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This Week in Nature: Jan 10, 2008

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have published results proving that by taking the same factors that Takahashi and Yamanaka's groups did last year to reprogram mouse skin cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, they could reprogram human cells to pluripotency. A news and views article looks at some of the limitations of their work. "A crucial point that remains to be established is which genes are sufficient and necessary for reprogramming per se, and which are required for the induction of proliferation in the target cells," it says.

Work by Joan Massagué and colleagues at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center showed that by restoring expression of two microRNAs in malignant cells, they could suppress lung and bone metastasis in vivo. One, miR-126, reduces overall tumor growth and proliferation, whereas the second, miR-335, inhibits metastatic cell invasion.

Princeton's Laura Landweber found that in the ciliated protozoan Oxytricha nova, maternal RNA templates could guide DNA assembly and rearrangement. A news and views has the full scoop here on the role of RNA in guiding chromosomal rearrangement.

Finally, researchers at Johns Hopkins showed that the tumor suppressor gene, p15, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor implicated in leukemia, is silenced by a corresponding antisense RNA. Many tumor suppressor genes, they write, have nearby antisense RNAs, implicating these molecules in yet more cellular processes.

 

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.