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A New Kind of Crocodile

To study the Nile crocodile, researchers led by Fordham University's Evon Hekkala and the University of Florida's Matthew Shirley sequenced 123 contemporary Nile crocodiles and 57 tissue samples from mummified crocodiles, including ones found in ancient Egyptian temples, says a press release from the American Museum of Natural History, where the researchers did some of their work. As they report in Molecular Ecology, the researchers found that there are two distinct species of Nile crocodiles, an ancestral western clade and a derived eastern one that split about 8 million years ago. "Crocodiles are often portrayed as 'living fossils,' but that is a misnomer," says George Amato, director of AMNH's Sackler Institute in a statement. "Although they may look ancient and unchanging, the genetic evidence shows that these crocodiles are dynamic and adaptable and as modern as any other species alive today." The authors add that conservation approaches may need to be altered to reflect this new knowledge.

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.