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Pie in the Sky

Nobel laureate Harold Varmus tells the Globe and Mail that progress in cancer research for the next few years will "be singles and doubles but not home runs." Varmus, who is the head of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, says that there have been unrealistically high expectations for cancer research since US President Nixon declared war on it in 1971, and that media hype fuels those high hopes. "The hope that advocacy groups understandably have – that if we just do a little bit more research and apply it at the bedside, that we're going to cure cancer – is really terribly simplistic," he says.

Varmus also adds that how people are taught science in school, focusing on outcomes and not the process, maintains a "culture of unrealistic expectations." Varmus was in Toronto to receive the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.