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Texas A&M University's James Womack and his collaborators at Seoul National University in South Korea found something unexpected when analyzing the sequences genomes of 62 White Leghorn chickens and 53 Cornish chickens, says the International Science Times' Chelsea Whyte. They found two genetic variants of NK-lysin — which the animals produce to fight off bacterial and other diseases — that seem to fight cancer. The study, which is published in PNAS, shows that when synthesized into peptides and exposed to bacterial cultures and cancer cells, one of the variants was more aggressive at fighting cancer than the other. But the entire discovery "took all of us by surprise," Womack says in a statement. He adds that the next step is to see if these variants also exist in other animals like cattle, and whether the discovery could lead to a new way of fighting cancer.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.