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Hey, David, Say It Ain't So

A joint effort between researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the JGI showed in a study published yesterday at PLoS Biology that, despite contrary expectations, deleting portions of four ultraconserved regions in mice showed no change in phenotype. Since the discovery of ultraconserved elements in the human, mouse, and rat genomes, it's been assumed that these must confer an essential function. A blog post at Genomicron takes a look at the story of these genomic regions.

Meantime, GTO's paging David Haussler, king of ultraconserved elements, for some kind of explanation. Are we back to calling it junk DNA?

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.