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Chicken Pox, Small Pox … Cancer?

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A team of researchers at Leeds University and the Mayo Clinic have published a new study in Nature Medicine, which suggests that they're close to developing a vaccine to shrink tumors, reports Reuters. The researchers' technique uses a cDNA library from organs in which tumors can form and spread, and early tests on mice with prostate cancer show that the vaccine could eventually be used in human cancer patients, Reuters says, though the team adds that human trials are years away. Several companies are trying to develop therapeutic vaccines — which are meant to treat a disease after it has formed, not prevent it as a traditional vaccine does — for different kinds of cancer. Where this vaccine differs is that because it contains a library of DNA with multiple genes, it could create many different antigens and fight several kinds of cancer, Reuters says.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.