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Of Mice and MicroRNA

A new paper out of Harvard screened embryonic stem cells and found a factor called Lin-28 that inhibits Drosha, which usually cleaves the ends of miRNAs. Lin-28, though, only prevents the processing of miRNAs belonging to the let7 family. The authors suggest that Lin-28 then may prevent miRNA-mediated differentiation in stem cells and some cancers.

Alex Palazzo thinks this is really cool because Lin-28 was one of the factors that helped convert mouse skin cells to pluripotent stem cells. Bayblab's Bayman chimes in, saying, "We already knew that Lin-28 was an RNA-binding protein of developmental significance, so this new finding makes a lot of sense."

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.