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Deconstructing a Tumor

MIT's Technology Review reports that James Hicks and his colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have shown for the first time that it's possible to examine individual cells in a tumor to show the variability in its makeup. Until now, Technology Review's Lauren Gravitz reports, most tumor analysis has been done on thousands of cells at once, "a method that can obscure individual variation and can cause researchers to misidentify a cancer's aggressiveness." But Hicks' technique allows researchers to sort through and separate the cells, and amplify parts of their genome. "Once you know the different populations of cancer cells, you can use therapies that target all of them and eradicate much more of the disease," Gravitz says.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.