A day or two ago, local ITV featured a news item about a man who had kept the same plastic bulk issue shopping carrier bag for 34 years, using it from time to time.

The bag celebrated 50 years since the first Tesco store was opened in 1929, and he had acquired this one in 1981, the year of the first London Marathon.

My new book came out on Amazon yesterday, and as I breath a long sigh of relief, I'm reflecting on how I reached that milestone and how technology made it both easier and more difficult to achieve. If you are a writer looking to self-publish an eBook on science or any other complex subject, you might want to consider what I've learned over the last few months.

If you think you really made a difference by overlaying your Facebook profile with a French flag, take 10 seconds to sign an online petitition or retweet a celebrity who matches your beliefs about science, you are a "slacktivist" - an activist who doesn't really care enough to do anything worthwhile.

Policymakers dismiss you smf friends don't take you seriously as you flit from cause célèbre to  cause célèbre, but you might be making a difference after all.

The examination room computer promises safer, more efficient and more effective patient care. But exam room computing is challenging and there is growing evidence that it can be a threat to patient safety and detrimental to good relationships and health outcomes, according to a commentary in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Regenstrief Institute sociologist Richard Frankel, Ph.D. presents POISED, a model he has devised for developing and reinforcing good exam room computer-use by physicians.

The dye business of the 19th century was a mature, fast-moving and international industry, according to an analysis of four purple dresses. The study found that a brand new purple dye went from first synthesis to commercial use in just a few years.

Before the 1800s, purple dye came at a premium, so it was usually restricted to royalty -- hence the connection between royals and purple. The 19th century saw the discovery of several synthetic purple dyes, making purple textiles more affordable and readily available. Understanding where these dyes came from and were used is therefore of historical interest.

Can you trust any Yelp review when some restaurants create fake online restaurants as portals to avoid their own bad reviews, or pay for good ones? 

And as organizations like the American Council on Science and Health quickly learned, when a cabal of anti-science groups, like SourceWatch, US Right To Know, Natural News, and Joe Mercola team up with Mother Jones to undermine your work, the public will rightfully only look skin deep and not realize the negative press is being manufactured.

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.