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Break Out the Tums


The holidays usually mean an abundance of food, alcohol, and good times, says ABC News' Carrie Gann. But all that partying can lead to heartburn, and excessive acid reflux is not only an annoying problem, but a potentially dangerous one. A new study by Norwegian researchers shows that the number of people suffering from acid reflux has almost doubled in the past decade, while previous studies have shown that chronic acid reflux, which scars the esophagus, can lead to an increased risk of esophageal cancer, Gann says. "In 2006, a study from the Mayo Clinic found that 5 percent of people with acid reflux developed Barrett's esophagus, a condition that may be a precursor of esophageal cancer," she adds. "Although esophageal cancer is far less common than other cancers, it is particularly fatal." The Norwegian study shows that increased obesity rates are connected to rising of acid reflux, worrying oncologists who say that obesity is now a risk factor for many different forms of cancer. There are effective drugs to treat and manage chronic acid reflux, Gann adds, but little is known if these are effective in preventing Barrett's esophagus or esophageal cancer.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.