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Lab-grown ‘mini-bile ducts’ used to repair human livers in regenerative medicine first

Lab-grown ‘mini-bile ducts’ used to repair human livers in regenerative medicine first

Given the chronic shortage of donor organs, it’s important to look at ways of repairing damaged organs, or even provide alternatives to organ transplantationFotios SampaziotisThe research paves the way for cell therapies to treat liver disease – in other words, growing ‘mini-bile ducts’ in the lab as replacement parts that can be used to restore a patient’s own liver to health – or to repair damaged organ donor livers, so that they can still be used for transplantation.Bile ducts act as the liver’s waste disposal system, and malfunctioning bile ducts are behind a third of adult and 70 per...

February 18, 2021
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Cuttlefish show their intelligence by snubbing sub-standard snacks

Cuttlefish show their intelligence by snubbing sub-standard snacks

It was quite astonishing that the cuttlefish could wait for over two minutes for a better snack. Why would a fast-growing animal with an average life-span of less than two years be a picky eater?Alex SchnellThe results, in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provide the first evidence of a link between self-control and intelligence in a non-primate species.To conduct the experiment, common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) in tanks were presented with two foods they commonly eat, each in a separate Perspex chamber. In one chamber was a piece of king prawn, which they could eat...

March 3, 2021
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Melting Ice Reveals Lost Viking Mountain Pass | Department of Archaeology

Melting Ice Reveals Lost Viking Mountain Pass | Department of Archaeology

Search site Submitted by on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 08:35.The retreating mountain glaciers of Norway have revealed a host of rare archaeological finds and uncovered a lost mountain pass at Lendbreen in Innlandet County. The finds tell a remarkable story of high-altitude travel and long distance exchange c. 300 – 1500 AD with a peak in usage c. 1000 AD during the Viking Age. A team of archaeologists from Norway and Cambridge have published details of these artefacts today in the journal .“A lost mountain pass melting out of the ice is a dream discovery for glacial archaeologists,” says Lars Pilø,...

April 17, 2020
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COVID-19: genetic network analysis provides ‘snapshot’ of pandemic origins

COVID-19: genetic network analysis provides ‘snapshot’ of pandemic origins

Google Tag ManagerPhylogenetic network analysis has the potential to help identify undocumented COVID-19 infection sourcesPeter ForsterResearchers from Cambridge, UK, and Germany have reconstructed the early “evolutionary paths” of COVID-19 in humans – as infection spread from Wuhan out to Europe and North America – using genetic network techniques.By analysing the first 160 complete virus genomes to be sequenced from human patients, the scientists have mapped some of the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations, which creates different viral lineages.“There are too many...

April 9, 2020
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3D printed corals could improve bioenergy and help coral reefs

3D printed corals could improve bioenergy and help coral reefs

Google Tag ManagerWe hope that our technique will be scalable so it can ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for coral reef deathDaniel WangpraseurtResearchers from Cambridge University and University of California San Diego have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. Their , reported in the journal Nature Communications, open the door to new bio-inspired materials and their applications for coral conservation.In the ocean, corals and algae have an intricate symbiotic relationship. The coral...

April 9, 2020
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‘Wild West’ mentality lingers in US mountain regions

‘Wild West’ mentality lingers in US mountain regions

Google Tag ManagerThis psychological fingerprint for mountainous areas may be an echo of the personality types that sought new lives in unknown territoriesFriedrich GötzWhen historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his famous thesis on the US frontier in 1893, the “coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness” it had forged in the American character.Now, well into the 21st century, and researchers led by the University of Cambridge have detected remnants of the pioneer personality in US populations of once inhospitable mountainous territory, particularly in the...

September 7, 2020
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AI shows how hydrogen becomes a metal inside giant planets

AI shows how hydrogen becomes a metal inside giant planets

Google Tag ManagerThe existence of metallic hydrogen was theorised a century ago, but what we haven’t known is how this process occursBingqing ChengDense metallic hydrogen – a phase of hydrogen which behaves like an electrical conductor – makes up the interior of giant planets, but it is difficult to study and poorly understood. By combining artificial intelligence and quantum mechanics, researchers have found how hydrogen becomes a metal under the extreme pressure conditions of these planets.The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, IBM Research and EPFL, used machine learning to...

September 9, 2020
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Focus on COVID-19 deaths in under-65’s for better insights into infection rates across populations, say researchers

Focus on COVID-19 deaths in under-65’s for better insights into infection rates across populations, say researchers

Google Tag ManagerMost deaths are in older people, but they are the least comparable across countries.Megan O’DriscollThe , conducted by scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Institut Pasteur, was published today in the leading journal Nature. It highlights how large COVID-19 outbreaks in European nursing homes, and the potential for missing deaths in some Asian and South American countries, have skewed COVID-19 death data for older age groups, rendering cross-country comparisons of the scale of the pandemic inaccurate.The researchers say that reporting of deaths from COVID-19...

November 2, 2020
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New drone technology advances volcanic monitoring

New drone technology advances volcanic monitoring

Google Tag ManagerThese aerial measurements are pushing the frontiers of the current state-of-the-art in volcano monitoringEmma LiuThe team, involving 20 researchers from seven countries, used long-range drones kitted out with a range of lightweight sensors to study the Manam volcano - one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea.Their , published in the journal Science Advances, show how combined measurements from the air, earth and space can be used to understand volcanic contributions to the global carbon cycle, key to sustaining life on Earth.One of the best ways to detect signs...

October 30, 2020
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The testimony of trees: how volcanic eruptions shaped 2000 years of world history

The testimony of trees: how volcanic eruptions shaped 2000 years of world history

Google Tag ManagerSome climate models assume that the effect of volcanoes is punctuated and short. However, if you look at the cumulative effect over a whole century, this effect can be much longer.Ulf BüntgenThe researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, used samples from more than 9000 living and dead trees to obtain a precise yearly record of summer temperatures in North America and Eurasia, dating back to the year 1 CE. This revealed colder and warmer periods that they then compared with records for very large volcanic eruptions as well as major historical events.Crucial to the...

September 28, 2020
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