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NEW YORK – New research suggests alterations affecting a microRNA called miR-218 that is normally expressed in human motor neurons may contribute to some of the neuronal excitability changes observed in the brains of those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

"ALS neuropathology establishes miR-218 as a marker of human motor neuron mass and well-being that is downregulated in ALS," senior author Eran Hornstein, a molecular geneticist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Project MinE ALS Sequencing Consortium, and his co-authors wrote.

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A survey by Nature finds that most researchers want scientific meetings to continue virtually or with a virtual component, even after the pandemic ends.

Bloomberg reports that the B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 viral variant could prompt the formulation of better vaccines.

Certain blood proteins may be able to distinguish COVID-19 patients who will become critically ill from those who will not, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

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