Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Perhaps Being Mysterious Is Part of Their Charm

Over at the Sandwalk, Larry Moran blogs about the thousands of unknown genes in sequenced genomes -- "'unknown' in the sense that no function has been assigned to their protein products." The catalyst for the post is a PLoS One paper on Neurospora crassa, which has some "9,000 protein-encoding genes and more than half of them have not been annotated," Moran writes. "The question is: are the unknown genes confined to Neurospora and its close relatives? If so, it would suggest that new genes have evolved within the past several million years and that's why we don't know their function," he writes.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.