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Filling in the Details

At the American Journal of Human Genetics, a new article written by an international team of researchers suggests some changes to how mtDNA is analyzed. "Perhaps tens of thousands of additional complete mtDNA sequences are expected to be generated over the next few years," they write. "The principal change we suggest cannot be postponed any longer: an ancestral rather than a 'phylogenetically peripheral' and modern mitogenome from Europe should serve as the epicenter of the human mtDNA reference system." This change may be inconvenient at first, they add, but making this switch will "end an academically inadmissible conjuncture where virtually all mitochondrial genome sequences are scored in part from derived-to-ancestral states and in part from ancestral-to-derived states."

At the Gene Expression blog, Razib Khan says this change would essentially fill in the details on the "first draft" of human molecular evolutionary genetics that researchers are currently working with.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.