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Remembering an RNA and Antisense Pioneer

Paul Zamecnik, who co-discovered transfer RNA, died from cancer in late October at the age of 96, according to the New York Times. A molecular biologist, Zamecnik "devised a system for modeling protein synthesis in a test tube, so he could more easily track the steps involved in translating the genetic information encoded in DNA into a chain of amino acids," the article says. Along with Mahlon Hoagland and Mary Stephenson, he discovered the molecule they named transfer RNA in 1956. Later in his career, he published the first work on antisense technology, demonstrating that "a short, synthetic series of nucleotides ... could be used to inactivate a specific gene."

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.