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All Roads Lead to the Lamprey

Research out of Dartmouth has linked miRNAs to the transition from invertebrate to vertebrate, according to a recent paper published in PNAS. The authors compared the miRNA expression patterns of lampreys, considered to be the first vertebrate, and non-vertebrate aquatic animals and found 41 families unique to lampreys. Wired quotes lead author Kevin Peterson as saying, "We're arguing that in the early ocean history of invertebrates, a stupendous amount of microRNAs evolved out of 'junk' DNA. Adding these regulators facilitated new cell types, and the new cell types made possible new structures and new complexity."

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.