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How electric acupuncture zaps inflammation in mice

Listen to the latest from the world of science, with Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell.

In this episode:

00:54 The neuronal basis for acupuncture’s effect on inflammation

In mice, electroacupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation, but only when certain points on the body are stimulated. Why this is has puzzled scientists, but now, researchers have identified the specific neurons that are involved. They hope that this knowledge could be used in future to help treat certain inflammatory-related diseases.

Research article: Liu et al.

News and Views: Electroacupuncture activates neurons to switch off inflammation

07:28 Research Highlights

The Aztec origins of an obsidian ‘spirit mirror’, and the damage done by a Soviet plutonium complex.

Research Highlight: A ‘spirit mirror’ used in Elizabeth I’s court had Aztec roots

Research Highlight: Cold-war spy pictures reveal a Soviet nuclear ‘cloud generator’

10:18 Assessing antibiotics’ collateral damage.

Antibiotics are known to cause damage to the communities of bacteria that live in our guts. To better understand why this happens, a team has mapped the effects that different antibiotics have on individual gut-bacteria species, which may offer new insights into preventing this collateral damage.

Research article: Maier et al.

17:32 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the latest species to be declared extinct in the US, and a potential planet that orbits three stars.

New York Times: Protected Too Late: U.S. Officials Report More Than 20 Extinctions

New York Times: This May Be the First Planet Found Orbiting 3 Stars at Once

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