King’s in the news - round-up of May 2019

Research from King’s College London and Guy’s, St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals makes headlines around the world. From a breakthrough raising hopes for heart attack patients to the Suffolk shrimp containing traces of cocaine, we’ve selected a few recent stories to share with you.


Sunscreen does not inhibit the production of Vitamin D

With summer (sort of) here in London, we’ve started thinking about our holidays. The benefits of sun cream for protecting your skin are well known, but there has long been concerns it may hinder the production of vitamin D, for which sunlight is essential. The latest King’s research shows sunscreen does not inhibit the production of Vitamin D, so slather up and stay safe this summer!

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Map of Sudan
Image by Muhammad Daffa Rambe

The hurdles to Sudanese democracy

Andrew Edward Tchie, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Conflict and Health at King’s discusses the difficult road to democracy that Sudan faces.

Despite the ongoing tensions, and unresolved issues, I believe that Sudan has a chance at meaningful reconciliation. But a few words of caution are necessary. The negotiating parties must be careful not to plunge the country into chaos.

What Sudan needs now are slow reforms that build the right institutions through a democratic and technocratic process. A rush to elections at this stage will hamper Sudan’s ability to deal with the issues arising and quicken its reversion to the status quo. It is imperative that the country finds its own unique transition. It is only on its own terms that it will develop into an inclusive and prosperous society – and eventually a fully functioning democracy.

Read more in The Conversation


Medical breakthrough raises hopes for heart attack patients

King’s researchers have successfully used stem cell therapy to regenerate a pig heart after a myocardial infarction (heart attack). This is the first demonstration that cardiac regeneration can be achieved by administering an effective genetic drug in a large animal, with heart anatomy and physiology like that of humans. It opens the way for a treatment to be developed that could help repair the permanent structural damage to the heart that patients experience after heart attacks.

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Cocaine in UK rivers

Back in January, King’s research found that cocaine was making its way into the Thames. But it isn’t only London rivers that are being contaminated by party drugs. A recent King’s study has now also found cocaine in freshwater shrimps across 15 testing sites in Suffolk.

Dr Leon Barron, Lecturer in Forensic Science at King’s, said: ‘Such regular occurrence of illicit drugs in wildlife was surprising. We might expect to see these in urban areas such as London, but not in smaller and more rural catchments.’

Read more on BBC News.

da Vinci

Did Leonardo da Vinci have ADHD?

Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world’s most iconic art, but historical accounts of his work practices and behaviour show that he struggled to complete projects. Drawing on these accounts, Professor Catani lays out the evidence supporting his hypothesis that, as well as explaining his chronic procrastination, ADHD could have been a factor in Leonardo’s extraordinary creativity and achievements across the arts and sciences.

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