news 2021



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Health - Pharmacology - 27.01.2021
Novel antiviral drug significantly more potent against SARS-CoV-2
The antiviral drug plitidepsin is between 10 and 100 times* more effective against SARS-CoV-2, including the new UK variant, than the NHS approved** drug remdesivir, finds new preclinical research involving UCL scientists. As part of a coronavirus collaboration with US researchers, a UCL team was asked to test the efficacy of the drug plitidepsin on the newly identified UK variant mutant strain B.1.1.7.

Pharmacology - Health - 27.01.2021
Engineers share model that could help clinicians safely ventilate two Covid-19 patients
Open-source model is shared to help medics around the world case of ventilator shortfalls Last updated on Wednesday 27 January 2021 As Covid-19 continues to put pressure on healthcare providers around the world, engineers at the University of Bath have published a mathematical model that could help clinicians to safely allow two people to share a single ventilator.

Health - Environment - 26.01.2021
Air pollution linked to higher risk of sight loss from AMD
Air pollution linked to higher risk of sight loss from AMD
Air pollution is linked to a heightened risk of progressive and irreversible sight loss, known as age related macular degeneration (AMD), reveals a large long term study led by UCL researchers. They found that people in the most polluted areas were at least 8% more likely to report having AMD, according to the findings published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology .

Health - 26.01.2021
Veterans more likely to lose limbs to disease than warfare
The number of Scottish veterans who sustain an amputation through disease is far greater than the number who have lost limbs in conflict, according to new research. The study - from the University of Glasgow and published in BMJ Military Health - found that in the long term, the most common cause of limb loss in veterans is diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (blockage of arteries).

Health - Pharmacology - 22.01.2021
Better post-surgical care would boost cancer survival chances
Better post-surgical care would boost cancer survival chances
Patients' chances of survival after cancer surgery is strongly linked with the standard of post-operation hospital care, a major international study suggests. Patients in low-and lower-middle-income countries were up to six times more likely to die from complications within 30 days of surgery compared with those in high-income countries, the report said.

Health - Psychology - 22.01.2021
Mental health of intensive care staff should be immediate priority
Nearly half of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff are likely to meet the threshold for PTSD, severe anxiety or problem drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by UCL and King's College London researchers. The study, published in Occupational Medicine , shows the stark impact of working in critical care during the COVID-10 pandemic.

Health - 22.01.2021
Volunteers wanted for six-week wearable tech health study
Physiologists at Bath want local people to come forward for a new study to determine how wearable technology can help us measure the energy we use day-to-day. Last updated on Tuesday 26 January 2021 Scientists at the University of Bath are running a new study into how wearable technology impacts our day-to-day energy expenditure and want volunteers to take part.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.01.2021
Non-invasive brain stimulation helps to ease tremors
A team involving UCL researchers have used electrical pulses to help suppress the tremors typically found in conditions such as Parkinson's disease. In a paper published , the scientists report their new way of suppressing the brain waves underpinning tremors, without the need for invasive techniques.

Health - Pharmacology - 20.01.2021
Analysis: Big data can help doctors predict which Covid patients will become seriously ill
Professor Mahdad Noursadeghi (UCL Infection & Immunity) and Dr Rishi Gupta (UCL Institute for Global Health) discuss the importance of their new online 4C deterioration model, which is helping NHS doctors identify Covid-19 patients likely to deteriorate. The pandemic continues to pose huge challenges to health services worldwide.

Health - 19.01.2021
Free online tool calculates risk of COVID-19 transmission in poorly-ventilated spaces
Free online tool calculates risk of COVID-19 transmission in poorly-ventilated spaces
The vital role of ventilation in the spread of COVID-19 has been quantified by researchers, who have found that in poorly-ventilated spaces, the virus can spread further than two metres in seconds, and is far more likely to spread through prolonged talking than through coughing.

Health - 19.01.2021
Scientists working to develop new immunotherapy for breast cancer
Glasgow scientists working to develop new immunotherapy for breast cancer As scientists across the globe are harnessing the power of immunotherapy to fight coronavirus, leading researchers at the University of Glasgow are investigating how the immune system might be used to stop breast cancer from spreading and becoming incurable.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.01.2021
Eye tests predict Parkinson’s-linked cognitive decline 18 months ahead
Simple vision tests can predict which people with Parkinson's disease will develop cognitive impairment and possible dementia 18 months later, according to a new study by UCL researchers. The study, published in Movement Disorders , adds to evidence that vision changes precede the cognitive decline that occurs in many, but not all, people with Parkinson's.

Health - Pharmacology - 19.01.2021
Blood tests could bring new hope to Alzheimer’s clinical trials
A team of scientists at UCL have found that blood tests measuring the hallmark Alzheimer's protein, beta-amyloid (amyloid), could radically reduce the cost of clinical trials and potentially open the door to treating the disease earlier. The findings, published in the journal Brain , suggest that blood tests could be used to recruit people to Alzheimer's drug trials before they start showing any symptoms.

Health - 19.01.2021
Iron test could improve outcomes for heart patients
Researchers at the University of Glasgow are investigating whether outcomes from heart surgery could be improved if patients were routinely tested and treated for iron deficiency. It's estimated that up to half of people who have heart surgery have iron deficiency, which can lead to increased blood transfusions, longer stays in intensive care and slower recovery.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.01.2021
New biomaterials can be ’fine-tuned’ for medical applications
Researchers in the UK and the United States have succeeded in ‘fine tuning' a new thermoplastic biomaterial to enable both the rate at which it degrades in the body and its mechanical properties to be controlled independently. The material, a type of polyester, has been designed for use in soft tissue repair or flexible bioelectronics by a team at the University of Birmingham in the UK and Duke University in the US.

Health - Psychology - 19.01.2021
Back up words with actions and pay more than lip service to the importance of doctor’s mental health
A study based on responses of doctors in frontline healthcare across the UK and Ireland highlights the mental health toll COVID-19 has placed on them. Last updated on Monday 18 January 2021 New research findings suggest that during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 nearly half (45%) of doctors working in emergency medicine, intensive care and anaesthetics reported psychological distress - substantially higher than figures for the general population.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.01.2021
Genetic factors involved in shaping the composition of the human gut microbiome, finds international research team
Human genes have an impact on shaping our gut ecosystem according to new evidence from the international MIBioGen consortium study involving more than 18,000 people. The findings, led by the University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands and involving researchers at the University of Bristol, are published today [18 January] .

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.
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