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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.