King's in the news - February 2018 

King’s research makes headlines around the world. From using a computer game to control verbal hallucinations to asking what Jesus would have really looked like, we’ve selected a few recent stories to share with you in case you missed them.

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To vape or not to vape? That is the question that has occupied many smokers for over a decade and which hit the headlines again recently when a new review on e-cigarettes, led by King’s researchers, was reported on by The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, amongst others.

The latest evidence indicates that e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 people successfully quitting smoking each year and possibly many more. But false beliefs about the health-risks may be deterring many thousands of the seven million smokers in England from trying e-cigarettes when trying to stop smoking.

Responding to the review, Public Health England is advising hospitals to start selling e-cigarettes in an effort to help patients who are struggling to quit.

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Illustration of Jesus, shared with permission of Professor Joan Taylor

What did Jesus look like?

His may be one of the most depicted images in the world, but the question of what Jesus really looked like is one that has occupied artists and theologians for centuries. For King’s Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism, Joan Taylor, who recently published a book on the subject, understanding what Jesus looked like is a way of trying to understand him as a historical figure too. Professor Taylor discussed her research in an article for The Conversation, a news website written by academics and researchers.

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How computer games can aid schizophrenia

The BBC and Sky News were amongst those who reported about research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience where a computer game was used to teach people with schizophrenia how to control their verbal hallucinations. King’s researchers used a ‘neurofeedback’ technique, representing neural activity in the speech sensitive region of the patient’s brain, as a computerised space rocket on a screen for the patient. Over time, patients were able to develop mental strategies to control the space rocket. This technique could also be applied when experiencing verbal hallucinations in their daily lives.

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EU Immigration Policy

Writing in The Times, Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’, called for more clarity on post-Brexit immigration policy from a cabinet that is split over the issue.

As an economist, Professor Portes is unconvinced that ending freedom of movement completely, and leaving the single market, is the right decision for the country. He asks whether it might be possible to adopt an alternative position to EU immigration, similar to that which Switzerland has recently taken, one that does not include a blanket ban or quota, but allows for controls in regions or sectors where unemployment is particularly high.

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