news 2009


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Life Sciences - Business/Economics
21.12.2009
Seven European Research Council Advanced Grants for UCL
Seven European Research Council Advanced Grants for UCL
Michael Browne, Head of European Research and Development at UCL said: ?These grants are designed to allow exceptional established research leaders in any field of science, engineering and scholarship to pursue risk-taking, interdisciplinary and pioneering research. The Advanced Grant scheme, in particular, is highly competitive (with an overall success rate of seven percent) and highly prestigious.? MECHANICITY (Morphology, Energy and Climate cHANge In the CITY) led by Professor Michael Batty (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis).
History/Archeology
21.12.2009
High Score for ’Social’ Video Games, Study Finds
As the Beatles Rock Band and Wii Fit top the Christmas charts, new research from the University of Birmingham reveals that social interactions are key to designing a hit video game. Findings suggest the most important elements of good game design include variety, cohesion, a good social aspect and good user interaction, while bad pricing should be avoided.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
20.12.2009
UN report highlights Plymouth's climate change research
The University of Plymouth's world-leading ocean acidification research has been highlighted in a United Nations report launched at the end of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit. 'Scientific Synthesis of the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity', compiled by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the most comprehensive overview to date of all existing scientific evidence on ocean acidification - including breakthrough research led by the University of Plymouth’s Jason Hall-Spencer.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Chemistry
15.12.2009
Oldest case of leprosy found in 1st century tomb
Analysis of human remains buried in the 1st century 'Tomb of the Shroud? in Jerusalem has revealed evidence of ancient leprosy and tuberculosis. The new research, involving UCL researchers, is published in the journal PLoS One today. This is the first time that a 1st century tomb from Jerusalem has been investigated by molecular methods.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
13.12.2009
New genes for lung disease discovered
New genes for lung disease discovered
PA321/09 Scientists have discovered five genetic variants that are associated with the health of the human lung. The research by an international consortium of 96 scientists from 63 centres in Europe and Australia sheds new light on the molecular basis of lung diseases. The new findings provide hope for better treatment for lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.
Medicine/Pharmacology
09.12.2009
Tamiflu proves no defence against swine flu virus
Treating suspected cases of swine flu with tamiflu in patients who are otherwise healthy provides no real benefit, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham. In research published on bmj.com, Professor Nick Freemantle and Melanie Calvert found that oseltamivir, or tamiflu, the drug used to treat the H1N1 stain of the flu virus, does not necessarily prevent complications of the virus in otherwise healthy patients.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
08.12.2009
Leading academic granted esteemed fellowship
Leading academic granted esteemed fellowship
A talented academic at the University of Sheffield is set to lead the way in new research after being awarded a prestigious research fellowship title by the Royal Society - the UK's national academy of science. Dr Gino Hrkac, from the Department of Engineering Materials, was selected to be one of only 38 new University Research Fellows (URFs) across the UK for 2009 as a result of his research into the new phenomena of functional nano-magnetism and spintronics.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
02.12.2009
Balancing protein intake, not cutting calories, may be key to long life
Getting the correct balance of proteins in our diet may be more important for healthy ageing than reducing calories, new research at UCL suggests. The new study may help explain why 'dietary restriction? (also known as calorie restriction) ‘ reducing food intake whilst maintaining sufficient quantities of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients ' appears to have health benefits.
Physics/Materials Science
01.12.2009
Scientists Celebrate First Physics Results from the LHC
Birmingham physicists have played a key role in producing the first results from CERN's Large Hadron Collider, a 27km underground tunnel near Geneva, where scientists are colliding together particles to discover what happened a millionth of a second after the Big Bang. These results have come out of the ALICE collaboration's detector which will study the physics from ultra-high energy proton-proton and lead-lead interactions.
Physics/Materials Science
25.11.2009
Birmingham Physicists’ Hopes for First Particle Collisions
Birmingham physicists are delighted that their experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), that aim to find what happened just after the Big Bang, will soon be underway as scientists have successfully collided together two low-energy beams of protons for the first time. Based at the CERN laboratory, Geneva, the LHC is the world's largest machine and aims to discover many secrets of the nature of matter and the universe.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Chemistry
20.11.2009
Largest mass extinction linked to 21st century lung cancer epidemic
Largest mass extinction linked to 21st century lung cancer epidemic
The geologic conditions that very nearly annihilated life 250 million years ago are still killing people today. Parts of Xuan Wei County in Yunnan Province in China have the world"¤ s highest known death rates from lung cancer in non-smoking women. For thirty years the region, which uses locally mined coal for domestic cooking and heating, has been the focus of intense scientific research to establish a cause.
Earth Sciences
15.11.2009
Scientists shed new light on seafloor growth
A University of Plymouth-led team of international scientists has pioneered a novel geological technique and used it to shed new light on how the oceans form during ‘seafloor spreading’, the process that constantly ‘re-paves’ the crust of the Earth’s seas. This new approach was developed following a multi-million dollar Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) expedition to the mid-Atlantic ridge in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, on board the research ship the JOIDES Resolution.
Medicine/Pharmacology
12.11.2009
Treatment to open blocked kidney arteries shows no real benefit to patients
Treating patients who suffer from narrowing of the main blood vessel to the kidney by inserting a metal stent provides little or no worthwhile clinical benefit, and given the risk of serious complications it should be used less, according to an international trial led by the University of Birmingham.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
11.11.2009
Combination treatment needed to fight dementia
Combination therapies to tackle multiple changes in the brain may be needed to combat the growing problem of dementia in ageing societies, according to a study by the University of Sheffield. The findings, which were published this week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, show that multiple abnormal (pathological) processes in the brain are often involved in cases of dementia, and that the drugs currently in development to treat individual brain pathologies may have a limited impact on the overall burden of dementia in the population.
Medicine/Pharmacology
08.11.2009
Scientists question memory theory
Press Release Links: The long-held theory that our brains use different mechanisms for forming long-term and short-term memories has been challenged by new research from UCL, published today in PNAS . Neuroscientists formed this theory based on observation of patients with amnesia, a condition that severely disrupts the ability to form long-lasting memories.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
05.11.2009
Genetic cause of inflammatory bowel disease
Links: UCL researchers were part of the team to discover that mutations in either of two related genes can cause a severe form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in young children. Erik Glocker (UCL Infection & Immunity) said: ‘This discovery is a milestone in research on inflammatory bowel disease, and will enable us to gain further insights into the physiology and immunity of the intestine.' Glocker found the first mutation in the protein IL10R2 identified in the study.
Medicine/Pharmacology
03.11.2009
New Hope for Stroke Patients
A drug used to treat Parkinson's disease will be trialled as a treatment for stroke patients working to regain mobility and independence, in the first large scale study of its kind. A collaborative team of researchers will investigate the impact of combining the drug L-dopa with conventional physiotherapy and occupational therapy to increase stroke patients' ability to relearn fundamental activities such as walking.
Medicine/Pharmacology
02.11.2009
Smoking in pregnancy linked to brain changes and teenage drug experimentation
Smoking in pregnancy linked to brain changes and teenage drug experimentation
PA 281/09 Children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to experiment with drugs in their teens, the findings of a new study suggest. Research carried out by The University of Nottingham and a number of Canadian Universities found that children exposed to cigarette smoke in the womb were more likely to experiment with drugs, such as alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana, during adolescence.
Medicine/Pharmacology
01.11.2009
Dietary patterns linked with depression
People who eat a diet laden with processed and high-fat foods may put themselves at greater risk of depression, according to UCL research published today. The research team, led by Tasnime Akbaraly (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health), also found that eating a 'whole food? diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depressive symptoms in middle age.
Life Sciences - Social Sciences
21.10.2009
Are US and European Plovers really birds of a feather?
Are US and European Plovers really birds of a feather?
The Kentish-Snowy Plover, a small shorebird found in the US and Europe, is suffering from an identity crisis after scientists at the University of Sheffield and the University of Bath have found genetic evidence that the populations are, in fact, separate species. Historically, biologists classified the Kentish Plover, found in Europe, and its look-a-like, the Snowy Plover, from the US, as being different varieties of the same species due to their similar looks.
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