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The Language Barrier May Be Truly Ancient

Svante Pääbo, who may never be remembered for the great science he did before tackling the Neanderthal genome, has new findings to report about the species. Studies of the FOXP2 gene -- which in humans is associated with speech abilities -- in the Neanderthal genome suggest that our hominid cousins had essentially the same gene we do, according to this story in the Economist. "To the extent that the gene enables language, it enables (or enabled) it in both species," the article says. Which leads GTO to wonder, Did Neanderthals also communicate in such atrocities as "LOL" and "ROTFL"?


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.