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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.

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.

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.

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.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2021
High caffeine consumption may be linked to increased glaucoma risk
Consuming large amounts of daily caffeine may increase glaucoma risk for those with a genetic predisposition to higher eye pressure, finds a new study involving a UCL researcher. The international, multi-centre study, led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, US, is the first to demonstrate a link between diet and genes in glaucoma.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 04.06.2021
Lack of maths education negatively affects adolescent brain and cognitive development | University of Oxford
A new study suggests that not having any maths education after the age of 16 can be disadvantageous. Adolescents who stopped studying maths exhibited greater disadvantage - compared with peers who continued studying maths - in terms of brain and cognitive development, according to a new study published in the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

Life Sciences - Physics - 01.06.2021
Mass of human chromosomes measured for the first time
The mass of human chromosomes, which contain the instructions for life in nearly every cell of our bodies, has been measured with X-rays for the first time in a new study led by UCL researchers. For the study, published in Chromosome Research , researchers used a powerful X-ray beam at the UK's national synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, to determine the number of electrons in a spread of 46 chromosomes which they used to calculate mass.

Environment - Life Sciences - 31.05.2021
Newly discovered African ’climate seesaw’ drove human evolution
Ancient El Niño-like weather patterns were the primary drivers of environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa when humans were evolving, according to research involving UCL. Scientists have shown that over the last 620,000 years these alternately wet and dry patterns had more profound impacts in sub-Saharan Africa than  the great ice age cycles, which until now have been more commonly linked to human evolution.

Health - Life Sciences - 27.05.2021
Many of us could carry extra fat due to a change in a single gene
New research has found that one in every 340 people might carry a mutation in a single gene that makes them more likely to have a greater weight from early childhood and, by 18 years of age, they could be up to 30 pounds heavier with the excess weight likely to be mostly fat. The study led by scientists at the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Integrated Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol is published today [27 May] .

Health - Life Sciences - 27.05.2021
Many of us could carry up to 17kg of fat due to a change in a single gene
Many of us could carry up to 17kg of fat due to a change in a single gene
New research has found that one in every 340 people might carry a mutation in a single gene that makes them more likely to have a greater weight from early childhood and, by 18 years of age, they could be up to 30 pounds heavier with the excess weight likely to be mostly fat.  Our findings show that weight gain in childhood due to a single gene disorder is not uncommon.

Health - Life Sciences - 27.05.2021
SARS-CoV-2 RNA discovery unlocks new potential treatments
SARS-CoV-2 RNA discovery unlocks new potential treatments
An international and multidisciplinary team led by researchers at the University of Oxford, University of Glasgow, and University of Heidelberg, has uncovered the interactions that SARS-CoV-2 RNA establishes with the host cell, many of which are fundamental for infection.  These discoveries pave the way for the development of new therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 with broad-range antiviral potential.

Health - Life Sciences - 27.05.2021
Scientists invent ingenious tool to speed up the discovery of new medicines
Scientists invent ingenious tool to speed up the discovery of new medicines
A digital tool that will make it cheaper, safer and faster to develop new medicines is being rolled out by scientists from the University of Bath. Last updated on Friday 28 May 2021 A cutting-edge digital tool that will make it cheaper, safer and faster for pharmaceutical companies to predict protein stability - a vital step in the development of new medicines - is being rolled out by scientists from the University of Bath through their spin-out company, BLOC Labs.

Life Sciences - 26.05.2021
Memory details fade over time, with only the main gist preserved
What information is retained in a memory over time, and which parts get lost? These questions have led to many scientific theories over the years, and now a team of researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Birmingham have been able to provide some answers. Their new study, which is published today , demonstrates that our memories become less vibrant and detailed over time, with only the central gist eventually preserved.

Life Sciences - 25.05.2021
Press (re)play to remember - how the brain strengthens memories during sleep
Press (re)play to remember - how the brain strengthens memories during sleep
While we sleep, the brain produces particular activation patterns. When two of these patterns - slow oscillations and sleep spindles - gear into each other, previous experiences are reactivated. The stronger the reactivation, the clearer will be our recall of past events, a new study reveals. Scientists have long known that slow oscillations (SOs) and sleep spindles - sudden half-second to two-second bursts of oscillatory brain activity - play an important role in the formation and retention of new memories.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.05.2021
Analysis of the interactions occurring at the ’heart’ of SARS-CoV-2 virus reveals new paths to treat COVID19
A team of international scientists have identified key cellular factors that are crucial for the infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The study - led by the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford and the Rosalind Franklin Institute and published today in Molecular Cell - provides crucial new insights into the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle, revealing new pathways to target the virus within host cells and leading the way for potential new treatment options as we move into the next phase of the pandemic.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.05.2021
Electrical nerve stimulation research could pave the way to new treatments
Electrical nerve stimulation research could pave the way to new treatments
Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve could lead to new treatments for a wide range of diseases and disorders including epilepsy, depression and arthritis Last updated on Tuesday 25 May 2021 A project to measure the effects of electrical stimulation of a major nerve that could hold the key to new treatments for a range of diseases from epilepsy to depression is underway at the University of Bath.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 25.05.2021
Racemases: The hunt for drugs to neutralise these critical enzymes
Racemases: The hunt for drugs to neutralise these critical enzymes
Bath scientists explore racemases and propose strategies for finding drugs that target these important enzymes. Last updated on Tuesday 25 May 2021 Bath academics explore racemases - an important type of enzyme that is linked to certain cancers and other life-threatening diseases while also being critical to cell function - in a paper published in the prestigious journal Chemical Society Reviews.

Environment - Life Sciences - 24.05.2021
Infertility poses major threat to biodiversity during climate change
Infertility poses major threat to biodiversity during climate change
Heat-induced male infertility will see some species succumb to the effects of climate change earlier than thought, new research warns. A study of 43 fruit fly (Drosophila) species by a team including ecologists at the University of Leeds showed that in almost half of the species, males became sterile at lower than lethal temperatures.

Life Sciences - Environment - 20.05.2021
Stressful city life affects birds’ genes
Great tits living in cities are genetically different from great tits in the countryside. Researchers made the discovery after a unique study where they examined populations of great tits in nine large European cities, including Glasgow. The researchers compared the city bird genes with the genes of their relatives in the countryside.

Life Sciences - 20.05.2021
Robotic ’Third Thumb’ use can alter brain representation of the hand
Using a robotic 'Third Thumb' can impact how the hand is represented in the brain, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The team trained people to use a robotic extra thumb and found they could effectively carry out dextrous tasks, like building a tower of blocks, with one hand (now with two thumbs).
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