Ageing leads to breakdown in cell coordination

30 Mar 2017

A team of researchers from across Cambridge has shed light on a long-standing debate about why the immune system weakens with age. Their findings, published today in Science, show that immune cells in older tissues lack coordination and exhibit much more variability in gene expression (activity) compared with their younger counterparts.

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Rotating molecules create a brighter future

30 Mar 2017

Scientists have discovered a group of materials which could pave the way for a new generation of high-efficiency lighting, solving a quandary which has inhibited the performance of display technology for decades. The development of energy saving concepts in display and lighting applications is a major focus of research, since a fifth of the world’s electricity is used for generating light.

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The OCD Brain: how animal research helps us understand a devastating condition

28 Mar 2017

OCD can be a devastating condition: therapy and medication often doesn’t work, leaving many people unable to hold down a job or a relationship – or even to leave their house. In our series of films, science writer David Adam looks at how research at Cambridge using animals helps us understand what is happening in the brain – and may lead to better treatments.

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New stem cell method produces millions of human brain and muscle cells in days

23 Mar 2017

Scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have created a new technique that simplifies the production of human brain and muscle cells - allowing millions of functional cells to be generated in just a few days. The results published today in Stem Cell Reports open the door to producing a diversity of new cell types that could not be made before in order to study disease.

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New study shakes the roots of the dinosaur family tree

22 Mar 2017

More than a century of theory about the evolutionary history of dinosaurs has been turned on its head following the publication of new research from scientists at the University of Cambridge and Natural History Museum in London. Their work suggests that the family groupings need to be rearranged, re-defined and re-named and also that dinosaurs may have originated in the northern hemisphere rather than the southern, as current thinking goes.

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Infections during pregnancy may interfere with key genes associated with autism and prenatal brain development

21 Mar 2017

If a mother picks up an infection during pregnancy, her immune system will kick into action to clear the infection – but this self-defence mechanism may also have a small influence how her child’s brain develops in the womb, in ways that are similar to how the brain develops in autism spectrum disorders. Now, an international team of researchers has shown why this may be the case, in a study using rodents to model infection during pregnancy.

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