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Health - 18.01.2021
Likelihood of severe and ’long’ COVID may be established very early on following infection
New research provides important insights into the role played by the immune system in preventing - and in some cases increasing the severity of - COVID-19 symptoms in patients. It also finds clues to why some people experience 'long COVID'. Our evidence suggests that the journey to severe COVID-19 may be established immediately after infection, or at the latest around the time that they begin to show symptoms Paul Lyons Among the key findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, are: Individuals who have asymptomatic or mild disease show a robust immune response early on during infection.

Health - Psychology - 18.01.2021
Mental health impact of Covid-19 on hospital healthcare workers
Hospital healthcare workers reported higher rates of clinically significant mental health symptoms following the initial Covid-19 pandemic peak in the UK, new research led by the University of Birmingham has revealed. A study , published in BJPsych Open, found around a third of hospital healthcare workers reported clinically significant symptoms of anxiety (34.3%) and depression (31.2%), while almost a quarter (24.5%) reported clinically significant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Social Sciences - Health - 17.01.2021
National data may be underestimating illicit drug use in young people
A study published today [18 January] in the publication Addiction suggests that the UK government's current national population-based data may be understating illicit drug usage among young people by as much as 20 per cent. Researchers from the University of Bristol compared data from the Crime Survey England and Wales (CSEW) with that of the Bristol-based longitudinal health study Children of the 90s.

Health - Pharmacology - 15.01.2021
Analysis: We have entered a dangerous new phase of the pandemic
Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains why the new, more infectious, strain of Covid-19 is a cause for concern and suggests what must be done to reduce transmission of the disease. On the last day of 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) received the first reports of an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China.

Astronomy / Space Science - 15.01.2021
Survey of the sky maps 700 million astronomical objects
Scientists at UCL and from across the world have catalogued almost 700 million astronomical objects in one of the most detailed sky surveys ever undertaken. Scientists on the international Dark Energy Survey (DES), including those from eight UK institutions, have released the second set of data - mapping over an eighth of the entire sky using one of the most sensitive cameras ever built.

Politics - 15.01.2021
Reform public procurement to protect aid money, urges major new anti-corruption study
The biggest study of its kind has proven the link between local political context and the risk that humanitarian aid money is lost to corruption. The study also provides reassurance that the controls that donors may insist upon can be effective at preventing money going astray. The paper “ Controlling Corruption in Development Aid: new evidence from contract-level data? is published in the Studies in Comparative International Development journal.

Health - Pharmacology - 15.01.2021
DNA test can quickly identify pneumonia in patients with severe COVID-19, aiding faster treatment
Researchers have developed a DNA test to quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, who have double the risk of developing pneumonia while on ventilation than non-COVID-19 patients. Using this test, we found that patients with COVID-19 were twice as likely to develop secondary pneumonia as other patients in the same intensive care unit Andrew Conway Morris For patients with the most severe forms of COVID-19, mechanical ventilation is often the only way to keep them alive, as doctors use anti-inflammatory therapies to treat their inflamed lungs.

Health - Pharmacology - 15.01.2021
Government is missing its key healthy ageing targets and must act now, report finds
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted stark inequalities in healthy life expectancy, according to a report into healthy ageing published today. The report into health ageing has been published by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee , following an in-depth inquiry for which the University of Birmingham's Professor Janet Lord was special adviser.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
New insight into why breastfed babies have improved immune systems
Research led by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust has revealed new insight into the biological mechanisms of the long-term positive health effects of breastfeeding in preventing disorders of the immune system in later life. Breastfeeding is known to be associated with better health outcomes in infancy and throughout adulthood, and previous research has shown that babies receiving breastmilk are less likely to develop asthma, obesity, and autoimmune diseases later in life compared to those who are exclusively formula fed.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.01.2021
Foraging humans, mammals and birds who live in the same place behave similarly
Foraging humans find food, reproduce, share parenting, and even organise their social groups in similar ways as surrounding mammal and bird species, depending on where they live in the world, new research has found. The study , shows environmental factors exert a key influence on how foraging human populations and non-human species behave, despite their very different backgrounds.

Health - 14.01.2021
A quarter of adults reported drinking more during first lockdown
A quarter of people in the UK reported drinking more than usual during the first lockdown, particularly those who were younger, female and suffering from anxiety, finds a study by UCL researchers. The study, published today in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, surveyed over 30,000 adults about their drinking behaviour during the earliest stage of lockdown between 21 March and 4 April 2020 and found that a third (34.3%) weren't drinking.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.01.2021
COVID-19: Mortality risk increases by 20% when ICUs are full
Patients admitted to very full hospitals have an increased chance of dying which is equivalent to being up to 11 years older, according to a new study co-led by UCL researchers. The study, published as a pre-print* on MedRxiv , analysed data from 4032 patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU) with presumed or confirmed Covid-19 in the first lockdown.

Health - Social Sciences - 14.01.2021
No limit to the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
A new study led by the University of Oxford on over 90,000 participants shows that there is no upper threshold to the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease - 'every move counts towards better cardiovascular health.' Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, claiming around 17.9 million lives each year.

Health - 14.01.2021
Accurate predictions of ovarian cancer outcome possible with new classification system
The new, Oxford-developed method for subtyping ovarian cancer has been validated in a recent collaboration between the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. Dubbed the 'Oxford Classic', researchers have demonstrated that it enables the accurate prediction of patient disease outcome, as well as the development of new targeted cancer therapies.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.01.2021
Following the hops of disordered proteins could lead to future treatments of Alzheimer’s disease
Study shows how to determine the elusive motions of proteins that remain disordered. The constant motion of amyloid-beta is one of the reasons it's been so difficult to target - it's almost like trying to catch smoke in your hands Michele Vendruscolo Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Milan and Google Research have used machine learning techniques to predict how proteins, particularly those implicated in neurological diseases, completely change their shapes in a matter of microseconds.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 14.01.2021
Science finds simple way to make lamb leaner
Scientists based at Rothamsted and the University of Bristol Veterinary School have found a clear link between the weight of lambs early in their life and meat quality - which is good news for consumers, farmers, and the environment. Currently, 35 per cent of lambs going to market have meat that is considered too fatty, but this new study, published in the journal Animal , shows that it's the lambs which are heaviest at the point of weaning - when they switch from their mother's milk to grazing - that go on to produce the leanest, most sought-after meat at market.

Health - 14.01.2021
How sure would you want to be that you have coeliac disease before starting a gluten-free diet?
A new survey from researchers at NIHR ARC West and the University of Bristol has been launched to understand how sure people want to be that they-ve got coeliac disease before starting a gluten-free diet. Coeliac disease is when a person's immune response to gluten attacks the tissues in their digestive system.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
Different mutations in one gene can cause different types of diseases
Leading cancer experts at the University of Birmingham have solved a long-standing question of how various types of mutations in just one gene cause different types of diseases. A team of scientists at the University's Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences , led by Professor Constanze Bonifer, studied a gene known as RUNX1, which is responsible for providing instructions for the development of all blood cells and is frequently mutated in blood cancers.

Health - Environment - 13.01.2021
Early COVID-19 lockdown had less impact on urban air quality than first believed
The first COVID-19 lockdowns led to significant changes in urban air pollution levels in major cities around the world, but the changes were smaller than expected - a new study reveals. After developing new corrections for the impact of weather and seasonal trends, such as reduced NO2 emissions from winter to summer, the researchers evaluated changes in ambient NO2, O3 and fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations arising from lockdown emission changes in 11 global cities: Beijing, Wuhan, Milan, Rome, Madrid, London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles and Delhi.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 13.01.2021
Mathematics explains how giant ’whirlpools’ form in developing egg cells
The swirling currents occur when the rodlike structures that extend inward from the cells' membranes bend in tandem, like stalks of wheat caught in a strong breeze, according to a study from the University of Cambridge and the Flatiron Institute. The mechanism of the swirling instability is disarmingly simple, and the agreement between our calculations and experimental observations supports the idea that this is indeed the process at work in fruit fly egg cells Raymond Goldstein Egg cells are among the largest cells in the animal kingdom.
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