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Researchers are testing a new nanoparticle that targets melanoma and highlights cancerous tissue, reports Technology Review's Katherine Bourzac. The nanotherapeutic agent, which has been under development for more than 10 years, maps the spread of melanoma through the body, and researchers hope it can provide a way to treat the disease in a more targeted way. The nanoparticles, developed by Cornell's Ulrich Wiesner, addresses two clinical needs — finding melanoma wherever it goes in the body and working as an "optical imaging agent" to visualize lymph nodes, according to researchers. The nanoparticle itself consists of an organic dye molecule that emits infrared light surrounded by a silica sphere about eight nanometers in diameter, Bourzac says. It's then coated with a biocompatible polymer that allows it to remain intact while in the body. The particles are treated with radioactive iodine to make them visible on PET scans, she adds.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.