In news in Nature, Congress will vote this week on the NIH budget, a bill that would increase NIH's 2008 budget 3.1% to 29.8 billion and that incorporates a measure to force NIH researchers to publish their work only in papers that make it freely available to the public within one year of publication. The NIH is also asking for research proposals in epigenetics, $191 million which will be invested in this latest arm of its 'roadmap for medical research.'
This week there's also a special issue covering the biology, genomics, and evolution of Drosophila. One highlight is that of a consortium of researchers led by MIT's Manolis Kellis that analyzed 12 species side by side in order to discover functional elements of their genomes. A news article looks at the implications that rapid, rampant sequencing will have on the study of evolution, evolutionary genetics, and population genomics.
In David Baker's lab at the University of Washington, they've made use of high-resolution protein modeling computations to describe a new approach at modeling protein structure. Their work, they report, can improve the accuracy of structure predictions, as well as provide better solutions to the X-ray crystallographic phase problem in molecular replacement trials.