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This Week in Nature: May 24, 2007

Nature does the field justice with a large special supplement on epigenetics. Highlights include research on RNA interference and chromatin organization in transcriptional regulation, epigenetic inheritance in plants, and the role epigenetics plays in development and disease.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have determined PGC-1alpha, a transcriptional coactivator that regulates energy metabolism, to play a large role in maintaining circadian rhythms through stimulating expression of clock genes, Bmal1 and Rev-erbalpha.

HHMI-affiliated Yale molecular biologists show in this paper that bacteria are not alone in their ability to use metabolite-binding RNAs, otherwise known as riboswitches, to regulate gene expression.

In books, a writer reviews Intervention: Confronting the Real Risks of Genetic Engineering and Life on a Biotech Planet (by Denise Caruso), in which the author looks with a skeptical eye on the history of the US in not effectively evaluating the safety of GMOs or communicating unbiased findings.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.