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The Cancer Version of the O.K. Corral

A team of researchers at Duke University are using collapsible microscopic bubbles to shoot drugs directly through the walls of a cancer cell, according to New Scientist's Jamie Condliffe. When the bubbles collapse, they release a jet of medication so powerful that it can punch through cell walls. The researchers formed the bubbles by applying heat or ultrasound to a liquid — when the pulse is taken away, the bubbles burst, Condliffe says. The team struggled with the problem of controlling the direction and strength of the jet, but using specific laser wavelengths, the researchers were able to show that pairs of bubbles in close proximity collapse in a predictable pattern, which means they could be used as a targeted drug delivery system, Condliffe adds.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.