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Biological Surprises = Drug Discovery Job Security

In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe reminds us once again of the universe of protein/insert-your-favorite-but-less-studied-ligand-here interactions that we have yet to embrace when it comes to small molecule drug discovery research. Here, he blogs about a new paper published in PNAS, whose authors have reported the X-ray crystal structure of the first identified outer mitochondrial membrane iron-sulfur protein. The protein, called mitoNEET, contains a unique fold and was also found to bind pioglitazone, a protein used to treat type 2 diabetes. Considering the doors of possibilities it could open into drug research, Lowe writes, "Ah, we'll all be employed forever in this business, for as long as people can stand it."

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.