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William Wolff Dies


William Wolff, who co-developed the modern colonoscopy with a colleague and forever changed the way colon cancer was diagnosed, has died, reports The New York Times' Douglas Martin. He was 94. In the 1960s, Wolff — like many other scientists — was trying to develop ways to probe the full length of the colon. Working with Beth Israel Medical Center's Hiromi Shinya, Wolff developed a device that could remove a polyp immediately during a colonoscopy, instead of necessitating a second doctor and procedure to remove the growths, Martin says. "Their protocol — using one doctor for the procedure instead of two, for example — became the universal standard, and articles they published about their thousands of successes confirmed the safety and efficacy of colonoscopies," he says, adding that the procedure, though uncomfortable and usually dreaded by patients, can eliminate more than 60 percent of large intestine growths.

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.