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A Frustration

Adaptive Complexity’s Michael White writes that the big questions in biology — such as what makes us human — are difficult to answer using molecular biology. He writes that scientists can associate genes with a process, but not at going from the molecular biology level back up to the organismal level. “In other words, we're good finding causal links between traits and genes. And thanks to genomics, we know the molecular function of many of those genes. … We can then explain the molecular effects: mutating a gene at a particular point results in a protein that does x,” White writes. “This is where things tend to dead-end: on the smallest scale. The chain of explanation is never brought back to the initial trait that set off the research.”

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.