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If Only Europe Wasn't Such a Dirty Place Then...

Molecular geneticists at Emory University have published a study in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on the possible origins of the substrain of syphilis responsible for the first recorded epidemic in Europe, reports the New York Times. Comparing 21 genetic regions in 26 geographically distinct strains, they concluded that the strains causing venereal disease were most closely related to the non-venereal streains from South America. "This study represents the first attempt to address the problem of the origin of syphilis using molecular genetics, as well as the first source of information regarding the genetic make-up of non-venereal strains from the Western hemisphere," the authors write.

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.