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Life Sciences - 09.05.2023
Nose shape gene inherited from Neanderthals
Nose shape gene inherited from Neanderthals
Humans inherited genetic material from Neanderthals that affects the shape of our noses, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The new study finds that a particular gene, which leads to a taller nose (from top to bottom), may have been the product of natural selection as ancient humans adapted to colder climates after leaving Africa.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.05.2023
Autoimmune disorders affect about one in ten individuals
A new population-based study involving 22 million people shows that autoimmune disorders now affect about one in ten individuals. Published in The Lancet , the work points to important socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional differences for several autoimmune disorders and provides new clues on possible causes behind these diseases.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.05.2023
Autoimmune disorders now affect around one in ten individuals
New population-based study led by UCL and the University of Oxford shows that autoimmune disorders are more common than previously thought. The research, published in The Lancet , estimates that around one in ten individuals in the UK now live with an autoimmune disorder. The findings also highlight important socioeconomic, seasonal and regional differences for several autoimmune disorders, providing new clues as to what factors may be involved in these conditions.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.05.2023
Autoimmune disorders found to affect around one in ten people
A new population-based study of 22 million people shows that autoimmune disorders now affect about one in ten individuals. The work, published in The Lancet , also highlights important socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional differences for several autoimmune disorders and provides new clues on possible causes behind these diseases.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 05.05.2023
Artificial neurons mimic complex brain abilities for next-generation AI computing
Researchers have created atomically thin artificial neurons capable of processing both light and electric signals for computing.áThe material enables the simultaneous existence of separate feedforward and feedback paths within a neural network, boosting the ability to solve complex problems. For decades, scientists have been investigating how to recreate the versatile computational capabilities of biological neurons to develop faster and more energy-efficient machine learning systems.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.05.2023
Autoimmune disorders now affect around one in ten
Large-scale study reveals autoimmune disorders now affect around one in ten A new population-based study, involving 22 million people, shows that autoimmune disorders now affect around one in ten individuals. The work, which is published in The Lancet, further shows important socioeconomic, seasonal, and regional differences for several autoimmune disorders and provides new clues on possible causes behind these diseases.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.05.2023
Major funding boost for University cell matrix biologists announced
Professor Rachel Lennon, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science (spectacles) and Richard Naylor, Research Associate at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research are exploring how kidney cells work at the basic level. This could lead to new methods of treatment for patients with kidney disease..photograph by David Sandison/Wellcome.

Life Sciences - 03.05.2023
Dogs may be at risk from high levels of lead from shotgun pellets in raw pheasant dog food
Researchers tested samples of raw pheasant dog food and discovered that the majority contained high levels of lead that could put dogs- health at risk if they eat it frequently. Lead is a toxic metal that negatively affects body systems of people and animals, with the nervous system being particularly sensitive.

Life Sciences - 28.04.2023
Structured exploration allows animal brains to learn faster than AI
Structured exploration allows animal brains to learn faster than AI
Neuroscientists at UCL have uncovered how exploratory actions enable animals to learn their spatial environment more efficiently. Their findings could help build better AI agents that can learn faster and require less experience. Unit at UCL found the instinctual exploratory runs that animals carry out are not random.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.04.2023
HIV drug helps protect against build-up of dementia-related proteins in mouse brains
HIV drug helps protect against build-up of dementia-related proteins in mouse brains
Cambridge scientists have shown how the brain's ability to clear out toxic proteins is impaired in Huntington's disease and other forms of dementia - and how, in a study in mice, a repurposed HIV drug was able to restore this function, helping prevent this dangerous build-up and slowing progression of the disease.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.04.2023
Genetic basis of facial changes in Down syndrome
Genetic basis of facial changes in Down syndrome
Researchers at UCL, the Francis Crick Institute and King's College London have shed light on the genetics underlying changes in the structure and shape of the face and head in a mouse model of Down syndrome. They found that having a third copy of the gene Dyrk1a and at least three other genes was responsible for changes in development that result in 'craniofacial dysmorphology', which shows up as shortened back-to-front length and widened diameter of the head.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.04.2023
Almost half of people with concussion still show symptoms of brain injury six months later
Even mild concussion can cause long-lasting effects to the brain, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge. Using data from a Europe-wide study, the team has shown that for almost a half of all people who receive a knock to the head, there are changes in how regions of the brain communicate with each other, potentially causing long term symptoms such as fatigue and cognitive impairment.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2023
First 'gene silencing' drug for Alzheimer's disease shows promise
First ’gene silencing’ drug for Alzheimer’s disease shows promise
A world-first trial at UCL and UCLH has found a new genetic therapy for Alzheimer's disease that is able to safely and successfully lower levels of the harmful tau protein known to cause the disease. The trial, led by consultant neurologist Dr Catherine Mummery (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology & the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery), represents the first time that a 'gene silencing' approach has been taken in dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 24.04.2023
Problems with 'pruning' brain connections linked to adolescent mental health disorders
Problems with ’pruning’ brain connections linked to adolescent mental health disorders
Problems with the brain's ability to -prune- itself of unnecessary connections may underlie a wide range of mental health disorders that begin during adolescence, according to research published today.

Life Sciences - 24.04.2023
Developing cells likely can 'change their mind' about their destiny
Developing cells likely can ’change their mind’ about their destiny
After differentiation, neural crest cells appear to retain the capacity to -change their mind- and differentiate anew when the circumstances are right. A neural crest cell (a type of stem cell) begins with the ability to differentiate into any number of specialist cell types, but it also appears to retain the capacity to -change its mind- and differentiate anew when the circumstances are right, according to new research from the University of Bath.

Life Sciences - 21.04.2023
Humans struggle to differentiate imagination from reality
The more vividly a person imagines something, the more likely it is that they believe it's real, finds a new study by UCL researchers. The research, published in Nature Communications , involved over 600 participants who took part in an online experiment, where they were asked to imagine images of alternating black and white lines while looking at a computer screen.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.04.2023
Gut bacteria use super-polymers to dodge antibiotics
Gut bacteria use super-polymers to dodge antibiotics
Gut bacteria exchange drug-resistant DNA and form infectious biofilms more easily than expected. The discovery shows why it can be so difficult to tackle drug-resistant bacteria, but does provide a possible avenue for tackling the problem. The super-polymer structures the bacteria use to transfer genes could also be exploited for precise drug delivery in future medicine.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.04.2023
Newly sequenced hornet genomes could help explain invasion success
Newly sequenced hornet genomes could help explain invasion success
The genomes of two hornet species, the European hornet and the Asian hornet (or yellow-legged hornet) have been sequenced for the first time by a team led by UCL scientists. By comparing these decoded genomes with that of the giant northern hornet, which has recently been sequenced by another team, the researchers have revealed clues suggesting why hornets have been so successful as invasive species across the globe.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.04.2023
Endurance rowing, parasites and clean clouds: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From rowing the Atlantic, to uncovering how parasites move, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Endurance rowing In December 2022, a team including a PhD candidate in the Department of Bioengineering tested their endurance by rowing unsupported across the Atlantic.

Environment - Life Sciences - 18.04.2023
What lockdown taught us about roadkill
UK-wide lockdowns gave scientists a unique opportunity to observe wildlife with the absence of traffic, shedding light on what characteristics and traits make iconic British species - like badgers and pheasants - more likely to be involved in collisions with vehicles. Researchers at The Road Lab, based at Cardiff University, used data of roadkill records to assess the 19 wildlife species most frequently involved in vehicular collisions, to see which exhibited changes in road mortality during two major lockdown periods (March- May 2020 and December 2020 - March 2021).