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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

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.