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Patients’ own cells could be the key to treating Crohn’s disease

A new technique using patients’ own modified cells to treat Crohn’s disease has been proven to be effective in experiments using human cells, with a clinical trial of the treatment expected to start in the next six months.

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Tidal tails: The beginning of the end of an open star cluster

In the course of their life, open star clusters continuously lose stars to their surroundings. The resulting swath of tidal tails provides a glimpse into the evolution and dissolution of a star cluster. Thus far only tidal tails of massive globular clusters and dwarf galaxies have been discovered in the Milky Way system. In open clusters, this phenomenon existed only in theory. Researchers have now finally verified the existence of such a tidal tail in the star cluster closest to the Sun, the Hyades. An analysis of measurements from the Gaia satellite led to the discovery.

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Bioengineers create ultrasmall, light-activated electrode for neural stimulation

Scientists have detailed a less invasive method of neural stimulation that would use an untethered ultrasmall electrode activated by light, a technique that may mitigate damage done by current methods.

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Tide gauges capture tremor episodes in cascadian subduction zone

Hourly water level records collected from tide gauges can be used to measure land uplift caused by episodic tremor and slip of slow earthquakes in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, according to a new report.

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A nearby river of stars

Astronomers have found a river of stars, a stellar stream in astronomical parlance, covering most of the southern sky. The stream is relatively nearby and contains at least 4000 stars that have been moving together in space since they formed, about 1 billion years ago.

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Laminitis research to help save horses and ponies

Laminitis — a complex, common and often devastating disease — is the second biggest killer of domestic horses. Now a body of important research on it has been compiled.

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Exercise might improve health by increasing gut bacterial diversity

Research has suggested that the efficiency with which we transport oxygen to our tissues (cardiorespiratory fitness) is a far greater predictor of gut microbiota diversity than either body fat percentage or general physical activity.

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‘Cellular barcoding’ reveals how breast cancer spreads

A cutting-edge technique called cellular barcoding has been used to tag, track and pinpoint cells responsible for the spread of breast cancer from the main tumour into the blood and other organs.

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‘Seeing’ tails help sea snakes avoid predators

New research has revealed the fascinating adaptation of some Australian sea snakes that helps protect their vulnerable paddle-shaped tails from predators.

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From vibrations alone, acacia ants can tell nibbles from the wind

Researchers find that the ants of the acacia tree are tipped off to the presence of herbivores by vibrations that run throughout the trees when an animal gets too close or begins to chew. As a result, the insects begin patrolling the acacia’s branches more actively. Remarkably, the researchers show, the ants don’t react when the trees’ movements are caused only by the wind.

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