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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

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.