Research efforts on the intestine have increased in recent years. Owing to its enormous surface area - comparable to that of a one-bedroom apartment - and the huge number of neurons it contains - comparable to that in the brain - the intestine is sometimes referred to as the abdominal brain. In addition to absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat, it influences our immune status and metabolism.

With the help of sensors, specialized cells in the intestinal wall determine which hormones, if any, should be released into the bloodstream. Overall, it acts as a highly sophisticated control center.

How an organoid grows from cells

Due to disease-related changes in their brain, pain patients often suffer from an impaired tactile ability in their hands. In a pilot study conducted by scientists at the Ruhr-University Bochum, high frequency repetitive stimulation was investigated as a therapeutic approach for these patients. The results of this study have now been published in the journal "Frontiers in Neurology". They show that passive stimulation of this kind is a promising new therapy option.

Passive stimulation: a proven therapy approach

CRISPR-Cas9 is a hybrid of protein and RNA, the cousin to DNA, that functions as an efficient search-and-snip system in bacteria. It arose as a way to recognize and kill viruses, but then was adopted in other cells, including humans, to facilitate genome editing. The Cas9 protein, obtained from the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, functions together with a "guide" RNA that targets a complementary 20-nucleotide stretch of DNA. Once the RNA identifies a sequence matching these nucleotides, Cas9 cuts the double-stranded DNA helix.

In an eight-hour operation, Dr. Daniel Borsuk, doctor at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montreal, carried out a facial reconstruction using virtual surgery and 3D models, removing a vascularized piece of pelvic bone and reshaping it to adapt it to the rest of the face before transplanting it through the inside of the mouth.

With no scars left at all.

In the past, this type of procedure would have necessitated multiple interventions and left one or more scars.

Everyone seems to know what the revenue of movies are, the film "Jem" and the new biopic of Steve Jobs being pulled from theaters after disastrous receptions are well known, but less known is that the video game industry is bigger - and therefore the budgets for games are sometimes as big.

 With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, engineers and scientists are looking for ways to meet the increasing demand for food without also increasing the strain on natural resources, such as water and energy, an initiative known as the food-water-energy nexus.

How does our brain develop the ability to perform complex cognitive functions, such as those needed for language and reasoning? This is a question that certainly we are all asking ourselves, to which the researchers are not yet able to give a complete answer. We know that in the human brain there are about one hundred billion neurons that communicate by means of electrical signals. We learned a lot about the mechanisms of production and transmission of electrical signals among neurons.

Gymnastic feats like balance beam routines clearly require a great deal of coordination. But even seemingly trivial actions such as crossing stepping-stones on a river or just walking in a straight line require these very same skills. The group of Dr. Megan Carey, principal investigator at Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, has developed a novel tool to investigate how the brain generates coordinated movement.

Think of how often sit with your phone, tablet, or computer, quietly shopping or reading the latest headlines. Browsing the internet certainly feels like a solitary activity, but as a new paper reveals, you may be surprised by just how many companies are observing.

Tim Libert, a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the Alexa top one million websites, finding that 88 percent leak user data to third parties -- sites that would be unfamiliar to most users.

"There's some suggestion that it's anonymous data," says Libert, "but when you have big data sets that can be combined with other big data sets, you can be identified pretty easily."

A new cholesterol-lowering vaccine leads to reductions in 'bad' LDL cholesterol in mice and macaques, according to research published in Vaccine. The authors of the study say the vaccine has the potential to be a more powerful treatment than statins alone.

The body produces cholesterol to make vitamin D, some hormones and some of the molecules that help us digest food. Cholesterol is also found in foods. LDL cholesterol is a fat-like substance that circulates in the blood; if there is too much cholesterol, the arteries can become blocked, leading to heart disease and stroke.