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Sport - Life Sciences - 23.08.2021
Mathematical model predicts best way to build muscle
Mathematical model predicts best way to build muscle
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that can predict the optimum exercise regime for building muscle. Surprisingly, not very much is known about why or how exercise builds muscles: there's a lot of anecdotal knowledge and acquired wisdom, but very little in the way of hard or proven data Eugene Terentjev The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used methods of theoretical biophysics to construct the model, which can tell how much a specific amount of exertion will cause a muscle to grow and how long it will take.

Life Sciences - 18.08.2021
Ageing cuttlefish can remember the details of last week's dinner
Ageing cuttlefish can remember the details of last week’s dinner
Cuttlefish can remember what, where, and when specific things happened - right up to their last few days of life, researchers have found. The old cuttlefish were just as good as the younger ones in the memory task Alexandra Schnell The results, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B , are the first evidence of an animal whose memory of specific events does not deteriorate with age.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.08.2021
Researchers confirm speed, simplicity and sensitivity for new COVID-19 test
Researchers from the University of Birmingham have confirmed the speed, accuracy and simplicity of a novel, highly sensitive testing method for COVID-19 that can be deployed at entertainment venues, airport arrival terminals, and in remote settings where clinical testing laboratories are not available.

Life Sciences - 17.08.2021
AI used to decode brain signals and predict behaviour
An artificial neural network (AI) designed by an international team involving UCL can translate raw data from brain activity, paving the way for new discoveries and a closer integration between technology and the brain. The new method could accelerate discoveries of how brain activities relate to behaviours.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.08.2021
Restoring farmland ponds can help save our declining pollinators
Pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies and wasps, interact more with plants at well-managed farmland ponds than those that are severely overgrown by trees, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The study, published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment , has been undertaken by the UCL Pond Restoration Group; since 2014 the research team has been working with the Norfolk Ponds Project, helping put pond restoration into practice, with the aim of showing how conservation and farming can work together.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.08.2021
Discovery of origin of oesophageal cancer cells highlights importance of screening for pre-cancerous Barrett’s oesophagus
Abnormal cells that go on develop into oesophageal cancer - cancer that affects the tube connecting the mouth and stomach - start life as cells of the stomach, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge. The techniques we used have shown us the internal processes that happen in the stomach cells when they become Barrett's.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.08.2021
Scientists reverse a key hallmark of motor neurone disease in the laboratory
Scientists at UCL and the Francis Crick Institute have studied how proteins accumulate in the wrong parts of brain cells in motor neurone disease, and have demonstrated how it might be possible, in some cases, to reverse this. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease, is a progressive fatal disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control, with patients become increasingly paralysed and losing the ability to speak, eat and breathe.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.08.2021
Food or sex? Fruit flies give insight into decision-making
Food or sex? Fruit flies give insight into decision-making
Individuals are likely to prioritise food over sex after being deprived of both, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham, who studied this behavioural conflict in fruit flies. A new study, published in Current Biology , pinpointed the precise neuronal impulses triggered in flies' brains when faced with the critical choices of feeding or mating.

Life Sciences - Environment - 04.08.2021
Ancient human adaptation to agriculture and climate change in Middle East
Ancient human adaptation to agriculture and climate change in Middle East
The most comprehensive study so far of genetic diversity in the Middle East has given a glimpse into the lives of ancient humans who lived through such seismic events as the development of agriculture and the formation of the Arabian Desert. Researchers at the University of Birmingham and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, along with their international collaborators, have uncovered signals in DNA that indicate a population boom in the Levant coinciding with the transition to agriculture and a population crash in Arabia as the region dried up.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.08.2021
15 proteins newly linked to dementia risk
15 proteins newly linked to dementia risk
A study by an international research group co-led by UCL researchers has identified 15 novel biomarkers that are linked to late-onset dementias. These biomarkers are proteins, which predict cognitive decline and subsequent increased risk of dementia already 20 years before the disease onset. The proteins are related to immune system dysfunction, blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, vascular (blood vessel) pathologies, and central insulin resistance.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.08.2021
Brain cortex may regulate the need for sleep
Brain cortex may regulate the need for sleep
Why we sleep, and the processes behind sleep, are amongst the most interesting questions in modern neuroscience. Researchers at the University of Oxford have now uncovered a new target for sleep investigations within the mammalian brain - the cerebral cortex. The paper was published today . The cerebral cortex makes up about 80% of the brain's volume and is responsible for many complex phenomena, including perception, thought, language, attention and memory.

Sport - Life Sciences - 02.08.2021
Dementia risk in former professional footballers is related to player position and career length
The landmark, University of Glasgow-led research into lifelong health outcomes in former professional footballers, the FIELD study, has revealed further major insights into the link between football and risk of dementia. In findings published today in the journal JAMA Neurology, researchers report that risk of neurodegenerative disease in former professional footballers varies by player position and career length, but not by playing era.

Life Sciences - 30.07.2021
Motivation depends on how the brain processes fatigue
How do we decide whether or not an activity which requires work is 'worth the effort'- Researchers at the University of Birmingham & University of Oxford have shown that the willingness to work is not static, and depends upon the fluctuating rhythms of fatigue. Fatigue - the feeling of exhaustion from doing effortful tasks - is something we all experience daily.

Life Sciences - Physics - 26.07.2021
New imaging system brings brains into sharper focus
One of the greatest challenges in science is the study of the brain's anatomy and cellular architecture. Accurately visualising the brain's complex structure at high resolutions is critically important for improving our understanding of the functions of the central nervous system. A promising new technique, developed by scientists in Italy, the UK and Germany, is now bringing the microscopic details of the brain into sharper focus even over macroscopic volumes.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.07.2021
Scientists can detect brain tumours using a simple urine or blood plasma test
Researchers from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute have developed two tests that can detect the presence of glioma, a type of brain tumour, in patient urine or blood plasma. The team say that a test for detecting glioma using urine is the first of its kind in the world. Although the research , published in EMBO Molecular Medicine , is in its early stages and only a small number of patients were analysed, the team say their results are promising.

Agronomy / Food Science - Life Sciences - 23.07.2021
Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots
Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots
Scientists have created plants whose cells and tissues 'blush' with beetroot pigments when they are colonised by fungi that help them take up nutrients from the soil. We can now follow how the relationship between the fungi and plant root develops, in real-time, from the moment they come into contact.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.07.2021
Scientists reverse age-related memory loss in mice
Scientists reverse age-related memory loss in mice
Scientists at Cambridge and Leeds have successfully reversed age-related memory loss in mice and say their discovery could lead to the development of treatments to prevent memory loss in people as they age. Although our study was only in mice, the same mechanism should operate in humans - the molecules and structures in the human brain are the same as those in rodents.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.07.2021
Identification of over 200 long Covid symptoms prompts call for UK screening programme
Patients who experience long COVID have reported more than 200 symptoms across 10 organ systems*, in the largest international study of 'long-haulers' to date, led by UCL scientists together with a patient-led research collaborative. For the study, published in the Lancet's EClinicalMedicine , patient researchers who connected through the Body Politic online COVID-19 support group created a web-based survey designed to characterise the symptom profile and time course in patients with confirmed or suspected long COVID, along with the impact on daily life, work, and return to health.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.07.2021
Ten organisations account for nearly half of all animal research in Great Britain
Understanding Animal Research (UAR), an organisation that promotes open communications about animal research, has today (15 July 2021) published a list of the ten organisations in Great Britain that carry out the highest number of animal procedures - those used in medical, veterinary, and scientific research.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.07.2021
Rapid evolution in waterfleas yields new conservation insights
The extraordinary ability of animals to rapidly evolve in response to predators has been demonstrated via genetic sequencing of a waterflea population across nearly two decades. In a new study , published , scientists at the Universities of Birmingham in the UK, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, were able to identify more than 300 genes that vary in the genome of the waterflea.