King’s in the news - round-up of October 2018

King’s and GKT research makes headlines around the world. From a new project researching the neuroscience behind entrepreneurship to the best foods to eat to get a good night’s sleep, we’ve selected a few recent stories to share with you.


King’s aims to uncover what makes a good business brain

King’s has begun a £1m five-year research project to study the neuroscience of the entrepreneurial mind. The project is a collaboration between the Entrepreneurship Institute and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), with the aim of finding and mapping neural traits associated with a good business brain. The project is funded by the Entrepreneurship Institute’s first Professor of the Practice and serial entrepreneur Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE.

Read more in the Financial Times.


Humans delayed the onset of the Sahara desert by 500 years

Humans did not accelerate the decline of the ‘Green Sahara’ and may have managed to hold back the onset of the Sahara desert by around 500 years, according to new research led by King’s and UCL. Around 5,500 years ago, what was a vibrant ecosystem in the Sahara began a terminal decline towards the desert we have today. Previous studies have put the blame for the collapse on pastoral nomads who used the area, but the findings of this new research run counter to that view. Dr Katie Manning, Geography, said ‘it is likely that strategies used by contemporary traditional herders, such as seasonal movement and selective grazing, were also used by these early pastoralists, helping to maintain an otherwise deteriorating ecosystem.’

Read more 


The best foods to eat to get a good night’s sleep

Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, Sophie Medlin, discusses the best foods to eat before sleep.

Following overly restrictive diets or diets that put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies can really affect your sleep. But by increasing your intakes of foods rich in specific nutrients, it may well help to promote better sleep quality and duration […] For the ideal bed time snack, try a glass of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, a small banana or a few nuts.

Read more in The Conversation 


Could the Norway model provide the best Brexit?

Researchers at King’s asked the British public what kind of Brexit they wanted.

People place a high value on having access to the EU markets for trade in goods and services. They like the option for the UK to be able to make its own trade deals. They also value that the UK is able to make its own laws, but not as much as access to the single market or the ability to make trade deals. They worry about freedom of movement, but mostly because of concerns about demand for public services. They strongly dislike the idea of having to get a visa to travel for their holidays.

Netting out positives and negatives, we found that Britons place the most value on a Norway-like deal. In fact, support for this kind of deal – which is based on membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) – has increased in the past year, up from 38% in 2017 to 43% in 2018.

Read more in The Conversation 

Researchers identify genetic variants that cause chronic back pain

A study led by scientists at King’s College London and the University of Washington, has identified three new genes associated with the development of chronic back pain. The research project focussed on understanding why for most people an episode of back pain gets better, while in around 20% of people it can persist for many months. Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for more than three months. The findings could pave the way for the creation of more effective treatments for the condition, the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Read more 

Have we reached peak London?

Professor of Public Policy, Mark Kleinman, on London’s slowing population growth.

Is London’s long boom finally coming to an end? Like any demographic or economic turning point, this one will be easier to spot in hindsight. If current trends continue, then London’s growth may slow considerably - or even perhaps reverse - over the next 30 years. Brexit could affect this in unforeseen ways - although the economic impacts of Brexit are likely to be worse outside London than within. And for the time being, London is still growing in terms of people, jobs and economic activity.

Read more in The Conversation 

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