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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are


Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center published a paper in PLoS One, outlining their new technique for using an altered virus to find cancers that are invisible to medical scans, reports Katherine Harmon at the Scientific American Observations blog. The virus, a modified herpes virus, is genetically engineered to work only on cancer cells — it delivers genetic information to these cells that induces them to release a known cancer biomarker into the blood, the researchers said in a statement. The biomarker can then be found in urine or blood tests. The virus could help track down cancer cells that are too small or hidden to be seen by conventional screening methods, and could help track treatment progress and eventually even shrink the tumors, Harmon says. So far, the researchers have only worked with mice, so their technique would have to validated in humans, but if it proves to be as efficacious in people, "it could help make cancer screening more universal," she adds.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.