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Life Sciences - Health - 22.01.2024
Colours fade as people age
Colours fade as people age
There is a difference between how the brains of healthy older adults perceive colour compared to younger adults, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The research, published in Scientific Reports , compared how the pupils of younger and older people reacted to different aspects of colour in the environment.

Life Sciences - 18.01.2024
Research uncovers mechanism behind stubborn memories
Researchers from the Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences have identified a novel mechanism by which the brain produces powerful lasting memories that drive ill-advised actions. Focussing on cocaine experience, the researchers demonstrate how the collective activity of many nerve cells distributed across the brain underlies the persistence of such memories, providing new insights into why drug-seeking behaviours could lead to addiction.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.01.2024
'Mini-placentas' help scientists understand the causes of pre-eclampsia and pregnancy disorders
’Mini-placentas’ help scientists understand the causes of pre-eclampsia and pregnancy disorders
Scientists have grown 'mini-placentas' in the lab and used them to shed light on how the placenta develops and interacts with the inner lining of the womb - findings that could help scientists better understand and, in future, potentially treat pre-eclampsia. Most of the major disorders of pregnancy - pre-eclampsia, still birth, growth restriction, for example - depend on failings in the way the placenta develops in the first few weeks.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.01.2024
Role of inherited genetic variants in rare blood cancer uncovered
Role of inherited genetic variants in rare blood cancer uncovered
Combining three different sources of genetic information has allowed researchers to further understand why only some people with a common mutation go on to develop rare blood cancer Our hope is that this information can be incorporated into future disease prediction efforts Jyoti Nangalia Large-scale genetic analysis has helped researchers uncover the interplay between cancer-driving genetic mutations and inherited genetic variants in a rare type of blood cancer.

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.01.2024
Urgent need to expand genetic monitoring of species in Europe
Urgent need to expand genetic monitoring of species in Europe
There is an urgent need to expand the genetic monitoring of species in Europe to help detect the impacts of climate change on populations. That's one of the findings of new research undertaken by an international team involving Cardiff University's late Professor Mike Bruford - a world-leading conservationist - in one of the last studies he undertook before his death.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 11.01.2024
Newly identified genes for depression may lead to new treatments
More than 200 genes linked to depression have been newly identified in a worldwide study led by UCL researchers. The research, published in Nature Genetics , found more than 50 new genetic loci (a locus is a specific position on a chromosome) and 205 novel genes that are associated with depression, in the first large-scale global study of the genetics of major depression in participants of diverse ancestry groups.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 11.01.2024
New dinosaur species may be closest known relative of Tyrannosaurus rex
New dinosaur species may be closest known relative of Tyrannosaurus rex
Restudy of fossils collected in New Mexico digs up key clues about T. rex's origins in North America. Published on Thursday 11 January 2024 Last updated on Thursday 11 January 2024 A new study published in Scientific Reports reshapes our understanding of how the most famous dinosaur to ever walk the earth - Tyrannosaurus rex - first arrived in North America by introducing its earliest known relative on the continent.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.01.2024
Ultraviolet light degrades coronavirus
Ultraviolet light degrades coronavirus
New research has revealed how light can be used to destroy infectious coronavirus particles that contaminate surfaces. Scientists are interested in how environments, such as surgeries, can be thoroughly disinfected from viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 that caused the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 viral particles are composed of a core of nucleic acid chains that contain the genetic information of the virus, surrounded by a lipid membrane with proteinous spikes sticking out.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.01.2024
Three quarters of autistic children also have other types of neurodivergence
Three quarters of children (76.2%) who were diagnosed with autism also had traits of other neurodivergent neurotypes - including traits associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning and motor differences - according to a new study Three quarters of children (76.2%) who were diagnosed with autism also had traits of other neurodivergent neurotypes - including traits associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning and motor differences - according to a new study.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.01.2024
'Disease in a Dish' model sheds light on the triggers for some forms of dementia
’Disease in a Dish’ model sheds light on the triggers for some forms of dementia
Organoid research at the Department of Life Sciences shows how a gene mutation slows down stem cell differentiation, setting the scene for age-related disease. Published on Monday 8 January 2024 Last updated on Wednesday 10 January 2024 New understanding of a gene that is linked to some forms of dementia and other age-related diseases gives scientists fresh hope that action can be taken against these diseases long before the onset of symptoms.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.01.2024
Scientists engineer plant microbiome for the first time to protect crops against disease
Scientists engineer plant microbiome for the first time to protect crops against disease
Scientists have engineered the microbiome of plants for the first time, boosting the prevalence of 'good' bacteria that protect the plant from disease. The findings published in Nature Communications by researchers from the University of Southampton, China and Austria, could substantially reduce the need for environmentally destructive pesticides.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 03.01.2024
'Juvenile T. rex' fossils are a distinct species of small tyrannosaur
’Juvenile T. rex’ fossils are a distinct species of small tyrannosaur
Nanotyrannus was a smaller, longer-armed relative of T. rex, with a narrower snout. Published on Wednesday 3 January 2024 Last updated on Wednesday 3 January 2024 A new analysis of fossils believed to be juveniles of T. rex now shows they were adults of a small tyrannosaur, with narrower jaws, longer legs, and bigger arms than T. rex .

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 02.01.2024
The way the brain learns is different from the way that artificial intelligence systems learn
The way the brain learns is different from the way that artificial intelligence systems learn
Study shows that the way the brain learns is different from the way that artificial intelligence systems learn Researchers from the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit and Oxford University's Department of Computer Science have set out a new principle to explain how the brain adjusts connections between neurons during learning.

Astronomy / Space - Life Sciences - 21.12.2023
Christmas toys playing a role in scientific discovery
Toys aren't just sitting under the Christmas tree patiently waiting to be opened, they are also playing a significant role in scientific research at Cardiff University. Right across the University, the gifts old and young might receive this year are helping further our understanding of human development, democratising biomedical research, or helping shed light on some of the universe's unanswered questions.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 21.12.2023
Land-cover changes and serotonin levels: News from Imperial
Land-cover changes and serotonin levels: News from Imperial
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From a simulation to understand why land-cover changes have occurred, to a study that found different antidepressants all target serotonin, here is some quick-read news from across Imperial. Changing landscapes When land-cover changes happen, such as during the expansion of agriculture, there are numerous possible interacting reason for such changes, from environmental to social.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.12.2023
New protein linked to early-onset dementia identified
A first potential therapeutic target for a type of early-onset dementia has been established by a team of scientists, including UCL researchers. The new study, published in Nature , and led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, identified abnormal aggregates of a protein called TAF15 in the brains of individuals with early-onset dementia, known as frontotemporal dementia, where the cause was not previously known.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.12.2023
New study from the RVC explores malaria invasion to help develop life-saving vaccine
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2023 16:00:21 Researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and University of Oxford have led an innovative project investigating the progression of malaria infection and the role of the parasite to better aid the development of an effective malaria vaccine and significantly reduce rates of deaths from the disease.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2023
Unusual RNA structures could be targets for new ALS treatments
Studying strange forms of RNA associated with the formation of aggregates in the brains of ALS patients could lead to new avenues for treatments. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease, which causes degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, dementia, and Alzheimer's, are the leading cause of death in the UK, and there are no known cures.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 15.12.2023
Southampton features in prime time Sir David Attenborough documentary
Southampton features in prime time Sir David Attenborough documentary
Researchers from the University of Southampton are set to appear in a new BBC Natural History programme revealing the secrets of a giant pliosaur, a ferocious predator which inhabited our seas at the same time as dinosaurs roamed the Earth about 150 million years ago. The documentary, titled 'Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster' (BBC One and iPlayer, 8pm, 1 January 2024), follows Sir David Attenborough on a journey of discovery as he explores the fascinating story of an enormous marine reptile whose skull was found buried on the Dorset coast near Kimmeridge Bay.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.12.2023
New gene therapy could significantly reduce seizures in severe childhood epilepsy
UCL researchers have developed a new gene therapy to cure a devastating form of childhood epilepsy, which a new study shows can significantly reduce seizures in mice. The study, published in Brain , sought to find an alternative to surgery for children with focal cortical dysplasia. Focal cortical dysplasia is caused by areas of the brain that have developed abnormally and is among the most common causes of drug-resistant epilepsy in children.