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The Rise and Fall of RNAi

Pharmaceutical companies' interest in RNA interference is waning, says The New York Times' Andrew Pollack. Roche, Pfizer, and Abbott have all ceased to work on RNAi, though Roche's Klaus Stein says that he has "no doubt that at a certain point in time RNAi will make it to the market," but that there were "opportunities that have higher priorities" to focus on. Pollack adds that it is fairly common for a new technique to enjoy a moment of vogue before some interest in it is lost. RNAi does have a major challenge: delivery. Pollack notes that progress is being made on that front with work from Mark Davis showing RNAi in the bloodstream, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals' tiny lipid particles, and John Rossi's use of apatamers. "A lot of people think it's winter out there for RNAi," says John Maraganore, the chief executive of Alnylam, in the Times. "But I think it's springtime."

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.