A Single Master Gene.
I can hear you now.
1. Hearing loss due to aging, noise and certain cancer therapy drugs and antibiotics has been irreversible because scientists have not been able to reprogram existing cells to develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells — essential for hearing — once they die. But Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a single master gene that programs ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major hurdle that had prevented the development of these cells to restore hearing, according to new research published in Nature. “Our finding gives us the first clear cell switch to make one type versus the other,” said lead study author Jaime García-Añoveros, PhD, professor of Anesthesiology and Neuroscience and in the Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology. “It will provide a previously unavailable tool to make an inner or outer hair cell. We have overcome a major hurdle.” (Source: news.feinberg.northwestern.edu, nature.com)
2. Much about the war is still hard to read: the combat status of the “Joint Forces Operation” — the Ukrainian army group that concentrates the battle-hardened force deployed in the eastern region of Donbas since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 — is a critical unknown, for example. What seems clear is that even with a vastly circumscribed set of military objectives — wound back from a plan for the lightning subjugation of the entire country — Russia, a would-be military equal of Washington, is still faltering. Russia is making “minimal at best progress,” said one senior US defense official. “In some cases, quite frankly, the best word to describe it would be anaemic.” (Source: ft.com)
3. Western officials and Ukraine’s traumatized residents are looking with increased alarm to Russia’s Victory Day holiday on Monday — a celebration of the Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany. Some fear that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, may exploit the occasion to intensify attacks and marshal his citizenry against Ukraine. With Russia facing an E.U. oil embargo, Putin may see the need to jolt the West with a new escalation, including expanding the scope of the conflict. Ben Wallace, the British defense secretary, predicted last week that Putin would use the occasion to declare mass mobilization or an all-out war. (Source: nytimes.com)
4. The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials. Ukrainian officials said they have killed approximately 12 generals on the front lines, a number that has astonished military analysts. The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance. (Ed Note: Why the Biden Administration is advertising this in the digits of The New York Times is…unclear) (Source: nytimes.com)
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