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Boys, Too


Human papillomavirus is known to cause cervical cancer, but researchers have also linked it throat cancer, and there is evidence to suggest that it can cause other cancers as well. Until now, the available HPV vaccines have only been given to women and girls. But a US federal advisory committee has said that boys and young men should be vaccinated to protect against anal and throat cancers, reports The New York Times' Gardiner Harris. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's immunization advisory committee says boys aged 11 through 21 should be vaccinated, though the vaccine can also be given to boys as young as nine and men between the ages of 22 and 26. The vaccine has caused some political controversy, but experts are adamant about its positive effects. "This is cancer, for Pete's sake," Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's William Schaffner tells Harris. "A vaccine against cancer was the dream of our youth." The committee's recommendations are likely to cause private insurers to begin paying for boys to receive the vaccine, Harris adds.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.