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DNA Day Celebrations

Love it or hate it, DNA Day is upon us. To celebrate the US holiday, the National Human Genome Research Institute has opened a National DNA Day Online Chatroom, in which NHGRI staffers are answering questions from the public on topics ranging from whether reverse aging is possible in humans — a la the Hollywood film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — to whether James Watson is "still doing research or enjoying retirement." In comments on NHGRI's DNA Day page, visitors have expressed mixed feelings about the holiday over the course of the year:

I love DNA day, it is my favorite thing. — seda ak (May 4, 2010, 14:38)

I hate DNA day. — RNA (April 15, 2010, 16:33)

And, more recently:

I have interest to know about DNA. — lokesh (February 4, 2011, 03:45)

Meanwhile, the RCSB Protein Data Bank is celebrating DNA Day by offering a downloadable 3-D paper model of the double helix. Over at the Saint Louis Science Center in Missouri, the X Prize Foundation is showcasing "the world's largest LEGO DNA sculpture, the 'Building Bricks of Life,'" crafted by artist Nathan Sawaya. And researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala., are "taking it outside" for DNA Day 2011, with a guided stroll along the double helix walkway of McMillian Park and a "genomic treasure hunt."

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.