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Potential to Surpass the Success of 12-Step Programs?

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine claim they've identified two genes linked to binge drinking, which could lead to more effective treatments for alcoholism, according to a university press release. The study, recently published in PNAS, shows that when researchers manipulated GABA receptors and toll-like receptor 4 in the brain, binge drinking behaviors in rodents that had been bred to drink "excessively" were reduced. According to the university release, "The new study found that treatments that manipulate both the GABA receptor and toll-like receptor 4 have the potential to reduce anxiety and control cravings, with little to no risk for addiction."

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.