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Health - Innovation / Technology - 24.09.2019
UCL plays significant role in pioneering data research centres
UCL is a key partner in four of seven new centres announced by Health Data Research UK. The data hubs, to be set up across the UK from October this year, will speed up research for new medicines, treatments and health technologies to support quicker diagnosis and save lives. They will promote better use of health data by linking up different types of data and making it more easily accessible and user-friendly for research, while maintaining strict controls around data privacy and consent.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Some high-cholesterol genes differ between countries
Some high-cholesterol genes differ between countries
Some of the genes that predict the risk of high cholesterol don't apply to people from Uganda the same as they do in European populations, finds a new UCL-led study. The new  Nature Communications  study adds to evidence that genetic research involved in drug development and risk prediction testing might not apply equally to non-European populations.

Health - 24.09.2019
Affordable Care Act slashed uninsured rate among people with diabetes
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided health insurance for an estimated 1.9 million people with diabetes, according to a newly published study. In 2009 and 2010, 17 percent of adults who were under age 65 and had diabetes were uninsured. After the ACA took effect, that percentage declined by 12 percentage points and by 27 percentage points among those with low income.

Pharmacology - Health - 24.09.2019
Anti-malarial drug can make cancer chemotherapy more effective
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have found an anti-malarial drug was effective in treating head and neck cancer in mice. The drug quinacrine was used extensively to prevent and treat malaria in soldiers fighting in mosquito-ridden areas during World War Two. It is similar to the quinine that makes tonic water glow, has minimal side-effects, and is now used for treating parasite infections and other conditions.

Health - Pharmacology - 24.09.2019
Gum disease linked with higher risk of hypertension
Gum disease linked with higher risk of hypertension
People with gum disease (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a new UCL-led study. The meta-analysis of previous findings was published today in  Cardiovascular Research , a journal of the European Society of Cardiology. "We observed a linear association - the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension," said senior author Professor Francesco D'Aiuto (UCL Eastman Dental Institute).

Health - Environment - 24.09.2019
First known cases of sudden oak death detected in Del Norte County
Two tanoak trees in Del Norte county tested positive for the pathogen known to cause sudden oak death, reports a team of collaborators from Cal Fire, UC Cooperative Extension and SOD Blitz. (UC Berkeley photo courtesy Matteo Garbelotto) A team of collaborators including the citizen science project SOD Blitz have detected the first cases of the infectious tree-killing pathogen  Phytophthora ramorum in California's Del Norte county.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria
Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria
When the immune system fends off pathogens, this can happen in a very wide variety of ways. For example, the immune system's memory is able to distinguish a foreign protein with which the organism has already come into contact from another and to react with a corresponding antibody. Researchers have now investigated experimentally whether this ability of the immune system to specifically fend off pathogens can adapt in the course of evolution.

Pharmacology - Health - 24.09.2019
WHO modifies its recommendations on HIV
WHO modifies its recommendations on HIV
The first results of the NAMSAL study, conducted by Swiss, French and Cameroonian teams, have enabled WHO to revise its AIDS treatment recommendations to better adapt them to the most diverse contexts. Until very recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended two drugs  - dolutegravir and efavirenz  - for the treatment of HIV infection.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Disarming a probiotic to improve its benefits
Disarming a probiotic to improve its benefits
For more than a century, the Nissle 1917 strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli has been used as a probiotic to treat gastrointestinal disorders. However, this bacterium also produces a toxin, colibactin, which has deleterious effects on host DNA and might cause colon cancer. It is therefore crucial to understand the mechanisms at play in the strain if we wish to limit undesirable side effects.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Scientists decode DNA of coral and all its microscopic supporters
Scientists decode DNA of coral and all its microscopic supporters
Scientists have seen for the first time how corals collaborate with other microscopic life to build and grow. A study led by The University of Queensland and James Cook University reveals at the DNA level how coral interacts with partners like algae and bacteria to share resources and build healthy, resilient coral.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.09.2019
Scientists track frog-killing fungus to help curb its spread
This Rhacophorus bimaculatus frog, a native of the Philippines that makes its home in the misty spray zones beneath waterfalls, is one of the many frog species imperiled by the deadly chytrid fungus. (Photo by Rafe Brown & Jason Fernandez) From habitat loss to climate change, amphibians around the world face immense threats to their survival.

Health - 23.09.2019
Casts doubt on effectiveness of named GP scheme
An NHS scheme to give every patient aged 75 and over in England a named GP responsible for their care has failed to deliver hoped-for improvements, according to a study by researchers at the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care. The scheme, introduced by the NHS Employers and General Medical Services in April 2014, was designed to improve the care of older people and keep them healthy, independent and out of hospital.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.09.2019
Engineered killer’T cells could provide long-lasting immunity against cancer
They've been called the “special forces” of the immune system: invariant natural killer T cells. Although there are relatively few of them in the body, they are more powerful than many other immune cells. In experiments with mice, UCLA researchers have shown they can harness the power of iNKT cells to attack tumor cells and treat cancer.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.09.2019
Heart damage from cancer drugs linked to faulty genes
Heart damage from cancer drugs linked to faulty genes
Scientists have unveiled clues into why some cancer patients develop a serious heart condition after chemotherapy. The new research, from a team of international scientists led by Imperial College London , Royal Brompton Hospital and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences , shows the heart condition may be linked to a faulty gene called titin.

Health - 23.09.2019
Cost, wait time influence choice of health care setting for minor illnesses
Out-of-pocket costs and wait times influence individuals' choice of health care setting for minor illnesses, according to a study by UC Irvine researchers affiliated with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study, which surveyed over 5,000 UC Irvine employees, showed that people choose to seek care in a variety of settings — urgent care centers, retail clinics and virtual visits — for their minor illnesses and injuries rather than just at emergency rooms or in primary care physicians' offices.

Health - Environment - 20.09.2019
Sustainable growth and energy insights: News from the College
Sustainable growth and energy insights: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From new models of Brazilian investment without ecological destruction, to fresh insights into photosynthesis, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Brazil's (and the world's) climate conundrum As one of the world's ten largest economies, Brazil has the potential for a unique model of economic progress.

Health - 20.09.2019
Malawi study confirms lasting impact of life-saving technology
Malawi study confirms lasting impact of life-saving technology
National CPAP program improves survival of newborns with respiratory illness Malawi's national adoption of affordable, rugged, neonatal CPAP technology as a part of routine hospital care resulted in sustained improvements in the survival of babies with respiratory illness, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

Pharmacology - Health - 20.09.2019
Breath-holding technique could improve outcomes for radiotherapy patients
A technique that will enable cancer patients to hold their breath during prolonged bouts of radiotherapy treatment has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. In the study, published in Radiotherapy and Oncology , researchers demonstrated that, by safely increasing oxygen levels in the lungs and removing carbon dioxide from blood, it is possible for individuals to hold their breath for multiple four-minute periods during treatment.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.09.2019
Drug target for Alzheimer's disease has dual action
Drug target for Alzheimer’s disease has dual action
UQ researchers have discovered a potential drug target for Alzheimer's disease — an enzyme which has effects on both the immune and nervous systems. Dr Ramón Martínez-Mármol and Professor Frédéric A. Meunier from the Queensland Brain Institute Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research found that targeting one enzyme could combat the disease on two fronts.

Health - Pharmacology - 19.09.2019
One step closer to treating and preventing stomach flu thanks to new research model
One step closer to treating and preventing stomach flu thanks to new research model
Researchers at KU Leuven have developed a new research model to grow and study the human variant of the norovirus. The virus could thus far only be studied through a variant that occurs in mice. The new model, that is described in the journal PLOS Pathogens, should allow researchers to develop a treatment for stomach flu.

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