Melanie Calvert from the University of Birmingham, the research will culminate in a consensus that will define the most important outcomes to measure, according to brain tumour patients, carers and professionals.

Physics - 08.06.2021
Online 'library of properties' helps to create safer nanomaterials
Online ’library of properties’ helps to create safer nanomaterials
Researchers have developed a 'library of properties' to help identify the environmental impact of nanomaterials faster and more cost effectively. Whilst nanomaterials have benefited a wide range of industries and revolutionised everyday life, there are concerns over potential adverse effects - including toxic effects following accumulation in different organs and indirect effects from transport of co-pollutants.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2021
Scientists can predict which women will have serious pregnancy complications
Women who will develop potentially life-threatening disorders during pregnancy can be identified early when hormone levels in the placenta are tested, a new study has shown. This work provides new hope that a better understanding of the placenta will result in safer, healthier pregnancies for mothers and babies.

Physics - 08.06.2021
Subatomic particle seen changing to antiparticle and back for the first time
Subatomic particle seen changing to antiparticle and back for the first time
Physicists have proved that a subatomic particle can switch into its antiparticle alter-ego and back again, in a new discovery revealed today. An extraordinarily precise measurement made by Oxford researchers using the LHCb experiment at CERN has provided the first evidence that charm mesons can change into their antiparticle and back again.

Health - 08.06.2021
Understanding the hidden causes of delays in discharging frail older people from hospital
Delays in discharging older people living with frailty from hospital are caused by a complex range of factors, but a key factor is how medical and social information about patients becomes fragmented during their stay. This is the conclusion of a study in two large NHS hospitals led by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham, published today [8 June] in Ageing & Society.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2021
Iron deficiency anaemia in early pregnancy increases risk of heart defects, suggests new research
In animal models, iron deficient mothers had a greatly increased risk of having offspring with congenital heart disease (CHD). A team of University of Oxford researchers, funded by the British Heart Foundation, have identified an entirely new risk factor for congenital heart disease (CHD). Using an animal model system, researchers have shown that if the mother is severely iron deficient and anaemic during early pregnancy, this greatly increases the risk that her offspring will have heart defects.
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