news 2020

Life Sciences - Feb 18
Genetic mechanisms that govern brain plasticity - the brain's ability to change and adapt - have been uncovered by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The work was carried out using the fruit-fly Drosophila, an important organism in neuroscience because it enables researchers to study an entire nervous system.
Health - Feb 18

Flies belonging to the genus Drosophila combat oxidative stress by removing excess fat from their blood. This remarkable mechanism proves that evolution has no shortage of answers to a problem that affects all life on Earth.

Social Sciences - Feb 18

People who engage in persistent antisocial behaviour long after adolescence have characteristic differences in brain structure, finds a new UCL-led study.

Health - Feb 18

In the UK, ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer in females*. A new study has found evidence to suggest that statins could lower the risk of women developing ovarian cancer. Some previous observational epidemiological studies have suggested a link between statin use, a commonly prescribed medicine to reduce cholesterol, and a lower risk of ovarian cancer.

Health - Feb 18
Health

Genetic tests to predict a person's risk of heart disease and heart attack have limited benefit over conventional testing.


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Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
Uncovering the plastic brain of a fruitfly - new study
Genetic mechanisms that govern brain plasticity - the brain's ability to change and adapt - have been uncovered by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The work was carried out using the fruit-fly Drosophila, an important organism in neuroscience because it enables researchers to study an entire nervous system.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
Fruit flies have a radical strategy for dealing with free radicals
Flies belonging to the genus Drosophila combat oxidative stress by removing excess fat from their blood. This remarkable mechanism proves that evolution has no shortage of answers to a problem that affects all life on Earth. Oxidative stress affects all living organisms, and the damage it causes is believed to play a part in cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and a number of other health conditions.

Health - Pharmacology - 18.02.2020
Could statins lower the risk of ovarian cancer?
In the UK, ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer in females*. A new study has found evidence to suggest that statins could lower the risk of women developing ovarian cancer. Some previous observational epidemiological studies have suggested a link between statin use, a commonly prescribed medicine to reduce cholesterol, and a lower risk of ovarian cancer.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
Lifelong antisocial behaviour linked to brain structure differences
People who engage in persistent antisocial behaviour long after adolescence have characteristic differences in brain structure, finds a new UCL-led study. The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry , identified brain differences between people who engage in antisocial behaviour - such as theft, aggression, violence, bullying, lying, or repeated failure to take care of work or school responsibilities - only during adolescence and those who persist throughout adulthood.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
Gene tests for heart disease risk have limited benefit
Gene tests for heart disease risk have limited benefit
Genetic tests to predict a person's risk of heart disease and heart attack have limited benefit over conventional testing. This is the finding from scientists at Imperial College London , who devised a highly sophisticated test analysing thousands of so-called genetic variants linked to heart health.

Transport - Social Sciences - 18.02.2020
Uber linked to a reduction in serious road traffic injuries in the UK
A study by University of Oxford researchers, published today in Social Science & Medicine , has found that ride-hailing provider, Uber, is associated with a 9% decline in serious road accident injuries in the UK. However, that relative improvement is counterbalanced by the fact that there was an increase in slight road accident injuries in London.

Environment - Materials Science - 18.02.2020
How much carbon is buried deep within Earth? New simulation provides clues
Understanding Earth's carbon cycle has important implications for understanding climate change and the health of biospheres.áBut scientists don't yet understand how much carbon lies deep in Earth's water reservoirs-for example, in water that is under extreme pressure in the mantle-because experiments are difficult to conduct under such conditions.

Astronomy / Space Science - 18.02.2020
Simple, fuel-efficient rocket engine could enable cheaper, lighter spacecraft
Simple, fuel-efficient rocket engine could enable cheaper, lighter spacecraft
It takes a lot of fuel to launch something into space. Sending NASA's Space Shuttle into orbit required more than 3.5 million pounds of fuel, which is about 15 times heavier than a blue whale. But a new type of engine - called a rotating detonation engine - promises to make rockets not only more fuel-efficient but also more lightweight and less complicated to construct.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.02.2020
Finds empathy can be detected in people whose brains are at rest
UCLA researchers have found that it is possible to assess a person's ability to feel empathy by studying their brain activity while they are resting rather than while they are engaged in specific tasks. Traditionally, empathy is assessed through the use of questionnaires and psychological assessments.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
Researchers Build a Better Lung Model
New technique may lead to personalized treatments for lung diseases Computational biologists at Carnegie Mellon University, working with colleagues at Boston University, have used machine learning techniques to develop an improved protocol for generating lung cells that can be used for investigating lung diseases.

Career - Business / Economics - 18.02.2020
German minimum wage drove workers to more productive firms
The introduction of the minimum wage for the first time in Germany in 2015 drove workers from smaller to larger and more productive businesses that pay higher wages, according to a UCL and Institute for Employment Research (IAB) Nuremberg study. The study, published as a CReAM discussion paper, is the most comprehensive analysis of the wider implications of Germany's minimum wage policy.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
How cancer cells communicate shown for first time
New technology developed at UCL is, for the first time, enabling cancer scientists to analyse the individual behaviour of millions of different cells living inside lab-grown tumours - a breakthrough which could lead to new personalised cancer treatments. The research, published ináNature Methods, provides new insight into how mutated cancer cells "mimic the growth signals" normally expressed by healthy cells - which allows cancer cells to grow unchecked.

Physics - Materials Science - 18.02.2020
Creating custom light using 2D materials
Creating custom light using 2D materials
Researchers from the University of Geneva and the University of Manchester have discovered structures based on two-dimensional materials that emit tailor-made light in any colour you could wish for. Finding new semi-conductor materials that emit light is essential for developing a wide range of electronic devices.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
How cancer cells communicate is seen for first time, thanks to UCL technology
New technology developed at UCL is, for the first time, enabling cancer scientists to analyse the individual behaviour of millions of different cells living inside lab-grown tumours - a breakthrough which could lead to new personalised cancer treatments. The research, published ináNature Methods, provides new insight into how mutated cancer cells "mimic the growth signals" normally expressed by healthy cells - which allows cancer cells to grow unchecked.

Environment - 18.02.2020
Climate change will disrupt existing energy systems
As climate changes and extreme weather events become more commonplace, we will need to fundamentally rethink how we produce renewable energy. Researchers at EPFL have developed a simulation method to reduce the adverse influences due to climate-related uncertainties in the energy sector and guarantee robust operation of energy infrastructure during extreme climate events.

Environment - Materials Science - 18.02.2020
Solar technology breakthrough at UQ
Solar technology breakthrough at UQ
The development of next generation solar power technology that has potential to be used as a flexible ‘skin' over hard surfaces has moved a step closer, thanks to a significant breakthrough at The University of Queensland. UQ researchers set a world record for the conversion of solar energy to electricity via the use of tiny nanoparticles called ‘quantum dots', which pass electrons between one another and generate electrical current when exposed to solar energy in a solar cell device.

Health - Pharmacology - 18.02.2020
Lung transplant survivor beats the odds through ground breaking treatment
Double-lung transplant survivor Jordan Trieger has defied all odds - beating a deadly bacterial infection with the help of The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) and researchers from The University of Queensland. Thirty-three year old Jordan, who has cystic fibrosis, suffered a life-threatening bacterial infection after undergoing a lung transplant at TPCH, Queensland's centre for lung transplantation.

Physics - 18.02.2020
Correcting the
Correcting the "jitters" in quantum devices
A new study suggests a path to more efficient error correction, which may help make quantum computers and sensors more practical. Labs around the world are racing to develop new computing and sensing devices that operate on the principles of quantum mechanics and could offer dramatic advantages over their classical counterparts.

Environment - 17.02.2020
Mediterranean rainfall immediately affected by greenhouse gas changes
Mediterranean-type climates face immediate drops in rainfall when greenhouse gases rise, but this could be stopped quickly if emissions are cut. This is the finding of new research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , which adds to the list of known benefits of rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to keep global heating below 1.5°C.

Pharmacology - Philosophy - 17.02.2020
The ’nocebo’ effect: how informed consent can cause unnecessary harm in trials
Research published today in theá Journal of Medical Ethics áfound that the way informed consent is currently taken causes unnecessary 'nocebo' harms. The requirement of informed consent means that it is an ethical requirement to warn patients about risks of taking part in clinical trials. But recent research shows that the way in which patients are told about these risks can actually cause harm.
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