If you’ve never heard of the KRAS G12C mutation, it’s a particularly frightening mutation present in numerous cancers.
Like the MYC oncogene, many people view mutations in RAS as undruggable, but new efforts show some glimmers of hope. The drug Sotorasib has been approved by the FDA to target the KRAS G12C mutation. Here’s a new item over at Nature News. Cancer drugs are closing in on some of the deadliest mutations. This great piece from Heidi Ledford does an excellent job covering efforts to target mutant KRAS in human cancers.
I like how it includes patient perspectives too. A quick Clinicaltrials.gov search found 77 trials mentioning KRAS G12C so that’s encouraging for the future.
I attended and spoke at the annual American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) meeting in Portland this week. One of the sessions that struck me was on experiments in public funding of research including CIRM. I was also on a panel about Right-To-Try, which has not emerged as what its supporters claimed it would be.
There were many interesting talks and panels. One was on experiments in public bioethics, focused on CIRM and CPRIT. See the image above of the panelists Kirstin Matthews, Geoff Lomax, and Aaron Levine. Running a state research funding agency is very challenging. I think that CIRM has done a great job overall. Note that I am a past recipient of CIRM funding.
New eLife journal policy controversy
As many of you may know, the eLife journal announced a major and controversial change in how it handles manuscript submissions. eLife will soon shift to a policy where they do not accept or reject submissions related to peer review. The editors will decide whether a manuscript gets reviewed. If the answer is “yes” to review, then even with a bad overall review, eLife will publish the paper. One of the criticisms of this new policy is that it would make eLife like a $2,000-a-pop preprint server.
Here’s the most recent “eLife is destroying itself” piece I’ve seen. I get what the eLife leadership hopes to achieve with the change and our current system of publishing and peer review is messed up, but I’m not sure this is the solution.
More recommended reads
- Induced pluripotent stem cells of endangered avian species, Comm. Bio.
Nestin is a marker of unipotent embryonic and adult progenitors differentiating into an epithelial cell lineage of the hair follicles, Sci Rep. This is a nice article unto itself and also a good reminder that Nestin is not just a marker of neural stem and precursor cells. Gametes and some other stem cells also express Nestin as well at times. Thus, Nestin regulatory elements driving trans genes like Cre can lead to Cre activity outside the nervous system.
- Statistical and functional convergence of common and rare genetic influences on autism at chromosome 16p, Nat. Gen.