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Princeton Researchers win Stimulus Funds for 'Omics Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Princeton University researchers will use around $1.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to support 'omics-focused studies of antibiotic resistance, cancer, and biological development.

Associate Professor Saeed Tavazoie won $391,000 from NIH to characterize the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance in E. coli bacteria. Tavazoie and his collaborators will explore the role each gene in the E. coli genome plays in its antibiotic resistance, which could lead to information used in developing new drugs and treatments.

Professor Mona Singh will use a $200,000 NIH grant to develop methods and software that can predict protein interactions and to create new analytical techniques to study how proteins interact in a given cell. The studies will focus specifically on zinc finger proteins, which are involved in a number of disease pathways including cancer.

Professor Laura Landweber received an $808,000 grant from NSF to fund studies of mechanisms that bypass traditional modes of genetic inheritance in a single-celled organism called Oxytricha. The aim is to understand an RNA-guided process involved in epigenetics and microbe evolution that could have implications in cancer.

Professor Elizabeth Gavis received a $458,000 NIH grant to fund her work on localizing messenger RNA. The research will involve using genome-wide screens to test whether numerous mRNAs are localized in different cell types in Drosophila. The research may help scientists to understand how localized mRNAs control cellular processes needed for growth and development, and how disruption of these processes could cause diseases.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.