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Perhaps It's a Display of Gratitude for the Hospitality

Over at Small Things Considered, Moselio Schaechter and Merry Youle have a post considering Wolbachia endosymbionts and the jumping genes they deliver to host genomes. Referring to a study published last year, they write, "In the tropical fruit fly, Drosophila ananassae, virtually the entire Wolbachia genome had been transferred." But the host's genome defense is generally good, so transferred genes tend not to be transcribed or used -- which has the bloggers wondering why this happens at all. "Are the Wolbachia squirreling away their genes for safekeeping, or is there some other reason for their massive transfer to the host's nucleus? A mystery," they add.

 

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.