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  • Dietary fibre supports gut health and microbial ecology. Thus, characterizing the effects of inadequate fibre and intake of specific fibre formulations on the gut microbiome provides necessary information to move us towards diet–microbiome target treatments to support health.

    • Hannah D. Holscher
    News & Views
  • Gene editing to correct inherited liver disorders has promise for future therapeutic intervention, but lack of effective and safe delivery of the gene-editing machinery to hepatocytes complicates its clinical application. Two studies now report efficient delivery to the liver of non-human primates, providing proof of concept for novel treatment of inherited hypercholesterolaemia.

    • Coen C. Paulusma
    • Piter J. Bosma
    News & Views
  • Colorectal cancer screening has a large potential to reduce incidence and mortality, and screening programmes have been implemented in many countries and regions. Emerging epidemiological trends and evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various screening options call for regular updates of screening recommendations.

    • Hermann Brenner
    • Michael Hoffmeister
    News & Views
  • Delineation of fibroblast heterogeneity has the potential to identify select mesenchymal populations involved in health and disease. A recent study integrated single-cell transcriptomic data to generate a fibroblast atlas of steady-state and perturbed tissues in mice and humans, showing baseline and context-specific fibroblast phenotypes between species and pathologies, including IBD.

    • Jie Wang
    • Florian Rieder
    News & Views
  • Cholangiopathies account for a remarkable proportion of liver transplantation cases, reinforcing the need for novel therapeutic approaches. Organoids hold great promise as novel cell-based therapies, although their applicability has not been addressed in humans. Now, a new study has reported the therapeutic effectiveness of cholangiocyte organoids to repair the injured human biliary epithelium.

    • Pedro M. Rodrigues
    • Jesus M. Banales
    News & Views
  • Studies of liver regeneration after injury have provided knowledge of the role of external signals and internal metabolic and regenerative pathways. However, less is understood about homeostatic maintenance of normal liver size in the absence of external injury. Three important new studies explore liver regeneration and homeostasis using novel lineage tagging of hepatic cells and single-cell RNA transcriptomics.

    • George K. Michalopoulos
    News & Views
  • Intense research is ongoing to dissect the reciprocal interactions between microbiota and drugs. New work finds that a drug to dampen host inflammation can also have off-target effects on the microbiota at transcriptional, metabolic and compositional levels, with resultant expanded benefits to the host.

    • Aadra P. Bhatt
    • R. Balfour Sartor
    News & Views
  • The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased rapidly and is associated with obesity in epidemiology and pathogenesis. A new study reports that hepatic and extrahepatic complications can develop in lean individuals with NAFLD, highlighting the importance of metabolic phenotypes in NAFLD assessment instead of BMI-based approaches.

    • Tian-Yi Ren
    • Jian-Gao Fan
    News & Views
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an acute intestinal emergency in preterm infants, which is often later complicated by cognitive delay and neurodevelopmental disability. A new study performed in mice suggests that CD4+ T cells can travel from the NEC-inflamed gut to the brain and cause IFNγ-mediated brain injury.

    • Jörn-Hendrik Weitkamp
    News & Views
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has emerged as a global disease, yet identifying those at higher risk of developing IBD remains challenging. A new study highlights the use of a multi-ethnic polygenic risk score to determine risk of inflammatory bowel disease in a large primary care population.

    • Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan
    News & Views
  • A new study elevates our understanding of how the immune system regulates the pathogenesis of biliary atresia through a powerful single-cell approach. Cell-specific transcriptome analyses indicate key roles for macrophages, T cells and B cells in hepatobiliary injury of affected infants.

    • Abigail E. Russi
    • Jorge A. Bezerra
    News & Views
  • The enteric nervous system (ENS) is an important component of gastrointestinal function and a pivotal hub connecting the gut to other organs. A new study now explores the human and mouse ENS at the single-cell level, providing key insights into the transcriptomic landscape of the ENS and its constituent cells.

    • Ana Carina Bon-Frauches
    • Werend Boesmans
    News & Views
  • A new study sheds further light on the interplay between environmental stimuli, the gut microbiota and intestinal inflammation. Identification of modifiable environmental triggers and the mechanisms by which they act has implications for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

    • Charlie W. Lees
    News & Views
  • Liver biopsy sample evaluation is an essential part of clinical studies in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and is key in excluding confounding morbidities. Current scoring systems, which are decisive for study inclusion, rely on imprecisely defined histological features, leading to a high observer variability of disease categorization. In this News & Views, measures to overcome these limitations are discussed.

    • Thomas Longerich
    • Peter Schirmacher
    News & Views
  • Vagus nerve stimulation has shown promise in treating inflammatory bowel disease. A new study identifies a hepatic vagal branch pathway necessary to maintain colonic immune cell homeostasis in experimental colitis, challenging the dogma that an anti-inflammatory reflex requires an intact spleen and that α7-nicotinic receptor agonists are a panacea for inflammatory conditions.

    • Alan de Araujo
    • Guillaume de Lartigue
    News & Views
  • Pancreatic cancer is notorious for its affinity for invading nerves. A new study using a systematic unbiased RNA-interference screen of neuronal chemokines in cocultures of mouse sensory neurons and pancreatic cancer cells has now identified CCL21 and CXCL10 as key mediators of neural invasion, neural remodelling and pain in pancreatic cancer.

    • Ihsan Ekin Demir
    • Carmen Mota Reyes
    News & Views
  • Most patients who undergo curative intent surgery for pancreatic cancer will still die of recurrent disease. A new study shows that pancreatic tumours that pass through the genetic bottlenecks of surgery and additional chemoradiotherapy have altered mutational signatures, driver genes and subclonal architecture.

    • Irene Y. Xie
    • Steven Gallinger
    News & Views
  • A mountable ‘smart’ toilet system has been developed to personalize health monitoring. The system uses excretion data, including urinalysis, urodynamics, stool form and defecation timing, stored in a cloud server. This smart toilet system has the potential to provide useful information to characterize symptoms of patients with bowel dysfunction or defecatory disorders.

    • Xiao Jing Wang
    • Michael Camilleri
    News & Views
  • Obesity is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Now, a new study reports that obesity accelerates early pancreatic cancer development and growth in mice through local perturbations in the pancreatic microenvironment and implicates pancreatic islet-derived cholecystokinin as a driving factor.

    • Guido Eibl
    News & Views
  • Two new position papers convincingly propose that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease needs a new name — metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD). A new name for this disease affecting nearly one billion people globally is overdue, as knowledge gained from the past decades has assuringly demonstrated that MAFLD is a purely metabolic disorder.

    • Herbert Tilg
    • Maria Effenberger
    News & Views