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Golden Bullets and All That

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are working on a photothermal treatment to destroy tumors. The research is published in Small. The team, led by Younan Xia, uses gold nanocages, which are injected into the body and selectively accumulate in tumors. Later on, the tumors are bathed in laser light. The surrounding tissue is barely warmed, but the nanocages convert light into heat, killing the malignant cells. After injecting some mice with the nanocages and others with a buffer solution, the mice were subjected to a diode laser for 10 minutes. PET scans of the two groups showed the tumors of the nanocage-injected mice were significantly fainter than those of the buffer-injected mice. The tumors in the nanocage-injected mice also were later found to have histological signs of cellular damage.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.