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Ooh, a Methyl Group

At Gene Expression, Razib Khan considers the rise of epigenetics. Using Google Scholar, he searched to see how often the term was searched for between 1999 and 2009, as compared to "sexual selection" and "genetic drift," all concepts that he has considered to be "scientific deus ex machina." In addition, Khan searched for those terms in Google Blog Search, though he notes that there was a concurrent rise in the number of blogs during those years. Epigenetics has indeed had an increase in popularity, but sexual selection is still popular as well. "Articles about sexual selection offer up the opportunity for nice visuals. In contrast epigenetics gives you the chance to illustrate a methyl group," Khan notes. He adds that the science on epigenetic is just taking off but that he'd "bet that epigenetics doesn't overturn everything we know, rather, it will modulate on the margins."

The Scan

Boosters Chasing Variants

The New York Times reports that an FDA advisory panel is to weigh updated booster vaccines for COVID-19.

Not Yet

The World Health Organization says monkeypox is not yet a global emergency, the Washington Post reports.

More Proposed for Federal Research

Science reports that US House of Representatives panels are seeking to increase federal research funding.

PLOS Papers on Breast Cancer Metastasis, Left-Sided Cardiac Defects, SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring

In PLOS this week: link between breast cancer metastasis and CLIC4, sequencing analysis of left-sided cardiac defects, and more.