NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – As debate continues over the existence of RNAi in mammals, a new report out of Mount Sinai Hospital indicates that the gene-silencing mechanism is not part of the mammalian response to viruses, which instead is mediated exclusively by interferon (IFN) induction.

Although the findings shouldn't be viewed as absolute proof that RNAi does not exist in mammals, they do suggest that if it does, "it has no measurable effect on the physiological response to virus," according to Benjamin tenOever, senior author of the study.

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.