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Resistance Is Futile


Sometimes, cancer drugs stop working. It's an issue that has frustrated doctors and researchers, especially in this era of targeted cancer therapies tailored to the mutations in individual patients' tumors, says Technology Review's Emily Singer. But researchers from Dana Farber Cancer Institute and UCLA are working on uncovering the mechanisms that some melanoma tumors use to combat cancer drugs, and are hoping to use that information to design better drugs and drug combinations that will either work for a longer time or overcome the resistance problem altogether. The Dana Farber researchers analyzed the effects of 600 different protein kinases on melanoma tumor cells, and found that when nine of them were overactive, the cells became resistant to promising treatments. One of the implicated kinases had never even been seen to act in cancer, Singer says. The UCLA team had similar results.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.