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Health - Life Sciences - 04.07.2024
Scientists map how deadly bacteria evolved to become epidemic
Scientists map how deadly bacteria evolved to become epidemic
Pseudomonas aeruginosa - an environmental bacteria that can cause devastating multidrug-resistant infections, particularly in people with underlying lung conditions - evolved rapidly and then spread globally over the last 200 years, probably driven by changes in human behaviour, a new study has found.

Environment - Architecture - 04.07.2024
Cool roofs are best at beating cities' heat
Cool roofs are best at beating cities’ heat
Painting roofs white or covering them with a reflective coating would be more effective at cooling cities like London than vegetation-covered "green roofs," street-level vegetation or solar panels, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. Conversely, extensive use of air conditioning would warm the outside environment by as much as 1 degree C in London's dense city centre, the researchers found.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.07.2024
Bowel cancer turns genetic switches on and off to outwit the immune system
Bowel cancer turns genetic switches on and off to outwit the immune system
Bowel cancer cells have the ability to regulate their growth using a genetic on-off switch to maximise their chances of survival, a phenomenon that's been observed for the first time by researchers at UCL and University Medical Center Utrecht. The number of genetic mutations in a cancer cell was previously thought to be purely down to chance.

Veterinary - Health - 03.07.2024
Later-age spaying of bitches reduces risk of urinary incontinence
A new study from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has revealed that delaying spaying of bitches until between seven and 18 months causes a 20 percent reduction in the risk of early-onset urinary incontinence, compared with early-age spaying between three and six months. The findings will help vets make evidence-based recommendations on the timing of spaying, whilst taking into account other spaying considerations.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.07.2024
Discovery of cellular mechanism maintaining brain energy could help late-life health
Discovery of cellular mechanism maintaining brain energy could help late-life health
A key mechanism which detects when the brain needs an additional energy boost to support its activity has been identified in a study in mice and cells led by UCL scientists. The scientists say their findings, published in Nature , could inform new therapies to maintain brain health and longevity, as other studies have found that brain energy metabolism can become impaired late in life and contribute to cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative disease.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 02.07.2024
Genetic study points to oxytocin as possible treatment for obesity and postnatal depression
Scientists have identified a gene which, when missing or impaired, can cause obesity, behavioural problems and, in mothers, postnatal depression. The discovery, reported today in Cell , may have wider implications for the treatment of postnatal depression, with a study in mice suggesting that oxytocin may alleviate symptoms.

Environment - 02.07.2024
Gulf fish more resilient to climate change than thought
Gulf fish more resilient to climate change than thought
Some fish species in the Arabian Gulf's coral reefs are more resilient to climate change than previously thought, an international team of scientists has found. The study, published in Nature Communications , challenges current scientific models which argue that by 2050, coral reef fish could shrink by 14-39 percent in size due to increasing temperatures under climate change.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 02.07.2024
Huge study identifies suicide risk factors to improve preventions
In the largest study of its kind, scientists at the University of Warwick have investigated a range of contributing risk factors for suicide - helping to identify individuals who might benefit from interventions. The behavioural and biological predictors, include elevated white blood cells, neuroticism, childhood experiences and reduced grey matter in the brain.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.07.2024
Cutting-edge genomic test can improve care of children with cancer
Whole genome sequencing has improved clinical care of some children with cancer in England by informing individual patient care. Research published today supports the efforts to provide genome sequencing to all children with cancer and shows how it can improve the management of care in real-time, providing more benefits than all current tests combined.

Life Sciences - Veterinary - 02.07.2024
Hippos' ability to become airborne
Hippos' ability to become airborne
A new study from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) into the movement and gaits of hippopotamuses on land has found that while they almost exclusively trot, the fastest-moving hippos become airborne for substantial periods of time. This research will improve scientific understanding of how the size of large animals influences their movement on land, support the reconstruction of the evolutionary biomechanics of hippo lineages and help veterinarians diagnose or monitor hippos that have problems moving or are experiences lameness.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.07.2024
Largest ever genetic study of age of puberty in girls shows links with weight gain
Genes can indirectly influence the age at which girls have their first period by accelerating weight gain in childhood, a known risk factor for early puberty, a Cambridge-led study has found. Other genes can directly affect age of puberty, some with profound effects. Many of the genes we've found influence early puberty by first accelerating weight gain in infants and young children.

Health - 01.07.2024
Addressing multiple missed patient appointments should be a policy priority
The causes of missed healthcare appointments are complex and varied, and not an issue to blame patients for, according to new research which suggests addressing the issue of 'missingness should be a policy priority. The new research, which is published in BMC Medicine and led by researchers at the University of Glasgow, looked at the causes and consequences of multiple missed appointments in primary care, and the role this plays in producing and widening health inequalities in society.

Health - 28.06.2024
Analysis: Why did some people get COVID but others didn't? We finally found out why
Analysis: Why did some people get COVID but others didn’t? We finally found out why
Dr Marko Nikolic and post doc Kaylee Worlock (both at UCL Medicine) delve into their recent research which revealed the genetic markers that protected some people from Covid-19 infection, writing in The Conversation. Throughout the pandemic, one of the key questions on everyone's mind was why some people avoided getting COVID, while others caught the virus multiple times.

Environment - 28.06.2024
No evidence that England's new 'biodiversity boost' planning policy will help birds or butterflies
No evidence that England’s new ’biodiversity boost’ planning policy will help birds or butterflies
A new legal requirement for developers to demonstrate a biodiversity boost in planning applications could make a more meaningful impact on nature recovery if improvements are made to the way nature's value is calculated, say researchers at the University of Cambridge. We hope our study will contribute to improving the way nature's value is calculated, to make the most of this valuable opportunity for nature recovery.

Health - Pharmacology - 27.06.2024
Healthcare Workers at Risk: Gaps in Measles Immunity Exposed
One in five UK healthcare workers may not be fully immunised against measles, new research has found. In a letter published in The Lancet, a team of immunology experts led by Professor Alex Richter at the University of Birmingham examined measles immunity in two groups of healthcare workers (HCWs). The findings revealed that among a cohort of more than 400 HCWs, 13% of participants lacked measles antibodies, with a further 7.5% had borderline antibody status.

Health - 27.06.2024
Important step forward in stem cell therapy for rare bowel disease
Important step forward in stem cell therapy for rare bowel disease
A new study led by researchers at UCL and the University of Sheffield, has demonstrated the potential of stem cell therapy to treat those with Hirschsprung disease. Hirschsprung disease is a rare condition where some nerve cells are missing in the large intestine. This means the intestine doesn't contract and can't move stool, meaning that it can become blocked.

Health - 27.06.2024
Cardiovascular health could be biggest risk factor for future dementia rates
Cardiovascular health could be biggest risk factor for future dementia rates
Dementia risk factors associated with cardiovascular health may have increased over time compared to factors such as smoking and having less education, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The study, published in The Lancet Public Health , explored how the prevalence of dementia risk factors had changed over time and how this could impact rates of dementia in the future.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 27.06.2024
New balloon-borne spectrometer project to revolutionise our understanding of the earliest days of the Cosmos
New balloon-borne spectrometer project to revolutionise our understanding of the earliest days of the Cosmos
A massive balloon, designed to measure the background radiation left over from the 'Big Bang' and help scientists better understand the infancy and evolution of our Universe, has just moved to the next stage of development Thirty years after the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) spectrum was first precisely characterised by NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission, a new experiment - known as BISOU (for Balloon Interferometer for Spectral Observations of the Universe) - is expected to significantly advance these measurements, gaining a factor of ~25 in sensitivity.

Astronomy / Space - History / Archeology - 27.06.2024
Gravitational wave researchers cast new light on Antikythera mechanism mystery
Techniques developed to analyse the ripples in spacetime detected by one of the 21st century's most sensitive pieces of scientific equipment have helped cast new light on the function of the oldest known analogue computer. Astronomers from the University of Glasgow have used statistical modelling techniques developed to analyse gravitational waves to establish the likely number of holes in one of the broken rings of the Antikythera mechanism - an ancient artifact which was showcased in the movie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny .

Psychology - Social Sciences - 27.06.2024
New research advances understanding of negative social contact
New research, by our Department of Psychology, has found that negative social contact among people of differing societal or cultural groups can have a disproportionate negative effect on broad social cohesion within communities. The research, led by Professor Stefania Paolini, analyses 70 years of research into the psychological effects of intergroup social contact.