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Curing the Disease, Not the Symptom

Mutations that encode for nonsense codons result in truncated proteins that don’t function properly, leading to many different diseases. PTC Therapeutics, a startup in South Plainfield, NJ, has developed a new drug that allows the cell to skip over these nonsense codons to produce functional proteins, thereby treating the disease's cause, not just symptoms. "Since the drug treats the underlying gene-expression problem, it is applicable to a few thousand diseases," says cofounder Allan Jacobson in a story in Tech Review. Early clinical tests on Duchenne muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis have been successful, and larger trials are on the horizon.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.