Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Viruses and Macular Degeneration

Researchers led by UCSD's Kang Zhang report that they found a genetic link between the dry form of macular degeneration and a functional variant of the toll-like receptor 3 gene, an immune system gene that triggers apoptosis in response to dsRNA. In their upcoming New England Journal of Medicine article, they say that increased tlr3 activity due to viral dsRNA could lead to more cell death and macular degeneration. "But if they are too sensitive towards viral insults, they might kill cells a little too eagerly, and that might be a predisposing factor that leads to macular degeneration," says Johns Hopkins's Nico Katsanis who was an author on the study in MIT's Tech Review.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.