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From a Side Project to the Nobel

Massachusetts General Hospital's Jack Szostak tells The New York Times that his work on telomeres, which led him to win the 2009 Nobel Prize, started out as a "side project." Szostak was interested in recombination, and he became interested in telomeres because they do not recombine. And he then worked with Elizabeth Blackburn, who shared the Nobel with him. "We figured out that there was an enzyme, telomerase, that adds DNA to the ends of chromosomes to balance out the DNA that is naturally lost as cells grow," he says. "Afterward, as people in the field began to see how important it was, telomere research just took off." Now, Szostak's lab has a different research focus: he and his colleagues are trying to determine how life came about on Earth.

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.