Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: May 17, 2007

Nature kicks off its coverage of philanthropies funding biomedical research with an editorial welcoming the diverse funding to the field. A series of news features looks deeper into this growing trend. These philanthropists, including the Stowers, the Gateses, the Wellcome Trust, and the Howard Hughes institutes fill the void, says this article, left by "flat" federal funding, but sometimes this new money comes with business-like control.

This news story then describes the highs and lows of partnering up with foundations. A Q&A with Tadataka Yamada, the executive director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program, discusses how the foundation spreads its funds around. A figure showing the who's who of philanthropies is also included.

Also in the news, scientists at the Biology of Genomes meeting at Cold Spring Harbor last week forecasted the end of the HapMap project. Though the project has been successful, new technologies such as faster and cheaper sequencers may be rendering the project obsolete.

Studying the double-fertilization process in plants, researchers led by Moritz Nowack found that only one male gamete is needed to begin embryogenesis and seed development if the maternal endosperm mechanism is bypassed. Skirting the paternal contribution to the endosome and to genomic imprinting underscores the complex interaction of parental genomes in plant development, according to this News and Views article.

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.