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Mind Control in Flies Sounds Like a Slippery Slope

Oxford's Gero Miesenböck has written an article in SciAm about the emerging field of optogenetics and his own quest to use genetically encoded sensors and actuators to measure activity of specific neuronal cell populations. Encoding fluorescent proteins into the DNA of neuronal cells was the first step to visualizing specific cellular response, and using light to activate these cells has helped Miesenböck control circuitry in "remote-controlled flies." Some clinical applications of this work include "sensory prosthetics, therapy for movement disorders (as has now become reality with deep-brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease), and regulation of mood and behavior."

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.