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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

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.