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This Week in Nature: Mar 15, 2007

This week’s Nature celebrates the 300th birthday of the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus.  A series of features celebrates -- and inquires about the future of -- his legacy.

One in particular addresses the future of taxonomy itself in the age of informatics, another speaks to modern taxonomy and conservation, and yet another discusses the effects of sequencing on evolutionary biology's workhouse, phylogenetic classification. Researchers at Dana-Farber have identified a new BRCA2-binding protein, PALB2, showing that it is mutant in a large number of cases of familial breast cancer among Finnish people.

Finally, Erik Wilker and Michael Yaffe at MIT showed that the protein 14-3-3, known to function in cancer prevention, is also a critical regulator of translation during mitosis. Also of intrigue, a book review of Martyn Amos's Genesis Machines: The New Science of Biocomputing focuses on the interplay of computing and biochemistry, as the book's main tenet is that the biochemistry of DNA could be controlled, and in the process, viewed as a computation.


The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.