news 2018

Architecture - Mar 22
Architecture
New insight into termites' architectural strategies could help us design more energy efficient self-sustaining buildings for humans. Many species of termite, whose societies are built on hierarchies of kings, queens, workers, and soldiers, live in towering nests that are ventilated by a complex system of tunnels.
Earth Sciences - Mar 22

New research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and co-authored by the University of Bristol reveals that sharp variations of the surface of volcanoes can affect data collected by monitoring equipment.

Life Sciences - Mar 21
Life Sciences

One of the ocean's little known carnivores has been allocated a new place in the evolutionary tree of life after scientists discovered its unmistakable resemblance with other sea-floor dwelling creatures.

Environment - Mar 22

Are 'natural' fibres really better for the environment than microplastic fibres' A new study questions the impact of this plastic alternative Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found a much higher percentage of ‘natural' fibres than microplastic fibres in freshwater and atmospheric samples in the UK.

Health - Mar 21

‌‌Smoking during pregnancy is understood to pose risks to both baby and mother. Now, new research led by the University of Glasgow has found further evidence that maternal smoking poses a risk to baby and child health.


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Physics - Pharmacology - 31.12.2018
The 10 most popular Imperial news stories of 2018
The past 12 months have provided many eye-grabbing headlines from the Imperial community, from world-leading research to incredible innovations. Before 2019 is upon us, we take a quick look back at the most popular articles on our award-winning news site (ranked by the number of page views). Here are our top 10 stories of 2018.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.12.2018
Imperial takes the fight to cancer in 2018
This year, researchers at Imperial made several important breakthroughs in understanding and potentially treating aggressive cancer types. The past few decades have seen remarkable progress in the survival rates of some cancers - particularly in the developed world, and particularly for cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and bowel.

Environment - 28.12.2018
7 times Imperial made you double-take in 2018
Some surprise headlines need a second look, and quirky studies can often have serious impact on our lives. From holographic teachers to turtles that breathe through their genitals, here are a handful of the stories that made readers do a double-take in 2018. Napoleon dynamite In August, research from Dr Matthew Genge revealed that electrically charged volcanic ash short-circuited Earth's atmosphere in 1815 causing global poor weather - and Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

Life Sciences - Environment - 21.12.2018
Forget-me-not: Scientists pinpoint memory mechanism in plants
Plant scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham have unravelled a mechanism that enables flowering plants to sense and ‘remember' changes in their environment. The research, published , reveals potential new targets that could support the development of new plant varieties, including cereals and vegetables, that can adapt to different environmental conditions.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.12.2018
1000: the cost of delivering a Type 2 diabetes remission programme in the NHS
A new study suggests rolling out a Type 2 diabetes remission programme in the NHS could cost around 1,067 per participant in its first year - or, factoring in the likelihood of success, 2,564 for each case of remission. Researchers say findings ‘make the case for shifting resources to offer remission' in the future.

Environment - 21.12.2018
Divining Roots: revealing how plants branch out to access water
New research has discovered how plant roots sense the availability of moisture in soil and then adapt their shape to optimise acquisition of water. The discovery could enable crops to be bred which are more adaptive to changes in climate conditions, such as water scarcity, and help ensure food security in the future.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.12.2018
Finds chloroform emissions, on the rise in East Asia, could delay ozone recovery by up to eight years
Finds chloroform emissions, on the rise in East Asia, could delay ozone recovery by up to eight years
Earlier this year, the United Nations announced that the ozone layer, which shields the Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation, and which was severely depleted by decades of human-derived, ozone-destroying chemicals, is on the road to recovery. The dramatic turnaround is a direct result of regulations set by the 1987 Montreal Protocol, a global treaty under which nearly every country in the world, including the United States, successfully acted to ban the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the main agents of ozone depletion.

Pharmacology - Computer Science / Telecom - 20.12.2018
Concerns raised as opioid prescriptions rise across UK
Researchers recommend greater action to promote best practice as a new study reveals a rise in prescriptions of opioids for treating chronic pain rise between 1998 and 2018. A review of opioid prescribing in the UK has shown that UK doctors are prescribing more and stronger opioid drugs to patients.

Palaeontology - Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
Newborn insects trapped in amber show first fossil evidence of how to crack an egg
Fossilised newborns, egg shells, and egg bursters preserved together in amber provide the first direct evidence of how insects hatched in deep time, according to a new article published today in the journal Palaeontology . One of the earliest and toughest trials that all organisms face is birth. The new findings give scientists evidence on how tiny insects broke the barrier separating them from life and took their first steps into an ancient forest.

Earth Sciences - 20.12.2018
635,000 of fake whisky exposed
Laboratory tests at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) on 21 different bottles of rare Scotch whisky, potentially worth around 635,000, have confirmed them all as modern fakes. Based on these results, Rare Whisky 101 (RW101), one of the world's leading experts in rare whisky, has estimated that around 41million worth of rare whisky currently circulating in the secondary market, and present in existing collections, is fake.

Microtechnics - 20.12.2018
Artificial muscle’ takes origami to the next level
Imagine an electrically-powered device as thin as paper, as powerful as human muscle, and capable of lifting 1,000 times its own weight. Researchers from the University of Bristol have done precisely that, creating an artificial 'muscle' that could boost the power of anything from microrobots to space structures.

Administration - 20.12.2018
Carrying Tasers increases police use of force
Carrying Tasers increases police use of force
Cambridge experiment with City of London police found that, while rarely deployed, just the presence of electroshock devices led to greater overall hostility in police-public interactions - an example of what researchers call the 'weapons effect'. The presence of Tasers appears to provoke a pattern where suspects become more aggressive toward officers, who in turn respond more forcefully Barak Ariel A new study has found that London police officers visibly armed with electroshock 'Taser' weapons used force 48% more often, and were more likely to be assaulted, than those on unarmed shifts.

Mechanical Engineering - 19.12.2018
3D-printed robot hand ’plays’ the piano
Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist.

Health - 19.12.2018
Quicker, safer test could accurately detect some bowel cancers
Patients with suspected bowel cancer could be offered a quicker test to assess their cancer risk. This is the finding of new research from Imperial College London. The study, which tracked 7375 patients referred to hospital with suspected bowel cancer, compared two methods of examining the inside of the bowel - whole colon investigation and flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Health - Pharmacology - 19.12.2018
From eyedrops to potential leukaemia treatment
An active ingredient in eye drops that were being developed by experts in Nottingham has shown promise for treating an aggressive form of blood cancer, research has shown. Researchers from the University of Nottingham worked on the research led by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge, and other collaborators which found that the compound, which targets an essential cancer gene, could kill leukaemia cells without harming non-leukemic blood cells.

Pharmacology - Health - 19.12.2018
Scientists break new ground in potential treatment of common form of leukaemia
Scientists at the University of Glasgow have discovered a potential combination therapy for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the most common form of leukaemia in the Western world, diagnosed in more than 3,500 people in the UK each year. The research, carried out in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and published in Clinical Cancer Research , found that the combination of ibrutinib, a targeted treatment already in clinical use, with a new inhibitor called AZD8055, helped promote CLL cell death in a preclinical study.

Environment - 19.12.2018
‘Pause’ in global warming was never real, new research proves
Claims of a 'pause' in observed global temperature warming are comprehensively disproved in a pair of new studies published today. An international team of climate researchers reviewed existing data and studies and reanalysed them. They concluded there has never been a statistically significant ‘pause' in global warming.

Health - Agronomy / Food Science - 18.12.2018
Removing sweets and crisps from supermarket checkouts linked to dramatic fall in unhealthy snack purchases
Removing sweets and crisps from supermarket checkouts linked to dramatic fall in unhealthy snack purchases
Policies aimed at removing sweets and crisps from checkouts could lead to a dramatic reduction in the amount of unhealthy food purchased to eat 'on the go' and a significant reduction in that purchased to take home, suggests new research led by the University of Cambridge.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 18.12.2018
Lithium might work as an anti-aging drug, depending on your genes
There is growing evidence that lithium could be re-purposed as an anti-aging drug, and a new study from King's College London suggests that lithium's protective effects are due to a slowing down of the molecular aging process in cells. The research, published today in Neuropsychopharmacology , also finds some individuals may benefit from lithium's anti-aging properties more than others, depending on their genetics.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2018
Gently stroking babies before medical procedures may reduce pain
Researchers have found that gently stroking a baby seems to reduce activity in the infant brain associated with painful experiences. The results, published in the journal Current Biology , suggest that lightly brushing an infant at a speed of approximately 3cm per second could provide effective pain relief before clinically necessary medical procedures.
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