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A Quick Approval

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The US Food and Drug Administration approved Roche Genentech's Zelboraf, a drug to treat advanced melanoma, reports NPR's Shots blog. The blog notes that the drug does not cure melanoma, but it slows down its spread and should extend patients' lives. Our sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter adds that a genetic test to determine which patients should receive Zelboraf was approved by FDA at the same time. The drug label for Zelboraf says that it is indicated for people who have "unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAFV600E mutation." NPR adds that "the drug got the green light faster than many other drugs under review, and advocates of personalized medicine say this bodes well for other gene-based drugs in development."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.