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The Elusive Protein, Found

Three groups of researchers have found the BRCA2 protein that is believed to contribute to inherited cases of breast and ovarian cancer, reports New Scientist's Jessica Hamzelou. It's been known that mutations in the BRCA2 gene can cause DNA damage leading to cancer, but until now, the protein has been difficult to isolate. A team at UC Davis led by Stephen Kowalczykowski isolated the protein by inserting the gene into a human virus and infecting human embryonic kidney cells, which then expressed the protein, Hamzelou says. They then found that about six RAD-51 proteins (which also repair DNA damage) bind to BRCA2. Another UC Davis team led by Wolf-Dietrich Heyer expressed the BRCA2 gene in yeast, and came to same conclusions about its interactions with RAD-51, Hamzelou reports. In addition, a team led by Stephen West at Cancer Research UK found that BRCA2 takes RAD-51 where it needs to go to repair DNA damage, she adds, which could explain why BRCA2 mutations lead to more DNA damage.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.