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Just Block This Right Here, Thanks

A hepatitis C drug from Santaris targeting a microRNA is now in the early stages of clinical testing, reports Technology Review. The drug, a synthetic nucleic acid, binds miR-122, which the hepatitis C virus needs to reproduce. "Whereas other chemistries invented in the last 20 years as a means to improve the [binding] properties of oligonucleotides [short strands of RNA or DNA] provide one degree of improved binding, locked nucleic acids provide five-fold to ten-fold improvement," Santaris's vice president and chief scientific officer, Henrik Orum, says. "It's really a quantum leap in affinity."

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.