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NIEHS Says First Phase of Environmental Genome Project Completed

NEW YORK, April 16 - The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences today announced the completion of the initial phase of the environmental genome project, which was initiated in 1998.           


The project aims to identify the genetic variations among individuals in the human genome that confer susceptibility to environmental agents. The first phase has focused on polymorphic variants in genes, mainly targeting those that regulate DNA repair and the cell cycle. Researchers have re-sequenced and catalogued 200 environmentally-responsive genes.


The first phase of the research has also produced a public database of human DNA variation, studies of human haplotypes, and comparative mouse genome centers for developing mouse models for functional analysis of human environmentally-associated disease genes.


The second phase of the project will include polymorphism discovery in gene regulating metabolism, signal transduction, and apoptosis and will include the re-sequencing of 554 genes.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.