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The drug vemurafenib has been successful in treating advanced melanomas with BRAF mutations, but was surprisingly unsuccessful in treating colon cancers with the same mutations, says Nature News' Heidi Ledford. A new study in Nature may shed some light on why colon cancer has resisted this drug, and may also offer answers as to how to get around that resistance. To examine the problem, researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute used an RNAi screen, and found that colon cells with BRAF mutations became sensitive to vemurafenib only after the expression of EGFR was knocked down, Ledford says. "In fact, treatment with vemurafenib activated EGFR in colon tumors, but not in melanoma, where EGFR is expressed only at low levels," she adds. This finding could mean that coupling EGFR inhibitors with vemurafenib may work to treat the 8 percent to 10 percent of colon cancers with a BRAF mutation.

The Scan

Call to Look Again

More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

Not Always Trusted

In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

Science Papers Report on Splicing Enhancer, Point of Care Test for Sexual Transmitted Disease

In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.