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To Take Flight, Bump Up the Size of Your Genome

At Genomicron, T. Ryan Gregory presents evidence from a colleague's recently published paper and his own grad students' work to show that pterosaur genomes were downsized prior to evolving the ability to fly. Pterosaurs could fly 70 million years before birds and 150 million years prior to bats. "The story thus seems to be that genome reduction occurred in the dinosaur lineage of which birds are descendants before flight (so did feathers, bipedalism, and other characteristics), but were later further adjusted when flight arose (as were feathers, etc.)," he writes. "So it's not flight per se that matters, but a feature linked with flight."

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.