news 2015

Physics - Dec 7
Process that modifies semiconductor material atom by atom could enable higher-performance electronics. Researchers from MIT and the University of Colorado have fabricated a 3-D transistor that's less than half the size of today's smallest commercial models. To do so, they developed a novel microfabrication technique that modifies semiconductor material atom by atom.
Health - Dec 7

Improving adherence to cholesterol-lowering treatments reduces cardiovascular risk for at risk patients.

Astronomy - Dec 7

Gravitational waves have been detected after the largest collision of black holes ever observed. The collision took place roughly five billion years ago and produced gravitational waves that were observed on Earth by extremely sensitive detectors on 29 July 2017.

Health - Dec 7

Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From new insights into star formation, to an annual blast injury conference, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Health - Dec 7

New research, from scientists at Imperial College London, unravels how so-called bacterial persister cells manipulate our immune cells.


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Life Sciences - 29.12.2015
Lost the beat
Lost the beat
Mice suffer from a decrease in biological fitness if their internal clock is mixed up Mice with deviant internal rhythms due to a genetic mutation have fewer offspring and shorter life spans than normal conspecifics whose rhythms follow the 24-hr cycle of a day more accurately. This discovery was made by a team of scientists led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Princeton University.

Law / Forensics - Health - 29.12.2015
No easy answers in UW study of legal marijuana's impact on alcohol use
No easy answers in UW study of legal marijuana’s impact on alcohol use
Does legal marijuana tempt pot users to consume more alcohol - or are they likely to opt for cannabis instead of chardonnay? A University of Washington team of researchers sought to address those questions in the context of evolving marijuana policies in the United States. Their , published online Dec.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.12.2015
Second contagious form of cancer found in Tasmanian devils
Transmissible cancers - cancers which can spread between individuals by the transfer of living cancer cells - are believed to arise extremely rarely in nature. One of the few known transmissible cancers causes facial tumours in Tasmanian devils, and is threatening this species with extinction. Today, scientists report the discovery of a second transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils.

Chemistry - Physics - 28.12.2015
A healthy breakdown
A healthy breakdown
A wide variety of fruits and vegetables contain oxalate. But humans and most other animals lack the ability to metabolize this molecule - that is, to break it down while digesting it. And so for some people, a buildup of oxalate is associated with kidney stones, arthritis, and even kidney failure. At the same time, some plants, fungi, and bacteria are able to break down oxalate.

Life Sciences - Computer Science / Telecom - 28.12.2015
Carnegie Mellon Develops New Method for Analyzing Synaptic Density
High-throughput, Machine-Learning Tool Could Help Researchers Better Understand Synaptic Activity in Learning and Disease Electron micrograph of stained somatosensory cortex synapses that were identified using a machine-learning algorithm. Image credit: Saket Navlakha and Alison L. Barth. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new approach to broadly survey learning-related changes in synapse properties.

Electroengineering - Mechanical Engineering - 23.12.2015
Researchers create exceptionally strong and lightweight new metal
Magnesium infused with dense silicon carbide nanoparticles could be used for airplanes, cars, mobile electronics and more Matthew Chin At left, a deformed sample of pure metal; at right, the strong new metal made of magnesium with silicon carbide nanoparticles. Each central micropillar is about 4 micrometers across.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 23.12.2015
Mechanism that halts solar eruptions before they blast into space
Mechanism that halts solar eruptions before they blast into space
Researchers discover mechanism that halts solar eruptions before they blast into space Posted December 23, 2015; 01:00 p.m. by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Among the most feared events in space physics are solar eruptions, massive explosions that hurl millions of tons of plasma gas and radiation into space.

Health - 23.12.2015
Lung cells that battle a cold virus identified by scientists
Lung cells that battle a cold virus identified by scientists
Scientists have identified a type of immune cell in the lungs of humans that may help fight respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The virus is one of the main causes of childhood hospitalisation, severe lung infection in the elderly, and the common cold. The researchers found that a type of immune cell, called a resident memory'T cell, is particularly active during RSV infection.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.12.2015
2015 Review: All creatures great and small
It's been a busy year for animal health and welfare stories, so we are taking a look back at a few of the highlights. From whales to fruit flies, our researchers have made fascinating discoveries from right across the animal kingdom. Test tube foal The first foal to be born as a result of IVF for 15 years marks the first step to producing an embryo bank that could be the last lifeline for some rare, traditional British breeds that are on the verge of disappearing.

Psychology - Careers / Employment - 22.12.2015
Beware the ’awestruck effect’
Charismatic business leaders can cause their followers to suppress emotions, which can harm companies over the long term, according to new research.  Remember that even the most charismatic person is only human. Jochen Menges While charismatic leaders may be magnetic, they can cause their followers to suppress emotions, which can harm companies through increased strain, lower job satisfaction and reduced information exchange among employees, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.

Health - 22.12.2015
In clinical trial, immunotherapy more effective than chemo in treating advanced lung cancer
A study led by UCLA's Dr. Edward Garon has found an immunotherapy drug to be more effective than chemotherapy in treating people with advanced lung cancer. The study also showed that the drug, pembrolizumab , was effective in a wider population of people than previously thought. Researchers compared pembrolizumab to the chemotherapy drug docetaxel in a clinical trial involving more than 1,000 people with PD-L1-expressing non-small cell lung cancer.

Life Sciences - Physics - 22.12.2015
Nature's Microscopic Masonry: The First Steps in How Thin Protein Sheets Form Polyhedral Shells
Nature’s Microscopic Masonry: The First Steps in How Thin Protein Sheets Form Polyhedral Shells
Written by Glenn Roberts Scientists have for the first time viewed how bacterial proteins self-assemble into thin sheets and begin to form the walls of the outer shell for nano-sized polyhedral compartments that function as specialized factories.

Health - Social Sciences - 22.12.2015
Coventry should be global model for diabetes care for ethnic minorities
Study finds city exhibits more signs of diversity than others worldwide - Diversity in Coventry makes it an ideal model for other developed countries planning diabetes care - Study reveals that one in 10 Coventry residents is from an ethnic minority, but one in three residents with diabetes is an ethnic minority - Study also highlights food and language as the most common barriers to providing diabetes care for ethnic minorities Cities across the developed world should look to Coventry when they plan diabetes services for ethnic minorities.

Social Sciences - 22.12.2015
Cool Roofs in China Offer Enhanced Benefits During Heat Waves
Cool Roofs in China Offer Enhanced Benefits During Heat Waves
It is well established that white roofs can help mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and reducing a city's temperature under normal weather conditions. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers working with Chinese scientists found that during a heat wave, the effect is significantly more pronounced.

Health - 22.12.2015
Early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer
Early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer
Two papers from UCL show that having early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer. The papers, published in the Lancet and Lancet Oncology , report the results from the STAMPEDE clinical trial and a meta-analysis. Both papers looked at the use of a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2015
Intelligence 'networks' discovered in brain for the first time
Intelligence 'networks’ discovered in brain for the first time
Scientists from Imperial College London have identified for the first time two clusters of genes linked to human intelligence. Called M1 and M3, these so-called gene networks appear to influence cognitive function - which includes memory, attention, processing speed and reasoning. Crucially, the scientists have discovered that these two networks - which each contain hundreds of genes - are likely to be under the control of master regulator switches.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.12.2015
Low zinc levels may suggest potential breast-feeding problems
HERSHEY, Pa. Zinc levels in breast milk may be able to serve as an indicator of breast function during lactation, according to Penn State health researchers. In previous studies, Shannon L. Kelleher and colleagues found that the protein ZnT2 is critical for secreting zinc into breast milk, and women who have mutations in the gene that encodes ZnT2 have substantially lower milk zinc levels, leading to severe zinc deficiency in exclusively breast-fed infants.

Physics - Environment - 22.12.2015
New Device Measures Nitrogen Dioxides In Exhaust from Preceding Vehicle
New Device Measures Nitrogen Dioxides In Exhaust from Preceding Vehicle
Depending on its age, condition and even engine, how much does an individual vehicle pollute the urban air? Researchers from Heidelberg University are looking into the matter. The team led by environmental physicist Dr. Denis Pöhler has developed an innovative device that can measure nitrogen dioxides in the exhaust of the preceding vehicle.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2015
New treatment for life-threatening pregnancy complication
Scientists have discovered a new treatment for preeclampsia, a major complication of pregnancy that can threaten the life of both the mother and baby. The Translational Obstetrics Group at Mercy Hospital for Women and the University of Melbourne have found common diabetes management drug metformin has the potential to treat preeclampsia.

Earth Sciences - 22.12.2015
Dating historic activity at Oso site shows recurring major landslides
Dating historic activity at Oso site shows recurring major landslides
The large, fast-moving mudslide that buried much of Oso, Washington in March 2014 was the deadliest landslide in U.S. history. Since then it's been revealed that this area has experienced major slides before, but it's not known how long ago they occurred. University of Washington geologists analyzed woody debris buried in earlier slides and used radiocarbon dating to map the history of activity at the site.
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