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Astronomy / Space - 15.05.2024
New Earth-sized world orbiting an ultra-cool star
A new, Earth-sized planet orbiting an ultra-cool red dwarf star, has been detected by an international team of astronomers - just 55 light years away. The planet is only the second of its kind to be discovered around this type of star. Called SPECULOOS-3 b, it takes around 17 hours to complete an orbit of the star which is more than twice as cold as our sun, as well as ten times less massive and a hundred times less luminous.

Paleontology - Environment - 15.05.2024
First ’warm-blooded’ dinosaurs may have emerged 180 million years ago
The ability to regulate body temperature, a trait all mammals and birds have today, may have evolved among some dinosaurs early in the Jurassic period about 180 million years ago, suggests a new study led by UCL and University of Vigo researchers. In the early 20 century, dinosaurs were considered slow-moving, "cold-blooded" animals like modern-day reptiles, relying on heat from the sun to regulate their temperature.

Health - Computer Science - 14.05.2024
Female health apps misuse highly sensitive data
Apps designed for female health monitoring are exposing users to unnecessary privacy and safety risks through their poor data handling practices, according to new research from UCL and King's College London. The study, presented at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2024 on 14 May, is the most extensive evaluation of the privacy practices of female health apps to date.

Environment - History / Archeology - 14.05.2024
2023 was the hottest summer in two thousand years
Researchers have found that 2023 was the hottest summer in the Northern Hemisphere in the past two thousand years, almost four degrees warmer than the coldest summer during the same period. When you look at the long sweep of history, you can see just how dramatic recent global warming is Ulf Büntgen Although 2023 has been reported as the hottest year on record, the instrumental evidence only reaches back as far as 1850 at best, and most records are limited to certain regions.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.05.2024
’Weight loss’ drug semaglutide linked to better heart health
The weight loss drug semaglutide delivers cardiovascular benefits irrespective of starting weight and amount of weight lost, according to preliminary findings from a UCL-led research team. The findings, presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO), suggest that even people with mild obesity or those not losing weight are likely to gain some cardiovascular advantage.

Life Sciences - 13.05.2024
Sleep may not clear brain toxins
The brain's ability to rid itself of toxins may actually be reduced during sleep, contrary to the leading scientific theory. Over the past decade, the leading explanation for why we sleep has been that it provides the brain with an opportunity to flush out toxins. However, a new study led by scientists at the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) at Imperial College London indicates that this may not be true.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.05.2024
Birth by C-section more than doubles odds of measles vaccine failure
Researchers say it is vital that children born by caesarean section receive two doses of the measles vaccine for robust protection against the disease. A study by the University of Cambridge, UK, and Fudan University, China, has found that a single dose of the measles jab is up to 2.6 times more likely to be completely ineffective in children born by C-section, compared to those born naturally.

Environment - Health - 13.05.2024
Scientists ask the public to help find mosquitoes in Scotland
We're used to seeing the humble midge around the Scottish countryside, but now scientists are asking people in Scotland to be on the lookout for mosquitoes, as new research shows they can be found in many locations across the country. Mosquito Scotland - a collaborative project between the University of Glasgow, the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR), the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) - has established a surveillance project across the country, and has been collecting data on Scottish mosquitoes for a year.

Environment - 13.05.2024
’Green grabbing’ of Brazilian public and common lands a threat
The privatisation of land for renewable energy infrastructure in Brazil is leading to the appropriation of once-public and common lands by large international corporations because of poor oversight and lack of transparency, finds a new study involving UCL researchers. The study, published in Nature Sustainability, found that land privatisation is the dominant means for solar and wind companies to secure land for their power generation infrastructure, which includes the transfer of control of formerly public and common lands to often international companies.

Psychology - 13.05.2024
Children of the 90s Study: High-THC Cannabis Varieties Twice as Likely to Cause Psychotic Episodes
Children of the 90s Study: High-THC Cannabis Varieties Twice as Likely to Cause Psychotic Episodes
New study suggests high-potency cannabis use between 16-18 doubles the risk of psychotic experiences from 19-24, compared to lower-potency use in young adults Young individuals consuming higher-potency cannabis, such as skunk, between ages 16 and 18, are twice as likely to have psychotic experiences from age 19 to 24 compared to those using lower-potency cannabis.

Health - Pharmacology - 12.05.2024
Heart failure device could remotely monitor patients and prevent hospitalisation
A brand-new monitoring device for patients with heart failure may be able to detect signs of fluid overload, and could be used to monitor patients and help prevent hospital admissions, according to a new study.

Health - Psychology - 10.05.2024
Talk therapy can improve quality of life for people with MND
Psychological therapy can significantly improve quality of life for people living with motor neuron disease (MND) when delivered alongside usual care, finds a study led by UCL and University of Sheffield researchers. The largest-ever trial of a psychological intervention for patients with the debilitating neurological condition, published in The Lancet, found that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) improves overall quality of life, when integrated alongside existing care.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.05.2024
Analysis reveals new insights into global surge of Strep A infections
New analysis has revealed more about the origins of the main bacterial strain involved in an increase in lethal cases. Strep A (Group A Streptococcus) is a common type of bacteria that typically causes throat infections and scarlet fever. While most infections are mild, in rare cases Strep A can cause invasive infections which can be fatal.

Environment - 09.05.2024
New method for quantifying ’invisible’ plastics in rivers
Current methods to count plastic pollution in rivers are insufficient and do not account for the fragments which sink below the surface, a team of scientists have warned. These 'invisible' plastic particles can be suspended below the water line or sink to the riverbed where they are potentially harmful to the ecology of the river.

Health - Psychology - 09.05.2024
Children sleep problems associated with psychosis in young adults
Children who experience chronic lack of sleep from infancy may be at increased risk of developing psychosis in early adulthood, new research shows. Researchers at the University of Birmingham examined information on nighttime sleep duration from a large cohort study of children aged between 6 months and 7 years old.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.05.2024
’Wraparound’ implants represent new approach to treating spinal cord injuries
A tiny, flexible electronic device that wraps around the spinal cord could represent a new approach to the treatment of spinal injuries, which can cause profound disability and paralysis. Because of recent advances in both engineering and neurosurgery, the planets have aligned and we've made major progress in this important area George Malliaras A team of engineers, neuroscientists and surgeons from the University of Cambridge developed the devices and used them to record the nerve signals going back and forth between the brain and the spinal cord.

Transport - Computer Science - 08.05.2024
Research casts new light on bike safety in the age of self-driving cars
Equipping self-driving cars with external displays which use coloured lights to communicate their next manoeuvre could help keep cyclists safe on the roads of the future, researchers say. With autonomous vehicles becoming more common, reducing active human involvement in driving in the process, researchers from the University of Glasgow have been working to investigate new ways to help self-driving cars speak the language of cyclists.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.05.2024
A third Covid vaccine dose improves defence for some clinically extremely vulnerable patients
A major clinical trial has found that an additional COVID 19 vaccine dose led to the majority of clinically extremely vulnerable people mounting defensive antibodies against Covid-19. New research published in The Lancet Rheumatology from the OCTAVE DUO research trial co-led by the University of Birmingham and University of Glasgow found that vaccine boosters led to improved antibody responses among many groups of immunocompromised and immunosuppressed patients.

Physics - Computer Science - 07.05.2024
Quantum breakthrough: World’s purest silicon brings scientists one step closer to scaling up quantum computers
More than 100 years ago, scientists at The University of Manchester changed the world when they discovered the nucleus in atoms, marking the birth of nuclear physics. Fast forward to today, and history repeats itself, this time in quantum computing.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.05.2024
Study charts how north Africa’s climate changed 5,000 years ago
Climate tipping points can either result from a slow but linear development, or can "flicker" between two stable climatic states that alternate before a final, permanent transition occurs, finds a new study featuring a UCL researcher. The study, published in Nature Communications , confirms this alternating transition for the end of the African Humid Period, a time between about 14,000 and 5,000 years ago when northern Africa was much wetter, as it shifted to the pronounced aridity that is typical today.
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