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This Week in Nature: Mar 29, 2012

The Broad Institute's Alexander Meissner and his colleagues report in a paper published online in advance in Nature this week on what they call "a unique regulatory phase of DNA methylation in the early mammalian embryo." Meissner et al. show that the mouse oocyte "contributes a unique set of differentially methylated regions — including many CpG island promoters — that are maintained in the early embryo but are lost upon specification and absent from somatic cells," and further provide a "genome-scale, base-resolution timeline of DNA methylation in the pre-specified embryo."

In an editorial appearing in this week's issue, the Nature staff says that "there are too many careless mistakes creeping into scientific papers." Nature says that PIs ought to be responsible for all of the data that comes out of their labs, journal editors ought to "offer online commenting, so that alert readers can point out errors," and that, more broadly, "there should also be increased scope to publish fuller results from an experiment and subsequent negative or positive corroborations."

Over in Nature Biotechnology, researchers at the University of Washington and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham "demonstrate the ability to resolve changes in current that correspond to a known DNA sequence by combining the high sensitivity of a mutated form of the protein pore Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A with phi29 DNA polymerase, which controls the rate of DNA translocation through the pore." Our sister publication In Sequence has more on the team's nanopore sequencing approach.

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.