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No Better than Random


Université Libre de Bruxelles' David Venet and his colleagues found that random gene sets can predict breast cancer survival better than published breast cancer signatures, reports Ed Yong at Naturally Selected. "The results may seem unbelievable, but there is a simple reason for them," Yong says. "The activities of thousands of genes across a breast cancer cell's genome are related to how quickly that cell proliferates (grows and divides). And that is related to a patient's prognosis." While the signatures may not help in understanding cancer's cause, the researchers add that they still help clinicians determine prognosis.

The study was published in PLoS Computational Biology.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.