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Algae Eyes

At the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, researchers are using algal genes to restore sight to blind mice, reports New Scientist's Rowan Hooper. The researchers used a gene from algae that encodes a light-sensitive protein and targeted the expression of that gene to a subset of retinal cells. The technique restored the mice's ability to sense light and dark, Hooper says. For people with forms of blindness like retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration, the photoreceptors in their eyes are damaged and they no longer transform light hitting the eye into electrical impulses that the brain can translate into images, Hooper adds. This kind of therapy could correct that problem. Clinical trials in humans could begin sometime in the next two years.

The Scan

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.

Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

Investigators targeted MECP2 in mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome, showing in PNAS that they could restore its expression and dial down symptoms.

Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

An association study in JAMA Network Open uncovers risk variants within and beyond the human leukocyte antigen locus.

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.