News

News in Brief: Cancer Vaccine, the Blockchain in Central Banks & Overcoming Antibiotic Resistance

Universal cancer vaccine breakthrough

A research team from Germany and the Netherlands have published work in Nature regarding a nanoparticle RNA vaccine which takes advantage of the immune system’s response to viral infection and refocuses it to fight cancer. It has been found to induce anti-tumour immune responses in mice and three human patients with advanced melanoma. This breakthrough possibly represents a step towards a universal vaccine for all (or some) cancers. Read the original study here.

Central bankers meet with blockchain start-up CEO

Central bankers and Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Janet Yellen met with the CEO of Chain a San Francisco blockchain and bitcoin start-up. Blockchain and bitcoin represent a true paradigm shift in technology and the way in which money and transactions are handled. Read more about bitcoin and blockchain in the talk that was given at the event here.

‘As long as we study life, it will be read’: the Selfish Gene turns 40

Science writer Adam Rutherford in The Guardian has composed a tribute to Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene. As Rutherford points out, prior to Dawkins’ book the logic and process of evolution was previously explained through math which was inaccessible to a wider audience. Dawkins broke ground in that he described evolution with prose, opening up worlds of biological understanding to generations of readers. In closing his tribute Rutherford argues that the book has attained its own immortality and that as long as humans study life, it will be read. Read the tribute here.

Authors of studies into ‘conservative’ personality traits make major corrections

A series of studies into the personality traits of conservatives have had major corrections attached to them, as detailed by Retraction Watch. The most notable correction has been made to the study titled Correlation not causation: the relationship between personality traits and political ideologies which suggested that conservatives were much higher than liberals/progressives in a super-ordinate trait known as ‘psychoticism’. The correction acknowledges that the relationship between the variables was in fact exactly reversed. Read the full erratum here.

Harvard team takes major step towards overcoming antibiotic resistance

Scientists at Harvard have created an antibiotic without using erythromycin, the original building block of all antibiotic drugs. The structures that were created in the laboratory were also found to be efficacious in fighting antibiotic resistant bacterium representing a major step towards overcoming super-bugs that are resistant to conventional antibiotic treatment. Read more about the study here.

 

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