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The Next Generation of Cancer Researchers


Texas high-school student Shree Bose won the top prize in the first Google Science Fair this year for discovering a mechanism of drug resistance in ovarian cancer, says Scientific American's John Matson. The 17-year-old Shree investigated the connection between the AMP-activated protein kinase in ovarian cancer and the cancer's resistance mechanisms, particularly to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, Matson says. When Shree inhibited the activity of AMPK, she found that less AMPK meant reduced cell death in regular cancer cells treated with cisplatin but increased cell death in resistant cancer cells that were subsequently treated with cisplatin. For her work, Shree will receive a $50,000 scholarship from Google and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Lauren Hodge, who competed in the 13- to 14-year-old age group, won first prize in her group for testing how the application of different marinades affected the formation of carcinogens in grilled chicken, and will receive a $25,000 scholarship, Matson adds.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.