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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.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 14.07.2021
Ear to the ground: Locating elephants using ground vibrations
Ear to the ground: Locating elephants using ground vibrations
Researchers from the , Mpala Research Center and Save the Elephants, have used a combination of acoustic microphones and seismometers to locate elephants. In this novel study, published today in The Journal of the Royal Society Interface , researchers managed to accurately determine elephant locations by measuring the vibration of the ground caused by their rumbles, which are low frequency calls.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.07.2021
Breakthrough into leading cause of blindness
A University of Manchester led team of scientists has discovered that the most common form of adult blindness is probably caused by a failure of at least one of five proteins to regulate the immune system. The breakthrough could one day herald the development of transformative treatments for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects 600,000 people in the UK alone.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.07.2021
UCL releases animal research statistics alongside fellow top institutions
UCL is releasing its animal research statistics today in collaboration with Understanding Animal Research - a non-profit that promotes open communications about animal research. UCL and nine other institutions together conducted nearly half of all UK animal research in 2020. The statistics pertain to animal procedures used in medical, veterinary and scientific research, and are freely available on UCL's animal research website as part of our joint commitments to transparency and openness around the use of animals in research.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.07.2021
Climate changed the size of our bodies and, to some extent, our brains
The average body size of humans has fluctuated significantly over the last million years and is strongly linked to temperature. Colder, harsher climates drove the evolution of larger body sizes, while warmer climates led to smaller bodies. Brain size also changed dramatically but did not evolve in tandem with body size.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.07.2021
Rare genetic variants confer largest increase in type 2 diabetes risk seen to date
Rare genetic variants confer largest increase in type 2 diabetes risk seen to date
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have identified rare genetic variants - carried by one in 3,000 people - that have a larger impact on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than any previously identified genetic effect. For complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes, many variants play a role [in disease risk], but often only increasing our risk by a tiny amount.

Physics - Life Sciences - 05.07.2021
Nanomaterials shape and form influences their ability to cross the blood brain barrier - study
Nanomaterials shape and form influences their ability to cross the blood brain barrier - study
Nanomaterials found in consumer and health-care products can pass from the bloodstream to the brain side of a blood-brain barrier model with varying ease depending on their shape - creating potential neurological impacts that could be both positive and negative, a new study reveals. Scientists found that metal-based nanomaterials such as silver and zinc oxide can cross an in vitro model of the 'blood brain barrier' (BBB) as both particles and dissolved ions - adversely affecting the health of astrocyte cells, which control neurological responses.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.07.2021
Abnormalities in how the brain reorganises prior experiences identified in schizophrenia
Abnormalities in how the brain reorganises prior experiences identified in schizophrenia
Neuroscientists at UCL have, for the first time, identified abnormalities in the way memories are 'replayed' in the brains of people with schizophrenia; researchers say the pathbreaking study provides an entirely new basis for explaining many of the condition's core symptoms. Schizophrenia is a serious and debilitating mental disorder characterised by episodes of psychosis.

Life Sciences - 30.06.2021
From meadow to plate: the cultured meat that replaces animals with grass
From meadow to plate: the cultured meat that replaces animals with grass
An affordable lab system that uses grass blades to turn cells into cultured meat has been developed at the University of Bath. Last updated on Tuesday 6 July 2021 An affordable lab system that uses grass blades to turn cells into cultured meat has been developed at the University of Bath. Researchers have successfully taken grass from the university's campus and used it to create a scaffold that animal cells can attach to and grow on.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.06.2021
Opinion: Covid linked to loss of brain tissue, but correlation doesn’t prove causation
A study potentially linking Covid-19 to a loss of brain tissue add to concerns about the long term damage the disease can do, but more research is needed to avoid unnecessary scaremongering, says Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute). Early in the pandemic, it became clear that Covid-19 wasn't just a disease of the lungs.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.06.2021
Key mutations in Alpha variant enable SARS-CoV-2 to overcome evolutionary weak points
Key mutations in Alpha variant enable SARS-CoV-2 to overcome evolutionary weak points
One of the key mutations seen in the 'Alpha variant' of SARS-CoV-2 - the deletion of two amino acids, H69/V70 - enables the virus to overcome chinks in its armour as it evolves, say an international team of scientists. Understanding the significance of key mutations is important because it enables us to predict how a new variant might behave in humans when it is first identified.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 24.06.2021
Marmoset study identifies brain region linking actions to their outcomes
Researchers have discovered a specific brain region underlying 'goal-directed behaviour' - that is, when we consciously do something with a particular goal in mind, for example going to the shops to buy food. This is a first step towards identifying suitable molecular targets for future drug treatments, or other forms of therapy, for devastating mental health disorders such as OCD and addiction.

Life Sciences - 22.06.2021
Personality traits relate to being a morning or evening person at both the phenotypic and genetic level
· The relationship between personality, genes and chronotype (sleep patterns) has been studied by researchers at the University of Warwick and the University of Tartu, Estonia · People high in Conscientiousness and low in Openness are rather morning people; lower-level personality traits such as self-discipline, excitement-seeking, and straightforwardness have also been linked to chronotype · It is partly due to genetic factors, but there is sco
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