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Emil Smith Dies

Emil Smith, a biochemist who studied proteins and chaired UCLA's department of biological chemistry, died of complications from a heart attack. He was 97. According to the Los Angeles Times, Smith along with his colleague Emanuel Margoliash uncovered the amino acid sequence of cytochrome c in the late 1950s. They then sequenced it in other mammals, finding that the human cytochrome c is identical to the chimpanzee's, differed at two positions from the rhesus monkey, and at 12 spots from the horse. Emile Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling's idea of a molecular clock was based on Smith's work. In the late 1960s, Smith and his colleague James Bonner determined the histone H4 and showed that cows and pea plants differed at two positions. "Emil Smith was one of the true pioneers in the development of protein chemistry, particularly in the immediate decades following World War II," says UC Irvine's Ralph Bradshaw.

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.