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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

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.