news 2021

Health - Apr 14
Health
Intestinal worm infections can leave women in sub-Saharan Africa more vulnerable to sexually-transmitted viral infections, a new study reveals. The rate and severity of sexually-transmitted viral infections (STI) in the region are very high, as are those of worm infections, which when caught in the intestine can change immunity in other parts of the body.
History - Apr 14
History

A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, with colleagues from Goethe University, Frankfurt, has found the first evidence for ancient honey hunting, locked inside pottery fragments from prehistoric West Africa, dating back some 3,500 years ago.

Social Sciences - Apr 13

A new observational study is the first to examine suicides occurring during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries and finds that suicide numbers largely remained unchanged or declined in the pandemic's early months.

Health - Apr 14

A project at the University of Glasgow that is aiming to better understand the effects that COVID-19 infection has on blood vessels and blood pressure has received a grant of £250,000 from national charity Heart Research UK.

Health - Apr 13
Health

The B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19 - otherwise known as the UK or Kent variant - is not associated with more severe illness and death in hospitalised patients, but appears to lead to higher virus load, suggests a new study led by UCL researchers.


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Health - Life Sciences - 14.04.2021
Worm infections leave African women more vulnerable to STIs
Worm infections leave African women more vulnerable to STIs
Intestinal worm infections can leave women in sub-Saharan Africa more vulnerable to sexually-transmitted viral infections, a new study reveals. The rate and severity of sexually-transmitted viral infections (STI) in the region are very high, as are those of worm infections, which when caught in the intestine can change immunity in other parts of the body.

History / Archeology - Chemistry - 14.04.2021
Ancient pottery reveals the first evidence for honey hunting in prehistoric West Africa
Ancient pottery reveals the first evidence for honey hunting in prehistoric West Africa
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, with colleagues from Goethe University, Frankfurt, has found the first evidence for ancient honey hunting, locked inside pottery fragments from prehistoric West Africa, dating back some 3,500 years ago. Honeybees are an iconic species, being the world's most important pollinator of food crops.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.04.2021
UofG to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on blood vessels and blood pressure
A project at the University of Glasgow that is aiming to better understand the effects that COVID-19 infection has on blood vessels and blood pressure has received a grant of £250,000 from national charity Heart Research UK. Research has shown that people who are older, obese, male or those who have other medical problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or chronic lung conditions, have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Social Sciences - Health - 13.04.2021
No evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide in first months of the pandemic, but continued monitoring needed
A new observational study is the first to examine suicides occurring during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries and finds that suicide numbers largely remained unchanged or declined in the pandemic's early months. The study, led by an international team including University of Bristol researchers, is published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.04.2021
UK variant, B.1.1.7, does not increase disease severity in hospitalised patients
UK variant, B.1.1.7, does not increase disease severity in hospitalised patients
The B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19 - otherwise known as the UK or Kent variant - is not associated with more severe illness and death in hospitalised patients, but appears to lead to higher virus load, suggests a new study led by UCL researchers. As part of the observational study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers assessed 341 Covid-19 patients admitted to University College London Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH), between 9 November and 20 December 2020.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.04.2021
Sex cells in parasites are doing their own thing
Sex cells in parasites are doing their own thing
Researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered how microbes responsible for human African sleeping sickness produce sex cells. In these single-celled parasites, known as trypanosomes, each reproductive cell splits off in turn from the parental germline cell, which is responsible for passing on genes.

Psychology - Health - 12.04.2021
Childhood cognitive problems could lead to mental health issues in later life
Childhood cognitive problems could lead to mental health issues in later life
Children experiencing cognitive problems such as low attention, poor memory or lack of inhibition may later suffer mental health issues as teenagers and young adults, a new study reveals. Targeting specific markers in childhood for early treatment may help to minimise the risk of children developing certain psychopathological problems in adolescence and adult life, such as borderline personality disorder, depression and psychosis.

Life Sciences - 12.04.2021
New Jurassic flying reptile reveals the oldest opposed thumb
New Jurassic flying reptile reveals the oldest opposed thumb
A new 160-million-year-old arboreal pterosaur species, dubbed 'Monkeydactyl', has the oldest true opposed thumb - a novel structure previously not known in pterosaurs. An international team of researchers from China, Brazil, UK, Denmark and Japan have described a new Jurassic pterosaur Kunpengopterus antipollicatus, which was discovered in the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning, China.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 12.04.2021
Unusual fossil reveals last meal of prehistoric pollinator
Unusual fossil reveals last meal of prehistoric pollinator
An amber fossil of a Cretaceous beetle has shed some light on the diet of one of the earliest pollinators of flowering plants. The animal's remains were unearthed by researchers at the University of Bristol and the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) who were able to study its fossil faecal matter, which was composed solely of pollen.

Physics - 12.04.2021
Following atoms in real time could lead to better materials design
Following atoms in real time could lead to better materials design
Researchers have used a technique similar to MRI to follow the movement of individual atoms in real time as they cluster together to form two-dimensional materials, which are a single atomic layer thick. This technique isn't a new one, but it's never been used in this way, to measure the growth of a two-dimensional material Nadav Avidor The results , reported in the journal Physical Review Letters , could be used to design new types of materials and quantum technology devices.

Health - Environment - 12.04.2021
Volcanic pollution link to respiratory disease increase
Volcanic pollution link to respiratory disease increase
Respiratory disease increased markedly following one of Iceland's largest volcanic eruptions, a new study has found. The findings could have significant implications for actions taken to protect the health of the 800 million people living near active volcanoes. Only last month, lava burst through a crack in Iceland’s Mount Fagradalsfjall in the first eruption of its type for more than 800 years.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.04.2021
Researchers call for greater awareness of unintended consequences of CRISPR gene editing
Researchers call for greater awareness of unintended consequences of CRISPR gene editing
CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing can lead to unintended mutations at the targeted section of DNA in early human embryos, researchers have revealed. This highlights the need for further research into the effects of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, especially when used to edit human DNA in laboratory research. We and others are trying to develop and refine the tools to assess these complex mutations.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 09.04.2021
Traumatic brain injuries can increase risk of stroke for up to five years, finds study
Traumatic brain injuries can increase risk of stroke for up to five years, finds study
Stroke risk for patients with traumatic brain injuries is at its highest in the four months following injury and remains significant for up to five years post-injury, finds a new systematic review led by a team at the University of Birmingham. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a global health problem affecting over 60 million people a year worldwide.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.04.2021
We don't know how most mammals will respond to climate change
We don’t know how most mammals will respond to climate change
Researchers at the University of Oxford, alongside international collaborators, have found that there is a significant knowledge gap in the risks posed by climate change to mammals. In their systematic review, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, the scientists identify that there are significant blanks about the risks to mammals in regions most vulnerable to climate change, including boreal and tropic areas.

Social Sciences - Health - 09.04.2021
Analysis: Women’s pain is routinely underestimated, and gender stereotypes are to blame
The suspicion that gender stereotypes could lead doctors to underestimate women's pain has been confirmed by research which found healthcare staff, both men and women, often discount women's pain, says Professor Amanda Williams (UCL Clinical, Education & Health Psychology). When a man consults a doctor about pain, he will hope to be taken seriously: to convince the doctor that the pain is real, and a problem that needs addressing.

Pharmacology - Health - 08.04.2021
New multiple sclerosis subtypes identified using artificial intelligence
New multiple sclerosis subtypes identified using artificial intelligence
Scientists at UCL have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify three new multiple sclerosis (MS) subtypes. Researchers say the groundbreaking findings will help identify those people more likely to have disease progression and help target treatments more effectively. MS affects over 2.8 million people globally and 130,000 in the UK, and is classified into four* 'courses' (groups), which are defined as either relapsing or progressive.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 08.04.2021
Particle’s ’wobble’ hints at new physics
The "wobble", or rate of precession, of the muon particle in a magnetic field is different from what our best theoretical model of the subatomic world would predict, according to an experiment involving UCL researchers that strengthens evidence for new, unknown physics. The Muon g-2 experiment, carried out at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the United States, measured with unprecedented precision the rate at which the muon "wobbled" (precessed) as it circulated a 15-metre magnetic ring at nearly the speed of light.

History / Archeology - 07.04.2021
800-year-old medieval pottery fragments reveal Jewish dietary practices
800-year-old medieval pottery fragments reveal Jewish dietary practices
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, with archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology, have found the first evidence of a religious diet locked inside pottery fragments excavated from the early medieval Jewish community of Oxford. Keeping kosher is one of the oldest known diets across the world and, for an observant Jew, maintaining these dietary laws (known as Kashruth) is a fundamental part of everyday life.

Health - Psychology - 07.04.2021
Link between COVID-19 infection and subsequent mental health and neurological conditions found
One in three COVID-19 survivors received a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis within six months of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, an observational study of more than 230,000 patient health records published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal estimates. The study looked at 14 neurological and mental health disorders.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 07.04.2021
Psychologists develop first measure of social media impact on teen sleep
Sleep experts have developed a new tool to help more accurately measure young people's ability to disengage from social media before bed. The University of Glasgow researchers who developed the Index of Nighttime Offline Distress, or iNOD, believe it is the first psychological measurement tool of its kind, which reflects the realities of how young people interact with each other in an online world.
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