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Health - Pharmacology - 05.08.2021
Patient safety analysis highlights areas for improvement in acute medical units
A new 10-year analysis, led by UCL and Cardiff researchers, of patient safety incidents in hospital acute medical units across England and Wales, identified numerous areas for improvement. Recommendations include the introduction of electronic prescribing and monitoring systems, checklists to reduce diagnostic errors, and an increased presence of senior clinicians and pharmacists overnight and at the weekends to reduce the vulnerability of less experienced staff.

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.

Health - Pedagogy - 02.08.2021
'Origami' testing app could help tackle spread of malaria
’Origami’ testing app could help tackle spread of malaria
A new approach to tackling the spread of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, which combines affordable, easy-to-administer blood tests with machine learning and unbreakable encryption, has generated encouraging early results in Uganda. Malaria is one of the world's leading causes of illness and death, sickening around 228 million people each year, more than 400,000 of them fatally.

Health - Social Sciences - 30.07.2021
Cooking with coal or wood associated with increased risk of major eye diseases
Cooking with coal or wood associated with increased risk of major eye diseases
A study involving nearly half a million people in China reveals a clear link between cooking with wood or coal, and an increased risk of major eye diseases that can lead to blindness, according to a report published today in PLOS Medicine . About half the world's population - 3.8 billion individuals - are exposed to household air pollution from cooking using 'dirty' solid fuels, such as coal and wood.

Social Sciences - Health - 30.07.2021
Wide disparities in children’s body fat between most deprived and advantaged areas
Children who live in the most deprived UK areas see far higher increases in body fat between the ages of seven and 17 compared to those from most advantaged areas, finds a new study by UCL researchers. In the study, published in The Lancet Public Health , researchers found boys from the most deprived areas have a 3% higher fat mass index (FMI)* at age seven compared to those from the most advantaged areas, and by 17 it is 23% higher.

Health - 29.07.2021
Moderate drinking linked to fewer heart attacks in people with heart disease
Light to moderate drinking may be associated with a decreased risk of heart attack, stroke, angina or death among those with cardiovascular disease, finds a new study led by a UCL researcher. The new BMC Medicine meta-analysis study suggest that drinking up to 105 grams of alcohol per week - equivalent to 13 UK units of alcohol, less than six pints of medium-strength beer or just over one bottle of wine - could potentially confer some protective benefits.

Health - 29.07.2021
When stressed, people are quicker to jump to the worst conclusion
When under stress, people reach undesirable conclusions based on weaker evidence than when they are relaxed, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The findings, published today in the Journal of Neuroscience , show that stress can make people more likely to conclude the worst scenario is true.

Health - 28.07.2021
Homelessness linked to emergency hospital admissions
Patients experiencing homelessness use hospital services, especially emergency admissions, at much higher rates than housed patients according to new research published this week. The study's authors believe the research indicates the need to improve access to primary care, including GPs, along with implementing other interventions for people experiencing homelessness.

Environment - Health - 28.07.2021
Exploring how air pollution in indoor spaces affects human health
University of Birmingham experts are part of a new research programme investigating how air pollutants in indoor spaces such as homes, schools and workplaces can adversely affect human health. Researchers have received a share of £9 million funding from UK Research and Innovation across three separate four-year projects, each aimed at better understanding the composition, concentration and exposures of air pollutants and how these affect different health conditions.

Health - Social Sciences - 28.07.2021
Over a third of adults have multiple health problems in midlife
More than one in three British adults are suffering from two or more chronic health conditions in middle age, such as recurrent back problems, mental ill-health, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high-risk drinking, according to UCL researchers. The new study, published in  BMC Public Health,  shows that among Generation X - adults born in 1970 - those who grew up in poorer families are at much greater risk of having multiple long-term health problems in their late 40s.

Health - Pharmacology - 28.07.2021
Scientists use tiny bubbles to help treat common childhood cancer
Scientists use tiny bubbles to help treat common childhood cancer
Researchers at UCL have developed a new way to deliver drugs that can shut down cancer-promoting mutations in neuroblastoma. The findings in mice, show the method, which uses tiny bubbles to deliver therapies directly to tumour cells, reduced tumour growth and improved survival. Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumour found in children and accounts for about 15% of all cancer-related deaths in children.

Health - Computer Science - 27.07.2021
UK scientists designed world’s most sophisticated COVID-19 sequencing system - here’s how they did it
New bioinformatics software and cloud computing approaches developed at the University of Birmingham, have enabled the UK's COVID-19 genome sequencing effort to be the most sophisticated in the world. The system, called CLIMB-COVID was designed for the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, set up in March 2020 to tackle the huge challenge of rapidly sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genomes.

Health - 27.07.2021
Shielding less effective than hoped
Shielding those at highest risk from Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic may not have been as effective at protecting them from infection and death as hoped, according to a new study. The research - led by the University of Glasgow and published in Scientific Reports - found that, between March and May 2020, patients advised to shield in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) experienced higher rates of infection and death than those not advised to shield.

Health - 27.07.2021
People with learning disabilities far more likely to die from respiratory illnesses
A new study into respiratory-associated deaths by the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory (SLDO) has found that people with learning disabilities are almost 11 times more likely to die prematurely from respiratory disease compared to other people. This unique study, published in the BMJ Open, examined data from more than 90,000 people with learning disabilities and 27,394 deaths, using literature published over the last 24 years.

Health - Pharmacology - 26.07.2021
More sensitive kidney disease test reveals cancer risk link
Using a more sensitive test than is commonly used in the NHS, researchers have been able to show, for the first time, that even mild kidney disease is associated with an increased risk of developing and dying from cancer. The new research, led by the University of Glasgow and published today in the journal EClinicalMedicine, shows that the more sensitive 'cystatin C' test was able to identify a heightened risk of developing and dying from cancer in people with chronic kidney disease.

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.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.07.2021
Longer interval between the first and second Pfizer vaccine boosts antibody levels and ’helper’ T cells
A new study carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham shows both short and long dosing schedules of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine generate strong antibody and T cell immune responses. The study, led by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Universities of Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield, and supported by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, is one of the most comprehensive studies into the immune response generated by the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to date.

Pharmacology - Health - 23.07.2021
New dietary treatment for epilepsy well tolerated and reduced seizures
New dietary treatment for epilepsy well tolerated and reduced seizures
The first clinical trial of a new dietary treatment for children and adults with severe forms of epilepsy, co-developed by UCL researchers and based on the ketogenic diet, has been successfully completed.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.07.2021
Study highlights ’vital 30-day window’ for hospital inpatients to get COVID-19 jab
A new study published today has highlighted a "30-day window" for hospital inpatients to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help reduce their risk of dying. A Cardiff University-led team analysed 2,508 hospital patients across 18 sites during the first wave of the pandemic to assess the impact of being infected with COVID-19 in hospital on risk of death.
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