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This Week in Nature: Jan 3, 2008

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine used a combination of several mouse models to confirm a link between Down's syndrome and decreased solid tumor development. In further studies, they showed that the Ets2 gene acts as a repressor when it is over-expressed, so up-regulation of Ets2 may be protective in anyone, not just those with Down's. A news articles goes in depth.

At the FIRC Institute for Molecular Oncology Foundation in Milan, scientists found that the protein NUMB acts as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. In breast tumor cells, loss of NUMB expression determined activation of the oncogene NOTCH and attenuation of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway.

Finally, another article reports on the reprogramming of human somatic cells using four transcription factors. Factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and Myc were used in fetal, neonatal and adult human primary cells to yield induced pluripotent stem cells.

In book reviews, Andrew Paterson, director of the Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory at the University of Georgia, Athens, reviews Functional Plant Genomics. It runs the gamut from the history to the future of plant genomics, especially as it will be applied to crop improvement.

 

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.