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Move Over, Bacteria …

Researchers at the Center for Systems Biology in Boston have discovered a new kind of immune cell, which may change the way the body's response to bacterial infection is studied, says New Scientist. The team's study, recently published in Science, describes innate response activator B-cells — IRA-B. The work shows that "this is a cell that plays a key role in the initiation of an immune response, not just in the production of antibodies," says researcher Filip Swirski. He and his team discovered the cells while looking for the source of growth factor GM-CSF, which also activates immune cells, New Scientist says. When the team injected mice with bacteria to provoke an immune response, they discovered that the CM-CSF growth factor was being generated by IRA-B cells. "The cells also seem to guard against sepsis," New Scientist adds. "Mice engineered to lack functional IRA-B cells were unable to clear bacteria, and died from sepsis."

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.