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Sing a Song of Genes

Is music in your DNA? Researchers at King's College London are trying to find out if a person's musical ability is dictated by his genes, according to the New Scientist's Culture Lab blog. The researchers are looking at the differences between singers and non-singers, focusing on the arginine vasopressin receptor 1A gene, which supposedly influences a person's ability as a performer, says the blog's Sandrine Ceurstemont. They're also planning to study 16 other gene markers to see their effect on musicality. The researchers also teamed up with composer Michael Zev Gordon, who composed a piece called Allele, based on the DNA of and performed by the singers of the New London Chamber Choir, Ceurstemont says. The researchers sequenced the AVPR1A gene, and used the corresponding notes to the nucleotides — A for Adenine, C for Cytosine, G for Guanine and ti from the do-re-mi scale for Thymine. Each choir member had a unique part based on their own genetic sequence, Ceurstemont adds.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.