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Scientists Unveil Mastodon Family Tree

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the extinct mastodon, an ancestor of elephants that diverged about 26 million years ago. Their data, published in PLoS Biology, allowed them to estimate the time of divergence of African elephants from Asian elephants and mammoths to be 7.6 million years ago, and the time of divergence between mammoths and Asian elephants to be 6.7 million years ago. These dates, they say, are similar to the divergence times for humans, chimps, and gorillas, which might mean that speciation for both had a common cause.

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.