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Searching for Answers


At both the AACR annual meeting in April and the ASCO annual meeting in June, NCI's Harold Varmus spoke about getting scientists to answer the "provocative questions" of cancer research — questions that are complicated and difficult to answer, but which may yield new methods for treatment or prevention of the disease. Recently, NCI unveiled a $17.5 million budget to study these hard questions, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. The project's Web site lists 24 such questions, culled from a series of workshops held by Varmus, she adds, and they range from asking why more people don't alter behaviors they know might lead to cancer to why certain mutations promote cancer phenotypes in some tissues but not in others.

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.