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Watch Your Mouth


A new study in the journal Gut shows that some types of bacteria found in the mouth — some of which are implicated in gum disease — could also be associated with the development of pancreatic cancer, says the Machines Like Us blog. The study's authors say the findings could help researchers find ways to stop the development of pancreatic cancer by changing the composition of the bacterial populations in a person's body. "The authors base their findings on an initial comparison of the bacteria found in the spit of 10 patients with pancreatic cancer, which had not yet spread, and 10 healthy people, matched for age and sex," the blog says. "They found significant differences between the bacterial colonies in the two groups, with 31 additional species and 25 fewer species in the spit of the cancer patients." Two bacteria, Neisseria elongata and Streptococcus mitis, were less prevalent in the mouths of the cancer patients than in the mouths of the healthy individuals, while levels of the Granulicatella adjacens bacteria were higher in cancer patients. "The combination of N. elongata and S. mitis accurately differentiated between healthy patients and those with cancer in more than 80 percent of cases," the blog adds, though it is yet unclear whether the particular bacteria are a cause or symptom of the disease.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more