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Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2022
'Smart contact lens' to detect eye infections
’Smart contact lens’ to detect eye infections
Using the new -smart contact lens- could prevent deaths caused by fungal eye infections in developing countries Currently, detecting which bacteria or fungus is present in an eye infection is an invasive and lengthy process - the new test would involve the patient wearing the special lens for an hour, with the results determined soon afterwards It will also cut down on the misprescribing of antibiotics, helping in the fight to reduce antibiotic resistance A pioneering -smart contact lens- to test for eye infections in a quick, non-invasive way is being developed.

Social Sciences - Health - 01.12.2022
Adolescent wellbeing improved by online contact with close friends
Frequent online communication with best friends and existing friendship groups is associated with better wellbeing in young people, new research by Cardiff University has found. Led by the Centre for the Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), the study found that boys and girls communicating with 'real life' friends online had higher levels of wellbeing.

Health - Computer Science - 01.12.2022
Fitness levels can be accurately predicted using wearable devices - no exercise required
Cambridge researchers have developed a method for measuring overall fitness accurately on wearable devices - and more robustly than current consumer smartwatches and fitness monitors - without the wearer needing to exercise.

Health - Research Management - 01.12.2022
Mapping the hidden connections between diseases
Mapping the hidden connections between diseases
A new study led by UCL researchers has identified patterns in how common health conditions occur together in the same individuals, using data from four million patients in England. With advancing age, millions of people live with multiple conditions - sometimes referred to as multimorbidity - and the proportion of people affected in this way is expected to rise over the next decades.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2022
Coronavirus drug target identified that could halt virus replication
Coronavirus drug target identified that could halt virus replication
Structural details of an attractive drug target in coronaviruses that could be used against SARS-CoV-2 and in future pandemics have been published by international teams co-led by UCL researchers. Two new studies published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and eLife reveal pockets in an important piece of the virus' machinery that drugs could bind to in order to halt virus replication.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.12.2022
Early life experiences can have long-lasting impact on genes
Early life experiences can have long-lasting impact on genes
Early life experiences can impact the activity of our genes much later on and even affect longevity, finds a new study in fruit flies led by UCL researchers. In the study published in Nature Aging , the scientists report that gene expression 'memory' can persist across the lifespan, and may present a novel target for improving late-life health.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.12.2022
Anti-ageing drug rapamycin might only benefit females
Anti-ageing drug rapamycin might only benefit females
The anti-ageing drug rapamycin only prolongs the lifespan of female fruit flies, but not that of males, finds a new study co-led by UCL researchers. Working with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, the team reports in Nature Aging that in addition, rapamycin only slowed the development of age-related pathological changes in the gut in female flies.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.11.2022
Ancient viruses may hold key to effective gene therapy treatments
Scientists have unlocked key insights into virus evolution, revealing new information that could help develop treatments for a wide variety of genetic diseases. The research, which was led by scientists at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) and University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, focuses on a group of small, ubiquitous viruses called 'parvoviruses' (from the Latin word "parvus" meaning 'small', 'puny' or 'unimportant').

Pharmacology - Health - 22.11.2022
New study brings personalised immunotherapy prescriptions a step closer
New study brings personalised immunotherapy prescriptions a step closer
Research validates an imaging platform co-developed at CTI-Bath which predicts if a cancer patient would respond well to immunotherapy. In a step likely to advance personalised cancer treatment, scientists have for the first time shown in patients that levels of biomarkers are not enough to tell which patients are likely to respond best to immunotherapy.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.11.2022
Hospitals more risky than farms when it comes to Klebsiella superbug spread, says study
Hospitals more risky than farms when it comes to Klebsiella superbug spread, says study
A study led by Bath's Milner Centre for Evolution investigated spread of Klebsiella bacteria between humans and the environment. An international team of scientists investigating transmission of a deadly drug resistant bacteria that rivals MRSA, has found that whilst the bugs are found in livestock, pets and the wider environment, they are rarely transmitted to humans through this route.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.11.2022
New Alzheimer’s genes discovered in world’s largest study
Two new genes that raise a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease have been discovered by researchers. An international team, involving Cardiff University's Dementia Research Institute, compared 32,000 genetic codes from patients with Alzheimer's disease and healthy individuals. The research uncovered several new genes and specific mutations in those genes that lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Health - Physics - 18.11.2022
Fusion surprises and COVID scars: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From research into how ions behave in fusion reactions, to a study on why some people develop scar tissue in their lungs following severe COVID-19 infection, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Fusion surprises Ions may behave differently in fusion reactions than previously expected, providing important insights for the future design of a laser-fusion energy source.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.11.2022
Lab grown 'mini eyes' help understanding of blindness in rare genetic condition
Lab grown ’mini eyes’ help understanding of blindness in rare genetic condition
Researchers at UCL have grown 'mini eyes', which make it possible to study and better understand the development of blindness in Usher syndrome for the first time. The 3D 'mini eyes', known as organoids, were grown from stem cells generated from skin samples donated by patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH).

Pharmacology - Health - 18.11.2022
Improving antimicrobial stewardship: RVC research reveals extent of systemic antimicrobial usage in UK equine practice
To mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has released new research using real-world antimicrobial prescription data to investigate the use of systemic antimicrobials in UK equine practice. The research, which is the first of its kind, reveals the extent to which antimicrobials are prescribed to equids and uncovers the lack of routine culture and sensitivity testing, particularly prior to the prescription of the 'last resort' Category B antimicrobials, whose efficacy needs to be preserved for the treatment of serious illnesses in human medicine.

Psychology - Health - 17.11.2022
Many adolescents game a lot without negative effects on their wellbeing
A new study published by University of Oxford researchers in an open-access journal, JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting , shows that although many school-age adolescents are spending considerable time gaming, it is not having a negative impact on the wellbeing. The OxWell Student Survey is one of the largest school surveys of adolescent health and wellbeing in England.

Health - 17.11.2022
Caring for the homeless in their own environment could prevent deaths
Caring for the homeless in their own environment could prevent deaths
Primary healthcare service outreach (PHSO) interventions, where patients are attended to in their own environment, could be key to improving health in the homeless population, finds a new UCL study. The life expectancy of people experiencing homelessness in the UK is currently 30 years shorter than that of the general population, and previous research has shown that a quarter of these deaths could have been prevented if a doctor had been seen in time.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.11.2022
Full vaccination more effective than boosters in preventing the spread of Covid
A small increase in the number of people having two vaccines against Covid-19 was more effective in controlling the virus during Europe's fourth wave - when the Omicron variant appeared - than the rapid uptake of booster vaccines, finds a new UCL-led study. Published in the International Journal of Public Health , the study found that a 4.2% increase in the number of people having two doses (full vaccination) led to a 54% reduction in case rates across Europe - despite the detection of the highly infectious Omicron.

Health - 16.11.2022
E-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine-replacement therapy in helping smokers quit
The latest Cochrane Review finds high certainty evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective than traditional nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) in helping people quit smoking. Research led by the University of Oxford, and funded by Cancer Research UK , has found the strongest evidence yet that e-cigarettes, also known as 'vapes', help people to quit smoking better than traditional nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and chewing gums.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.11.2022
Synthetic biology meets medicine: ’programmable molecular scissors’ could help fight COVID-19 infection
Cambridge scientists have used synthetic biology to create artificial enzymes programmed to target the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 and destroy the virus, an approach that could be used to develop a new generation of antiviral drugs. XNAzymes are molecular scissors which recognise a particular sequence in the RNA, then chop it up Alex Taylor Enzymes are naturally occurring biological catalysts, which enable the chemical transformations required for our bodies to function - from translating the genetic code into proteins, right through to digesting food.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.11.2022
Preventing European cancer epidemic 
Europe will face a cancer epidemic in the next decade if weaknesses in cancer health systems and cancer research are not urgently addressed, say the authors of a major new report. The large-scale collaborative research project, in which the University is a key participant, warns that prioritising cancer research is crucial for European countries to deliver more affordable, higher quality, and more equitable cancer care.
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