news 2020



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Health - 02.12.2020
Global initiative to advance deep tissue imaging will provide new insights into our health
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has awarded $1m (£750,000) to a team from UCL and the European Synchotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), as part of a global initiative to advance deep tissue imaging to provide new insights into health and the nature of diseases such as COVID-19. Professor Peter Lee (UCL Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Rebecca Shipley (UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering) together with Dr Paul Tafforeau (ESRF) are leading the imaging research project, which will enable cellular-level imaging anywhere in whole organisms, including human organs.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.12.2020
Lung-on-chip provides new insight on response to early TB infection
Scientists have developed a lung-on-chip model to study how the body responds to early tuberculosis (TB) infection, according to findings published in eLife . TB is a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis ( M. tuberculosis ) and most often affects the lungs. The model reveals that respiratory system cells, called alveolar epithelial cells, play an essential role in controlling early TB infection.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2020
Big data analysis suggests role of brain connectivity in epilepsy-related atrophy
Large multi-site study accurately predicts damage to grey matter by disease An international study has found a link between the brain's network connections and grey matter atrophy caused by certain types of epilepsy, a major step forward in our understanding of the disease. In neuroscience, it is becoming increasingly clear that the brain's connectome is as important as its anatomy when studying human disease.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2020
Deciphering the energetic code of cells for better anticancer therapies
Deciphering the energetic code of cells for better anticancer therapies
A procedure that may help personalise anticancer therapies has just been developed by the CNRS, INSERM, and Aix-Marseille University scientists at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, in association with colleagues from the University of California San Francisco and the Marseille Public University Hospital System (AP-HM), with support from Canceropôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

Health - Politics - 01.12.2020
New study to investigate COVID-19 and misinformation
Researchers at the University of Bristol and King's College London are leading a major new study to investigate COVID-19 perceptions and misperceptions, lockdown compliance and vaccine hesitancy. The research team is gathering longitudinal survey data on trust and compliance with public health requirements over the course of the pandemic, enhancing and extending the 'Life Under Lockdown' study fielded between April and June this year.

Health - 01.12.2020
Meningococcus B vaccine prevents disease with 79 per cent effectiveness in under 18s
Meningococcus group B, the most prevalent strain of meningococcal infection, is prevented with 79 per cent effectiveness in children and young adults inoculated with the 4CMenB vaccine, also known as Bexsero, according to a new collaborative study from researchers in Portugal and the UK and led by the University of Bristol which evaluated the vaccine's performance in a real-world setting.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2020
UCLA, UCSF gain FDA approval for prostate cancer imaging technique
Method is a 'game changer' that should become the standard of care, say researchers from both universities who validated its effectiveness Method is a 'game changer' that should become the standard of care, say researchers from both universities who validated its effectiveness The University of California's two nationally ranked medical centers, UCSF and UCLA, and their nuclear medicine teams have obtained approval from the U.S. Fo

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2020
Scientists identify warning signs over effectiveness of HIV 'wonder drug' in sub-Saharan Africa
Scientists identify warning signs over effectiveness of HIV ’wonder drug’ in sub-Saharan Africa
Dolutegravir, the current first-line treatment for HIV, may not be as effective as hoped in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests new research published on World AIDS Day. The study finds that this so-called 'wonder drug' may be less effective in patients resistant to older drugs. Dolutegravir was very much seen as a 'wonder drug', but our study suggests it might not be as effective in a significant number of patients who are resistant to another important class of antiretroviral drugs Ravi Gupta As HIV copies itself and replicates, it can develop errors, or 'mutations', in its genetic code (its RNA).

Pharmacology - Health - 01.12.2020
Environmental exposures affect therapeutic drugs
Environmental exposures affect therapeutic drugs
High-resolution mass spectrometry promotes new methods for analysis Humans are exposed to various environmental or dietary molecules that can attenuate or even increase the effect of therapeutic drugs. Studies on the industrial chemical bisphenol A and the phytoestrogen genistein, for example, have shown drug-exposome interactions.

Health - 01.12.2020
Cancer shifts to chronic disease, so living well matters
Cancer shifts to chronic disease, so living well matters
Improved survival means cancer is increasingly a chronic disease, and a lot of people are living well with it, new research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows. The study, the largest of its kind in the world, has looked at data from more than 22,000 people with cancer compared to 244,000 people without cancer, analysing levels of physical disability, psychological distress and quality of life.

Health - Social Sciences - 30.11.2020
Mothers’ stress may lead to preterm births, faster aging in children
Why do some people age faster than others? One potential answer, a new UCLA-led study indicates, is that a mother's stress prior to giving birth may accelerate her child's biological aging. The researchers found evidence that maternal stress adversely affects the length of a baby's telomeres — the small pieces of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that act as protective caps, like the plastic tips on shoelaces.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.11.2020
New Technique Isolates Brain Cells Associated With Parkinson’s Disease
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new technique for isolating a type of brain cell associated with Parkinson's disease symptoms, enabling them to study that cell type in detail. The technique, which works only in specially bred mice, costs less than previous methods for isolating these brain cells, said Alyssa Lawler, a Ph.D.

Pharmacology - Health - 30.11.2020
New cancer-fighting method leverages the mechanical force of T cells
New cancer-fighting method leverages the mechanical force of T cells
Scientists have developed a cancer treatment method that destroys tumor cells using the mechanical force of our bodies- own T cells. They have just completed a proof of concept for their novel immunotherapy approach. Immunotherapy is a promising weapon in the fight against cancer. It has proven to be much more effective than chemotherapy and radiotherapy in treatment of some cancers.

Health - Physics - 27.11.2020
Over 20 million euros for two new research alliances
Over 20 million euros for two new research alliances
A great success for the University of Münster: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding two new Collaborative Research Centres (CRC). The two research alliances - entitled “inSight - Multiscale imaging of organ-specific inflammation? and “Intelligent matter: From responsive to adaptive nanosystems? - will together be receiving funding of more than 20 million euros.

Transport - Health - 27.11.2020
Airplane noise at night can trigger cardiovascular death
Airplane noise at night can trigger cardiovascular death
For the first time, a study demonstrated that loud night-time noise from airplanes can trigger a cardiovascular death within two hours. Researchers from the University of Basel, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and partners compared mortality data with acute night-time noise exposure around Zurich airport between 2000 and 2015.

Health - 27.11.2020
New study highlights ’exceptional challenges’ of bereavement during COVID-19 pandemic
The interim findings of a survey of people bereaved in the UK since March have laid bare the difficulties and distress experienced by those who have lost a loved one this year. The first UK-wide survey exploring bereavement experiences and support was carried out by Cardiff University and the University of Bristol, with many participants describing a lack of support following a loved one's death.

Health - 27.11.2020
Understanding traditional Chinese medicine can help protect species
Demystifying traditional Chinese medicine for conservationists could be the key to better protecting endangered species like pangolins, tigers and rhino, according to University of Queensland-led researchers. UQ PhD candidate Hubert Cheung said efforts to shift entrenched values and beliefs about Chinese medicine are not achieving conservation gains in the short term.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2020
Foreign vs. own DNA: How an innate immune sensor tells friend from foe
How do molecules involved in activating our immune system discriminate between our own DNA and foreign pathogens? Researchers from the Thomä group, in collaboration with the EPFL, deciphered the structural and functional basis of a DNA-sensing molecule when it comes in contact with the cell's own DNA, providing crucial insights into the recognition of self vs.

Health - 26.11.2020
Exercise found to reduce menopausal symptoms in cancer survivors
Physical activity can reduce the severity of early menopausal symptoms in women who have had cancer treatment, a University of Queensland study has found. Dr Tom Bailey from UQ's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work said the results showed a clear association between physical activity and an easing in menopausal symptoms.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
World's first research programme to identify scarring gene launched
World’s first research programme to identify scarring gene launched
A world-leading £1.5 million research programme that aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation has been launched today [26 November] by The Scar Free Foundation, the only medical research charity which focuses solely on scarring. The five-year research study led by the University of Bristol will identify the gene(s) that causes scarring and inform future treatments.
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