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People in the News: Dec 2, 2010


Alan Gewirtz, professor of hematology/oncology at the University of Pennsylvania and antisense researcher, died last month.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gewirtz died of lung cancer.

He was born in New York City, and received an AB in marine biology from Colgate University in 1971 and an MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976. He joined Penn in 1990, and became a member of the school's Institute for Human Gene Therapy in 1993.

"Alan was truly a renaissance man, who while being the consummate academician always had a terrific sense of grace, life, and whimsy," Charles Abrams, professor of medicine at Penn, said in a statement announcing Gewirtz's passing. "Alan was the sort of fellow who would bring Sparky his dog to a conference, and was equally eager to debate about science or life. Alan never failed to bring smiles to our faces."

Regulus Therapeutics has appointed James Karras as its senior director of immunology.

Previously, Karras served as senior director of clinical science at Altair Therapeutics. He also spent 10 years at Isis Therapeutics, most recently as director of inflammation drug discovery, Regulus said. He holds a BA in microbiology from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.