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This Week in Science: Aug 29, 2014

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In Science this week, a team led by Harvard University researchers reported the sequencing of 99 Ebola virus genomes from infected patients in the current outbreak in West Africa. By comparing the data with Ebola sequence data from past outbreaks, the scientists determined that this year's outbreak likely spread from a previous one in Middle Africa during the last 10 years. Unlike previous outbreaks, this year's virus was also found to originate from a single human-reservoir exchange, then spreading human to human.

The results provide a starting point for understanding how unique viral mutations may be contributing to the severity of this year's outbreak, and demonstrate the value of rapid sequencing of a viral genome during an epidemic for disease surveillance and the identification of therapeutic targets.

Meanwhile, in Science Translational Medicine, the National Institutes of Health's Hannah Valentine and colleagues discuss the barriers facing transdisciplinary research in academia and how corporate models of cooperation can facilitate teamwork among academic scientists.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.