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To Stop the Spread

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A team led by researchers at Harvard Medical School says that molecular investigations into circulating tumor cells could facilitate the identification of candidate therapeutic targets to stop the spread of cancer. In a paper published online in advance in Nature this week, Harvard's Daniel Haber and his colleagues report on their use of single-molecule RNA-seq to identify candidate genes enriched in circulating tumor cells from an endogenous mouse pancreatic cancer model. They found Wnt2 to be one such gene, and thus suggest that WNT signaling may somehow be involved in metastasis. "In humans, formation of non-adherent tumor spheres by pancreatic cancer cells is associated with upregulation of multiple WNT genes, and pancreatic CTCs [circulating tumor cells] revealed enrichment for WNT signaling in five out of 11 cases," Haber et al. write in Nature.

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.