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For Eleanor Rigby

Lonely people have a higher chance of coming down with chronic inflammation diseases and the University of California, Los Angeles' Steven Cole is looking into why, The Economist reports. Cole is comparing the messenger RNA and gene expression levels of people who are lonely to those who are gregarious. He has found that while both groups have similar levels of messenger RNA, they have differences in gene expression levels. Namely, genes involved in preventing viral infections are less active in lonely people and more gregarious people had higher expression levels of genes involved in preventing bacterial infections. "What Dr Cole seems to have revealed, then, is a mechanism by which the environment (in this case the social environment) reaches inside a person's body and tweaks its genome so that it responds appropriately," The Economist writes. "It is not that the lonely and the gregarious are genetically different from each other. Rather, their genes are regulated differently, according to how sociable an individual is."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.