Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

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

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.