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Science Finds Support for Gene Drives Depends on Species Targeted, Ability to Control Drive; More

A new survey appearing in Science Advances indicates that support among US adults for the agricultural use of gene drives depends largely on the species being targeted and the ability to control the drive. A total of 1,018 individuals were informed about potential risks, benefits, and two previously researched applications for gene drives, then questioned about their support the technology. Greater support was shown for limited gene drives, as well as ones that focus on non-native species. One-fifth of respondents who seek out non-GMO labeled food were about 7.6 percent more likely to oppose gene drives, although about half still support limited gene drives on non-native species. Over 62 percent of respondents said they trust US universities and the Department of Agriculture to research gene drives, while the private sector and Department of Defense viewed as more untrustworthy.

Using data from large-scale RNA sequencing studies, a research team has identified the gene TCF4 as a master regulator in schizophrenia. As described in Science Advances, the scientists identified five potential master regulators of the disorder using RNA-seq data generated by the CommonMind Consortium and from studies in cultured neuronal cells from nasal cavity tissue, homing in on TCF4. Additional testing confirmed the gene's likely contribution to schizophrenia susceptibility at early stages of brain development.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more