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The Next Step?

Instead of using ever-stronger antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, the US government's military research division — DARPA — wants to try something else, says New Scientist. Since bacteria can adapt and find ways to resist antibiotics, DARPA wants to use adaptable nanotherapeutics based on siRNAs, which would be programmed to find specific genes in the bacteria and silence them. "DARPA is seeking ideas for adaptable nanoparticles that can be 'reprogrammed on the fly' by loading up specific siRNA to deal with outbreaks among troops," New Scientist says. "As with GPS systems and the internet, this innovation might benefit the military initially, but eventually become a model for mainstream medication."

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.