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Health - Life Sciences - 27.12.2021
'Battle of the sexes' begins in womb as father and mother's genes tussle over nutrition
’Battle of the sexes’ begins in womb as father and mother’s genes tussle over nutrition
Cambridge scientists have identified a key signal that the fetus uses to control its supply of nutrients from the placenta in a tug-of-war between genes inherited from the father and from the mother. The study, carried out in mice, could help explain why some babies grow poorly in the womb. The father's gene drives the fetus's demands for larger blood vessels and more nutrients, while the mother's gene in the placenta tries to control how much nourishment she provides Miguel Constância As the fetus grows, it needs to communicate its increasing needs for food to the mother.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.12.2021
Clues to treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder found in recently evolved region of the 'dark genome'
Clues to treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder found in recently evolved region of the ’dark genome’
Scientists investigating the DNA outside our genes - the 'dark genome' - have discovered recently evolved regions that code for proteins associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This opens up huge potential for new druggable targets. It's really exciting because nobody has ever looked beyond the genes for clues to understanding and treating these conditions before.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.12.2021
Dominant Alpha variant evolved to evade our innate immune system
Dominant Alpha variant evolved to evade our innate immune system
The SARS-CoV-2 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant mutated to evade our 'innate immune system', helping establish it as the world's first 'Variant of Concern', finds a new study led by researchers at UCL and the Quantitative Biosciences Institute, University of California San Francisco. Published in  Nature , the study shows the Alpha variant, first identified in the UK, evolved to make more of its 'antagonism proteins' that nullify the body's first line of defence, known as the 'innate immune system'.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.12.2021
New graphene-based neural probes improve detection of epileptic brain signals
New graphene-based neural probes improve detection of epileptic brain signals
New research published today has demonstrated that tiny graphene neural probes can be used safely to greatly improve our understanding of the causes of epilepsy. The graphene depth neural probe (gDNP) consists of a millimetre-long linear array of micro-transistors imbedded in a micrometre-thin polymeric flexible substrate.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2021
New grafting technique could combat the disease threatening Cavendish bananas
New grafting technique could combat the disease threatening Cavendish bananas
Scientists have found a novel way to combine two species of grass-like plant including banana, rice and wheat, using embryonic tissue from their seeds. The technique allows beneficial characteristics, such as disease resistance or stress tolerance, to be added to the plants.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 22.12.2021
Modern mammals originated after dinosaur extinction, confirms new study
Modern mammals originated after dinosaur extinction, confirms new study
The most detailed timeline of mammal evolution to date has been set out in a new study co-led by UCL researchers. The Nature paper describes a new and fast computational approach to obtain precisely dated evolutionary trees, known as 'timetrees'. The authors used the novel method to analyse a mammal genomic dataset and answer a long-standing question around whether modern placental mammal groups originated before or after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) mass extinction, which wiped out over 70% of all species, including all dinosaurs.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.12.2021
Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilised dinosaur egg
Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilised dinosaur egg
Share this page Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on email A 72- to 66-million-year-old embryo found inside a fossilised dinosaur egg sheds new light on the link between the behaviour of modern birds and dinosaurs, according to a new study. The embryo, dubbed 'Baby Yingliang', was discovered in the Late Cretaceous rocks of Ganzhou, southern China and belongs to a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2021
Genes are switched on in the human embryo from the get-go
Genes are switched on in the human embryo from the get-go
Scientists have discovered that genes in human embryos rapidly become active after fertilisation, opening a new window onto the start of human embryonic life. Scientists have discovered that genes in human embryos rapidly become active after fertilisation, opening a new window onto the start of human embryonic life.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 17.12.2021
Sauropod dinosaurs were restricted to warmer regions of Earth
Sauropod dinosaurs were restricted to warmer regions of Earth
Giant, long-necked sauropods, thought to include the largest land animals ever, preferred to live in warmer regions on Earth, suggesting they may have had a different physiology from other dinosaurs, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL and the University of Vigo. The study, published in the journal Current Biology , investigated the enigma of why sauropod fossils are only found at lower latitudes, while fossils of other main dinosaur types seem ubiquitously present, with many located in the polar regions.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 16.12.2021
Theropod dinosaur jaws became stronger as they evolved - study
Theropod dinosaur jaws became stronger as they evolved - study
Share this page Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on email Theropod dinosaurs evolved more robust jaws through time allowing them to consume tougher food, a new study reveals. Researchers used digital modelling and computer simulation to uncover a common trend of jaw strengthening in theropods - expanding the rear jaw portion in all groups, as well as evolving an upturned jaw in carnivores and a downturned jaw in herbivores.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.12.2021
Researchers first to predict when bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics
Researchers first to predict when bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics
Scientists have spotted signs of 'pre-resistance' in bacteria for the first time - signs that particular bacteria are likely to become resistant to antibiotics in the future - in a new study led by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital researchers.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.12.2021
Protein test could lead to earlier and better diagnosis of Parkinson's
Protein test could lead to earlier and better diagnosis of Parkinson’s
Scientists at the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) have been able to use a highly-sensitive method called -synuclein real-time quaking-induced conversion (?Syn-RT-QuIC) to observe the clumping of alpha-synuclein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) taken from people with Parkinson's. The findings offer hope that a pioneering new clinical test could be developed to diagnose Parkinson's correctly in its early stages.

Life Sciences - Environment - 13.12.2021
The genetic changes caused by fishing may be linked to fish population size
Commercial fishing, particularly in reduced fish populations, may be responsible for genetic changes and affect overall population resilience if not carefully managed. A new study, led by the University of Glasgow and published in PNAS, examined how commercial fishing practices - such as trawling - impacted the genetic evolution of fish populations, both directly and through reduced fish population density, mimicking declines in stocks due to over-fishing.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.12.2021
Are scientists homing in on a cure for Parkinson's disease?
Are scientists homing in on a cure for Parkinson’s disease?
Researchers optimise a peptide known to prevent the protein error that gives rise to Parkinson's disease. A molecule that shows promise in preventing Parkinson's disease has been refined by scientists at the University of Bath and has the potential to be developed into a drug to treat the incurable neurodegenerative disease.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Dinosaurs Spring to Extinction: Springtime pinpointed as the season for dinosaur extinction
An international team led by researchers from The University of Manchester today published in Scientific Reports a groundbreaking study that sheds new light on the timing associated with the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact that occurred 66 million years ago. The study, " Seasonal calibration of the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub Impact Event ", provides new evidence that helps us to understand the significance of the timing for the events that brought an end to the dinosaurs—and 75% of life on Earth.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Tropical frogs can adapt to climate change, but rapid warming still a huge threat
Tropical frogs can adapt to climate change, but rapid warming still a huge threat
A population of Seychelles frog have adapted to a warmer climate over time, but as these adaptations have evolved gradually, the rapidly warming climate still poses a threat to species' survival, according to a new study led by a UCL researcher. In the study published in Global Change Biology , the researchers report that a subgroup of the Seychelles frog ( Sooglossus sechellensis) adapted to historic sea level rise after finding themselves on an island with a different climate.

Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Embryonic cells sense stiffness in order to form the face
Embryonic cells sense stiffness in order to form the face
Cells in the developing embryo can sense the stiffness of other cells around them, which is key to them moving together to form the face and skull, finds a new study by UCL researchers. In the study of frog embryos researchers found that embryonic cells can navigate away from soft regions of the embryo and toward harder regions.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Rare Jurassic fossil reveals never-before-seen ammonite muscles in 3D
Rare Jurassic fossil reveals never-before-seen ammonite muscles in 3D
A research team led by scientists from Cardiff University has provided the first ever 3D visualisation of an ammonite - a marine mollusc group that became extinct with the dinosaurs around 66 million years ago. The new images have allowed the team to analyse the muscles and organs of an ammonite for the very first time, throwing new light on how the cephalopod mollusc was able to swim through the oceans and defend itself from predators.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2021
New Oxford-GSK Institute to harness advanced technology and unravel mechanisms of disease
New Oxford-GSK Institute to harness advanced technology and unravel mechanisms of disease
GlaxoSmithKline plc and the University of Oxford today announced a major five-year collaboration to establish the Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational Medicine. The new Institute, which will be based at the University of Oxford, aims to improve the success and speed of research and development of new medicines, building on insights from human genetics and using advanced technologies such as functional genomics and machine learning.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.11.2021
’Origami’ diagnostic test could help hepatitis C treatment
A new test for hepatitis C which uses origami-style folded paper to deliver fast, accurate and affordable diagnoses could help the global fight against the deadly virus. The test, developed by biomedical engineers and virologists from the University of Glasgow, delivers lateral-flow results similar to a COVID-19 home test in around 30 minutes.
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