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The Magic Pill?


Three new studies, two in The Lancet and one in Lancet Oncology, say that people who take aspirin every day may have a lower risk of cancer, reports The New York Times' Roni Caryn Rabin. The studies also showed that aspirin may prevent metastasis when taken by cancer patients. Cancer Minute has more on the Lancet Oncology study here.

However, as with most medications, aspirin also has its side effects, and those need to be weighed against the possible benefits before patients decide to start an aspirin regimen, says Nancy Shute at the NPR Shots blog. "Even if it works, that benefit comes with costs, including an increased risk of ulcers and internal bleeding," Shute says, especially as the reduction in cancer risk wasn't really seen in the studies until patients had been taking aspirin daily for at least three years. Two other recent studies — the Women's Health Study and the Physicians' Health Study — did not find a cancer risk benefit to taking aspirin, Shute adds, though that might be because those studies were done on low-dose aspirin.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.