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This Week in Nature: Jul 5, 2007

An editorial calls for the United States to finish the behind-the-scenes negotiating surrounding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2007. Passing this law, they say, will not only keep people's worries at bay but also promote further genetic research.

The mail bin this week has a few interesting letters. Philip Strange from the University of Reading says that, contrary to a previous Nature editorial, British science isn't in "rather good shape" since 75 percent of grant applications to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council fail. Also, H. A. Lessios from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama says Guillermo Gonzalez admitted that intelligent design is a religious view.

Nature also cottons on to the faster approaches to gene sequencing in a news article discussing research conducted using the Solexa and 454 machines. Because of these technological advances, institutions are "thinking seriously about sequencing the complete genomes of hundreds or even thousands of people," says the article.

A group from Dave Bartel's lab at the Whitehead Institute report finding 14 mirtrons, those pre-miRNA introns that can repress genes without Drosha activity, in Drosophila melanogaster and four others in C. elegans. They suggest that this pathway may have been able to produce miRNAs before Drosha came around.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.