Cancer Patients' Night Vision (Abstract Science, Feb. 2 – Feb. 8)
Also: The rise of RNA editing and the CDC’s plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus within the US
(David Neild, Science Alert, 2/5/20)
A well-known side effect of photodynamic therapy is improved night vision, which researchers have concluded is a result of interactions between the retinal protein rhodopsin and the therapeutic compound chlorin e6. Of course, since people are not meant to have night vision, this side effect has led to complaints from patients who see disorienting silhouettes at night. Researchers are hoping to alleviate the side effects.
(Sara Reardon, Nature, 2/4/20)
RNA editing is gaining interest among genetic researchers. According to this article, RNA editing was discovered around the same time as CRISPR but failed to generate as much interest. Now that CRISPR’s limitations are showing, researchers are looking back into RNA for answers, leading to the publication of over 400 papers on the topic last year alone.
(Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, 2/4/20)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking a strategic approach to slowing, but likely not stopping, the spread of coronavirus in the US. Factors like the increase in travel between China and the US are making screening more difficult than it was during the SARS outbreak in 2003. Screening for the virus has not been perfected yet, though the CDC plans to send the tests to state health departments to speed up testing.
—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker