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Now That's a Good Variant to Have

Technology Review reports on a study published in JAMA indicating that a genetic variant known to improve cholesterol levels appears to "also protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia," the article says. The research, conducted by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, showed that people with two copies of the variant "had a 70 percent lower chance of developing Alzheimer's and other dementias, as well as a significantly lower rate of memory decline." The story adds that "the new findings are likely to heighten interest in finding ways to chemically enhance good cholesterol--experimental drugs that mimic the molecular effects of the genetic variant are already in clinical tests for heart disease."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.