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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

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.