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A Different Use for Scientific Literature

Purdue University chemist David Nichols says he never intended for the compounds he invented to become harmful street drugs, reports the Associated Press's Seth Borenstein. Chemicals Nichols made as possible treatments to Parkinson's disease or depression, and which were roughly similar to ecstasy and LSD, have been exploited by black market labs as recreational drugs instead, Borenstein says. Nichols, who recently wrote an editorial in Nature, says he never intended his work to become dangerous, and didn't know that papers he had published would be mined by marginally legal labs looking for easier ways to make drugs. Bioethicist Art Caplan tells Borenstein that Nichols' editorial "should lead to more careful thinking about the unintended consequences of scientific advances."

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.