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A Quick Approval


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

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.