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This Week in Nature: Feb 14, 2008

In news, Illumina revealed that it's sequenced the complete genome of an African man, the fourth such human sequence and the first African one.

In a news feature, author Erika Check Hayden profiles George Church, focusing especially on his latest venture, the Personal Genome Project. She quotes him as saying, “'I'm trying to make sure that there's enough information at a low enough risk so that all of the stakeholders in this technology, now or in the near future, will have a test set to work with.'"

Cohesin protein plays a well known role in pairing sister chromatids during cell division, but more and more research shows that it’s also involved in regulating gene expression. A News and Views article follows up on current research, where collaborators at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Vienna's Research Institute of Molecular Pathology used ChIP analysis to determine that cohesin complexes could shield genes from the effect of enhancer sequences, thereby regulating gene expression.

A series of articles on the current state of stem cell research is also featured, covering the breakthroughs in creating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, among others. Overall, improved systems for culturing and efficient differentiation are needed to bring the work to the clinic.


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.