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Life Sciences - Health - 08.12.2023
Ancient DNA reveals how a chicken virus evolved to become more deadly
An international team of scientists led by geneticists and disease biologists from the University of Oxford and LMU Munich have used ancient DNA to trace the evolution of Marek's Disease Virus (MDV). This global pathogen causes fatal infections in unvaccinated chickens and costs the poultry industry over $1 billion per year.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 07.12.2023
Q&A: Reducing the use of animal tissues for testing the safety of cosmetics
Q&A: Reducing the use of animal tissues for testing the safety of cosmetics
Imperial College London researchers speak to us about their work exploring animal-free methods for the future of testing cosmetics safety. Testing cosmetics on live animals was outlawed by the EU in 2013, but animal tissues continue to be used to test for dermal absorption, a measure of how much a chemical permeates the skin to reach the bloodstream.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.12.2023
Blood test to identify individuals at risk of developing Parkinson's disease
Blood test to identify individuals at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
Researchers develop a blood test to identify individuals at risk of developing Parkinson's disease Research carried out at Oxford's  Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences  has led to the development of a new blood-based test to identify the pathology that triggers Parkinson's disease before the main symptoms occur.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.12.2023
Fatty foods can impair the body’s response to everyday stress - study
Eating fatty foods during stressful periods can impair the body's 'recovery' from the effects of stress, new research suggests. Different findings from a study, published recently in Frontiers in Nutrition and Nutrients , have shown that consuming foods high in fat before a mentally stressful episode can reduce brain oxygenation and cause poorer vascular function in adults.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 04.12.2023
Brains of newborns aren’t underdeveloped compared to other primates
Contrary to current understanding, the brains of human newborns aren't significantly less developed compared to other primate species, but appear so because so much brain development happens after birth, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 01.12.2023
Uncovering the genetic history of British otters
Uncovering the genetic history of British otters
New genetic research has revealed how British otters were able to recover from species loss in the 1950s with the help of their counterparts from Asia. Using genome sequencing data, a team from Cardiff University's Otter Project showed that much of the genetic diversity of British otters was lost when chemical pollution led to severe population declines in the 1950-1970s.

Life Sciences - Pedagogy - 30.11.2023
Why reading nursery rhymes and singing to babies may help them to learn language
Why reading nursery rhymes and singing to babies may help them to learn language
Researchers find that babies don't begin to process phonetic information reliably until seven months old which they say is too late to form the foundation of language. We believe that speech rhythm information is the hidden glue underpinning the development of a well-functioning language system. Professor Usha Goswami Parents should speak to their babies using sing-song speech, like nursery rhymes, as soon as possible, say researchers.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.11.2023
Brain waves usually found in sleep can protect against epileptic activity
Slow waves that usually only occur in the brain during sleep are also present during wakefulness in people with epilepsy and may protect against increased brain excitability associated with the condition, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.11.2023
Toxic banned chemicals exceed safe thresholds in UK orcas
Levels of banned chemicals in UK-stranded orcas are 30 times over the toxic threshold, uncovers new research. Levels of banned chemicals in UK-stranded orcas are 30 times over the toxic threshold, uncovers new research. The finding is just one alarming discovery from the investigation into the scale at which chemical pollution threatens the future of marine mammals.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.11.2023
Newborn babies at risk from bacteria commonly carried by mothers
Newborn babies at risk from bacteria commonly carried by mothers
One in 200 newborns is admitted to a neonatal unit with sepsis caused by a bacteria commonly carried by their mothers - much greater than the previous estimate, say Cambridge researchers. The team has developed an ultra-sensitive test capable of better detecting the bacteria, as it is missed in the vast majority of cases.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 28.11.2023
Scientists harness flower 'super power' to pave the way for new drug treatments
Scientists harness flower ’super power’ to pave the way for new drug treatments
Researchers from the Department of Life Sciences have developed a way of joining up the ends of proteins, making them more stable and easier to get into cells. Published on Tuesday 28 November 2023 Last updated on Wednesday 6 December 2023 Scientists at the University of Bath have used nature as inspiration in developing a new tool that will help researchers develop new pharmaceutical treatments in a cleaner, greener, and less expensive way.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.11.2023
Our brains are not able to 'rewire' themselves, despite what most scientists believe, new study argues
Our brains are not able to ’rewire’ themselves, despite what most scientists believe, new study argues
Contrary to the commonly-held view, the brain does not have the ability to rewire itself to compensate for the loss of sight, an amputation or stroke, for example, say scientists from the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins University.

Life Sciences - 20.11.2023
AI system self-organises to develop features of brains of complex organisms
AI system self-organises to develop features of brains of complex organisms
Cambridge scientists have shown that placing physical constraints on an artificially-intelligent system - in much the same way that the human brain has to develop and operate within physical and biological constraints - allows it to develop features of the brains of complex organisms in order to solve tasks.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.11.2023
Molecular causes of rare neurological condition in children revealed
A new study has identified the molecular defects underlying a complex developmental brain condition in children. The team, led by UCL and including Imperial College London researchers, investigated the role of a specific regulatory protein in the brain known as acyl-CoA-binding domain-containing protein 6, or ACBD6.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.11.2023
Hunger hormones impact decision-making brain area to drive behaviour
Hunger hormones impact decision-making brain area to drive behaviour
A hunger hormone produced in the gut can directly impact a decision-making part of the brain in order to drive an animal's behaviour, finds a new study by UCL researchers. The study in mice, published in Neuron , is the first to show how hunger hormones can directly impact activity of the brain's hippocampus when an animal is considering food.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 14.11.2023
New tool to help AI track animals could boost biology research
New tool to help AI track animals could boost biology research
A new machine learning tool from Imperial could help researchers track animal behaviour and pave the way for more AI use in the biological sciences. Biologists often study large numbers of animals to collect data on collective and individual behaviour. New machine learning tools promise to help scientists process the huge amount of data this work generates more quickly while lessening workload.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.11.2023
Exercise at consistent times could help re-align your body clocks for better skeletal health and performance, scientists suggest
Consistent daily patterns of exercise and rest can synchronise the local body clocks associated with joints and spine with the brain clock, potentially helping individuals to maintain skeletal health, improve athletic performance and avoid injury, research by University of Manchester scientists has argued.

Life Sciences - Sport - 14.11.2023
Left-handers aren't better spatially, gaming research shows
Left-handers aren’t better spatially, gaming research shows
Left-handedness is not linked to better spatial skills, despite some previous evidence of a performance gap, according to a large international study led by UCL and University of York researchers. The research, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , also sheds light on how left-handedness varies by country, with the highest rates in the Netherlands and lowest in China.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.11.2023
Bendy X-rays and DMT infusions: News from Imperial
Bendy X-rays and DMT infusions: News from Imperial
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From bendy X-rays that could one day improve airport scans and cancer detection, to a psychedelic substance that could treat mental health disorders, here is some quick-read news from across Imperial. Bendy X-ray detectors New materials developed at the University of Surrey involving Imperial College London researchers could pave the way for a new generation of flexible X-ray detectors, with potential applications ranging from cancer treatment to better airport scanners.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.11.2023
Scientists take huge step towards making world's first synthetic yeast genome
Scientists take huge step towards making world’s first synthetic yeast genome
A UK-based team from Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham have produced a synthetic chromosome for a yeast cell. A team of scientists, led by Professor Tom Ellis of Imperial College London and Dr Ben Blount from the University of Nottingham , have built a synthetic version of yeast's Chromosome XI.