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Fighting Lupus

MIT's Technology Review reports on a new approach to treating lupus that could reverse the autoimmune disease's effects on the immune system. Two companies — ImmuPharma in London and Cephalon in Pennsylvania — are collaborating to develop an experimental drug called Lupuzor, which has just ended Phase II trials with some promising data, the Review's Arlene Weintraub says. Instead of shutting down the immune system the way chemotherapy does, Lupuzor targets T and B cells. When a person has lupus, these cells generate antibodies against proteins that a healthy body would ignore, Weintraub adds. "Scientists at France's National Center for Scientific Research split those proteins into smaller fragments and tested whether they might reverse the wayward immune response," she says. "One peptide was particularly effective in vitro, and in mouse models of lupus it significantly extended life."

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.