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This Week in Nature: Oct 4, 2007

This week's issue of Nature has a host of news and features linked to today's 50th anniversary of the former Soviet Union's launch of the Sputnik satellite. After the country's dissolution and economic collapse in the 1990s, Russian science has struggled to extract itself from bad policy, low wages, and research elite that makes for a less than vibrant scientific community. Several news features look at how reforms might happen in Russia and what Russian scientists think needs to be done, among others.

Several technology features explore genomics. One looks at the era of personalized genomics via a history of the Personal Genome Project, next-gen sequencing and genotyping.

Researchers at HHMI have resolved the crystal structure of RAD4, a nucleotide excision repair protein. They found its structure allows Rad4 to insert a beta-hairpin through the DNA duplex, causing the two damaged base pairs to flip out of the double helix.

 

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.