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siRNA "Cure" for Ebola?

In a paper published in The Lancet this week, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine and their colleagues report their proof-of-concept study, in which they used RNA interference methods to treat Zaire Ebola virus infection in non-human primates. "Two — 66 percent — of three rhesus monkeys given four postexposure treatments of the pooled anti-ZEBOV siRNAs were protected from lethal ZEBOV infection, whereas all macaques given seven post-exposure treatments were protected," the authors write of their siRNA treatment. "This is a breakthrough not only because it may give us a cure for an uncurable, incredibly nasty virus, but also because the same method might work for other viruses, and because we have woefully few effective antiviral treatments," Steven Salzberg writes at the Genomics, Evolution, and Pseudoscience blog (also posted at Forbes' The Science Business blog). Iddo Friedberg at Byte Size Bio maintains a pragmatic view of the study's results. "I seriously doubt we will see controlled human trials before the next natural outbreak, so this is as close as we can get to a proven treatment for Ebola," he writes.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.