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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.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.05.2024
Microscopic heart vessels imaged in super-resolution for first time at Imperial
A new imaging technique tested on patients could improve the evaluation of cardiac conditions and undiagnosed chest pain. Researchers from Imperial College London's Department of Bioengineering and Faculty of Medicine worked alongside academics from UCL to produce sub-millimetre resolution images of cardiac micro-vessels.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.05.2024
Red light therapy for repairing spinal cord injury passes milestone
Red light therapy for repairing spinal cord injury passes milestone
The researchers have already received further funding and are planning to develop an implantable device for use in humans with traumatic spinal cord injury. Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) could benefit from a future treatment to repair nerve connections using red and near-infrared light. The method, invented by scientists at the University of Birmingham and patented by University of Birmingham Enterprise, involves delivering light directly to the site of the injury.

Life Sciences - 01.05.2024
Sleep resets brain connections - but only for first few hours
Sleep resets brain connections - but only for first few hours
During sleep, the brain weakens the new connections between neurons that had been forged while awake - but only during the first half of a night's sleep, according to a new study in fish by UCL scientists. The researchers say their findings, published in Nature , provide insight into the role of sleep, but still leave an open question around what function the latter half of a night's sleep serves.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.04.2024
Robotic nerve ’cuffs’ could help treat a range of neurological conditions
Researchers have developed tiny, flexible devices that can wrap around individual nerve fibres without damaging them. The ability to make an implant that can change shape through electrical activation opens up a range of future possibilities for highly targeted treatments George Malliaras The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, combined flexible electronics and soft robotics techniques to develop the devices, which could be used for the diagnosis and treatment of a range of disorders, including epilepsy and chronic pain, or the control of prosthetic limbs.

Health - Life Sciences - 24.04.2024
'profound' link between dietary choices and brain health
’profound’ link between dietary choices and brain health
New research has highlighted the profound link between dietary choices and brain health. The research, published in the journal Nature , showed that a healthy, balanced diet was linked to superior brain health, cognitive function and mental wellbeing. The study, involving researchers at the University of Warwick, sheds light on how our food preferences not only influence physical health but also significantly impact brain health.

Life Sciences - 22.04.2024
Pressure in the womb may influence facial development
Pressure in the womb may influence facial development
Physical cues in the womb, and not just genetics, influence the normal development of neural crest cells, the embryonic stem cells that form facial features, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The study published in Nature Cell Biology found that an increase in hydrostatic pressure sensed by the embryo can hinder the healthy development of facial features in mouse and frog embryos and in human embryoids (cell structures grown in the lab from human stem cells), suggesting that differences in pressure might affect the risk of facial malformations.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.04.2024
Link between maternal diabetes and child ADHD may not be causal
While children of mothers with diabetes and more likely to develop ADHD, a new global analysis co-led by UCL and University of Hong Kong researchers suggests the relationship is likely not causal. The authors of the new Nature Medicine study, using data from over 3.6 million mother-baby pairs across three continents, say the link is likely due to genetic and familial factors that are shared between people with diabetes and ADHD.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.04.2024
Scientists grow human mini-lungs as animal alternative for nanomaterial safety testing
Human mini-lungs grown by University of Manchester scientists mimic the response of animals when exposed to certain nanomaterials. The study at the University's NanoCell Biology Lab at the Centre for Nanotechnology in Medicine is published in the influential journal nanotoday . Though not expected to replace animal models completely, human organoids could soon lead to significant reductions in research animal numbers, the team led by cell biologist and nanotoxicologist Dr Sandra Vranic argues.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.04.2024
Researchers help uncover potential breakthrough in treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or Colitis)
RVC researchers help uncover potential breakthrough in treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's or Colitis) Pathologists from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have been working with scientists from the Francis Crick Institute (FCI) to untangle a complex pathway that could help explain how interactions between microorganisms and the body's immune defences lead to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.04.2024
Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human - defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates
Interspecies competition led to even more forms of ancient human - defying evolutionary trends in vertebrates
Competition between species played a major role in the rise and fall of hominins, and produced a "bizarre" evolutionary pattern for the Homo lineage. This is almost unparalleled in evolutionary science Laura van Holstein Climate has long been held responsible for the emergence and extinction of hominin species.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.04.2024
Coral reef microbes point to new way to assess ecosystem health
Coral reef microbes point to new way to assess ecosystem health
A new study shows that ocean acidification is changing the mix of microbes in coral reef systems, which can be used to assess ecosystem health. The study, published today in Microbiome , looked at coral reefs specifically, but the researchers say it could be widely applicable as a method for measuring how ecosystems are responding to human activities.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.04.2024
Specific nasal cells protect against COVID-19 in children
Specific nasal cells protect against COVID-19 in children
Important differences in how the nasal cells of young and elderly people respond to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, could explain why children typically experience milder COVID-19 symptoms, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL and the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The study, published in Nature Microbiology , focused on the early effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the cells first targeted by the viruses, the human nasal epithelial cells (NECs).

Health - Life Sciences - 11.04.2024
Study unpicks why childhood maltreatment continues to impact on mental and physical health into adulthood
Study unpicks why childhood maltreatment continues to impact on mental and physical health into adulthood
Childhood maltreatment can continue to have an impact long into adulthood because of how it effects an individual's risk of poor physical health and traumatic experiences many years later, a new study has found.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.04.2024
Looking at the environment around tumours could help predict how cancer spreads
Looking at the environment around tumours could help predict how cancer spreads
Examining the immune cells in the environment around a tumour could help to predict how a person's cancer might progress and respond to treatment, according to new research led by UCL and the Francis Crick Institute. The study, published in Cancer Discovery and reported at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2024, is part of the Rubicon project, which aims to create a detailed map of lung cancer immunology to speed up the development of new treatments.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.04.2024
Research could unlock more precise prognoses and targeted treatments for children with cancer
Research could unlock more precise prognoses and targeted treatments for children with cancer
Neuroblastoma study identifies new subgroups with distinct prognoses and potential vulnerabilities to therapies Researchers have identified new variations in neuroblastoma that could lead to a more accurate prognosis and better-targeted treatments for this devastating childhood cancer. A study published in the British Journal of Cancer reveals three new subgroups of the most common type of neuroblastoma, each with different genetic traits, expected outcomes, and distinguishing features that offer clues as to which treatments may be most effective.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.04.2024
Scientists identify rare gene variants which confer up to 6-fold increase in risk of obesity
Scientists identify rare gene variants which confer up to 6-fold increase in risk of obesity
Cambridge researchers have identified genetic variants in two genes that have some of the largest impacts on obesity risk discovered to date. We have identified two genes with variants that have the most profound impact on obesity risk at a population level we've ever seen Giles Yeo The discovery of rare variants in the genes BSN and APBA1 are some of the first obesity-related genes identified for which the increased risk of obesity is not observed until adulthood.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.04.2024
Scientists identify rare gene variants that confer up to 6-fold increase in risk of obesity
Scientists identify rare gene variants that confer up to 6-fold increase in risk of obesity
Cambridge researchers have identified genetic variants in two genes that have some of the largest impacts on obesity risk discovered to date. We have identified two genes with variants that have the most profound impact on obesity risk at a population level we've ever seen Giles Yeo The discovery of rare variants in the genes BSN and APBA1 are some of the first obesity-related genes identified for which the increased risk of obesity is not observed until adulthood.

Life Sciences - Environment - 03.04.2024
Plastic-free vegan leather that dyes itself grown from bacteria
Researchers at Imperial College London have genetically engineered bacteria to grow animaland plastic-free leather that dyes itself. In recent years, scientists and companies have started using microbes to grow sustainable textiles or to make dyes for industry - but this is the first time bacteria have been engineered to produce a material and its own pigment simultaneously.

Life Sciences - Environment - 01.04.2024
Largest ever family tree of bird species shows bird brains have grown
Largest ever family tree of bird species shows bird brains have grown
Scientists from the Milner Centre have published the largest ever evolutionary tree for birds as part of the Bird 10,000 Genomes Project (B10K). Published on Monday 1 April 2024 Last updated on Tuesday 9 April 2024 Bird brains have got bigger relative to their body sizes over evolutionary time, according to research by an international team of scientists, which has published the most comprehensive and detailed family tree of bird species as part of the Bird 10,000 Genomes Project (B10K) in the prestigious journal Nature .