Missing link in epigenetics could explain conundrum of disease inheritance

07 Jul 2016

The process by which a mother’s diet during pregnancy can permanently affect her offspring’s attributes, such as weight, could be strongly influenced by genetic variation in an unexpected part of the genome, according to research published today. The discovery could shed light on why many human genetic studies have previously not been able to fully explain how certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, are inherited.

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Carrots and sticks fail to change behaviour in cocaine addiction

16 Jun 2016

People who are addicted to cocaine are particularly prone to developing habits that render their behaviour resistant to change, regardless of the potentially devastating consequences, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. The findings may have important implications for the treatment of cocaine addiction as they help explain why such individuals take drugs even when they are aware of the negative consequences, and why they find their behaviour so difficult to change.

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‘Map’ of teenage brain provides strong evidence of link between serious antisocial behaviour and brain development

16 Jun 2016

The brains of teenagers with serious antisocial behaviour problems differ significantly in structure to those of their peers, providing the clearest evidence to date that their behaviour stems from changes in brain development in early life, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton, in collaboration with the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” in Italy.

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How to build a healthier city

13 Jun 2016

Life in towns and cities can grind you down, but putting health and wellbeing at the centre of new housing and infrastructure developments could make for happier, healthier citizens.

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Walking and cycling good for health even in cities with higher levels of air pollution

05 May 2016

The health benefits of walking and cycling outweigh the negative effects on health of air pollution, even in cities with high levels of air pollution, according to a study led by researchers from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. This new evidence strengthens the case for supporting cycling even in polluted cities – an effort that in turn can help reduce vehicle emissions.

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Genetic variant may help explain why Labradors are prone to obesity

03 May 2016

A genetic variation associated with obesity and appetite in Labrador retrievers – the UK and US’s favourite dog breed – has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge. The finding may explain why Labrador retrievers are more likely to become obese than dogs of other breeds.

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New cases of dementia in the UK fall by 20% over two decades

19 Apr 2016

The UK has seen a 20% fall in the incidence of dementia over the past two decades, according to new research from England, led by the University of Cambridge, leading to an estimated 40,000 fewer cases of dementia than previously predicted. However, the study, published today in Nature Communications, suggests that the dramatic change has been observed mainly in men.

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