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The MicroRNA War

Both parasites and host defense mechanisms use microRNA for their own ends, say Mohamed-Ali Hakimi and Robert Ménard in The Scientist. The researchers write that there is evidence that hosts use miRNA to fend off attacks from parasites including Plasmodium falciparum, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Toxoplasma gondii. But the parasites may have evolved ways to circumvent those attacks. Toxoplasma, they say, has "an elaborate RNA silencing machinery" and "it's possible that Toxoplasma uses its own host-like miRNAs to hijack the target cell's miRNA defense pathway."

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.