news 2015


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Medicine/Pharmacology - 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.
Medicine/Pharmacology
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 - Medicine/Pharmacology
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.
Medicine/Pharmacology - 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.
Medicine/Pharmacology
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.
Medicine/Pharmacology - 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 - Medicine/Pharmacology
21.12.2015
Epigenetic discovery suggests DNA modifications more diverse than previously thought
The world of epigenetics - where molecular 'switches' attached to DNA turn genes on and off - has just got bigger with the discovery by a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge of a new type of epigenetic modification. It's possible that we struck lucky with this modifier, but we believe it is more likely that there are many more modifications that directly regulate our DNA Magdalena Koziol Published today , the discovery suggests that many more DNA modifications than previously thought may exist in human, mouse and other vertebrates.
Mathematics
21.12.2015
More insecticide-treated malaria nets and improved delivery efficiency needed to achieve universal coverage
A new study led by the University of Oxford suggests that more insecticide-treated malaria nets (ITNs) and improved efficiency in net delivery are needed to achieve universal coverage and make serious headway on the path to the elimination of the disease. Currently, malaria net coverage remains well below the 100% universal coverage target.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Chemistry
21.12.2015
Discovery finds possible new route to malaria vaccine
Oxford University researchers across the globe are working to beat Malaria. Now, a team of Oxford scientists in the UK and Kenya, working with colleagues in three Swiss institutes, have found two people who could reveal a new approach to targeting the malaria parasite. Malaria still claims over 400,000 lives every year, mostly due to infection by a single species of malaria parasite called Plasmodium falciparum .
Physics/Materials Science
21.12.2015
Nature’s unique way of controlling colour explains why birds never go grey
Birds generate their colour using structure, not dyes and pigments The Jay is able to change the colour of its feathers along the equivalent of a single human hair using a tuneable nanostructure This discovery may lead to synthetic structural colour that could be made cheaply and used in paints and clothes that will not fade like dyes and pigments.
Social Sciences
21.12.2015
’Shared bad memories’ bind fighters and terrorists to their groups
What binds military fighters or terrorists together so tightly that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives for their causes?  Previous research has shown that such extreme behaviour can be driven by 'identity fusion', a strong sense of 'oneness' with their group. Oxford University researchers have now shed new light on the role that shared emotional experiences plays in this fusion between people's personal and group identities.
Medicine/Pharmacology
21.12.2015
Large proportion of IBS sufferers are vitamin D deficient
Large proportion of IBS sufferers are vitamin D deficient
IBS accounts for 10 per cent of visits to GP's One in five in the UK people develop IBS at some stage of their life There is no cure for the debilitating disease A large proportion of people living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are vitamin D deficient, a new study has found. Researchers from the University of Sheffield discovered a significant association between a patient's vitamin D levels and the severity of their IBS symptoms, particularly the extent to which IBS affects their quality of life.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
21.12.2015
Arctic cold season methane emissions much higher than predicted
New study finds amount of methane escaping the Arctic tundra is higher than estimated by current climate models Methane is a potent greenhouse gas which accelerates atmospheric warming The Arctic tundra is releasing at least as much methane during its cold season as it does during the summer, a new study has found.
Medicine/Pharmacology
18.12.2015
Lancaster Ebola expert helps the World Health Organisation
Lancaster Ebola expert helps the World Health Organisation
An expert in Ebola from Lancaster has hailed “a major step forward” in the diagnosis of the disease after working with the World Health Organisation. The WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation organised an international study to produce a standard test for Ebola virus infection.
Medicine/Pharmacology
18.12.2015
Ebola expert helps the WHO fight Ebola
Ebola expert helps the WHO fight Ebola
An expert in Ebola from Lancaster has hailed “a major step forward” in the diagnosis of the disease after working with the World Health Organisation. The WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation organised an international study to produce a standard test for Ebola virus infection.
Computer Science/Telecom - Physics/Materials Science
18.12.2015
WiFi signals can be exploited to detect attackers
WiFi signals can be exploited to detect attackers
Physical attacks on devices connected to the Internet can be detected by analysing WiFi signals, computer scientists have discovered. Wireless devices are increasingly used for critical roles, such as security systems or industrial plant automation. Although wireless transmissions can be encrypted to protect transmitted data, it is hard to determine if a device - such as a wirelessly connected security camera protecting critical buildings in airports or power stations - has been tampered with.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
18.12.2015
‘Superbug’ colony behaviours revealed in time-lapse video
A well-known 'superbug' which was thought to have been a static or non-motile organism has been observed showing signs of active motility by scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), or MRSA, is the bug responsible for several infections in humans ranging from superficial to life-threatening which are difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance.
Medicine/Pharmacology
18.12.2015
Superbug colony behaviours revealed in time-lapse video
A well-known ‘superbug' which was thought to have been a static or non-motile organism has been observed showing signs of active motility by scientists at The Universities of Nottingham and Sheffield. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, is the bug responsible for several infections in humans ranging from superficial to life-threatening which are difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance.
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
18.12.2015
Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen
Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen
It took 100 million years for oxygen levels in the oceans and atmosphere to increase to the level that allowed the explosion of animal life on Earth about 600 million years ago, according to research carried out at the University of Bristol and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. Before now it was not known how quickly Earth's oceans and atmosphere became oxygenated and if animal life expanded before or after oxygen levels rose.
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