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This Week in Nature: Feb 28, 2008

Stanford University researchers published the first large-scale study that searched for defective proteins in MS lesions in the brain. In work published online, they found that tissue factor and protein C inhibitor could be inhibited to improve MS conditions and would therefore be good drug targets.

The news section focuses on fighting malaria, with a commentary from Mark Grabowsky of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS on the importance of large-scale, coordinated surveillance programs. "Adequate funding for malaria control is an important first step, but unprecedented coordination, planning and operational support will be required to achieve the goals," he writes.

At the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, researchers found a mutation in the Arabidopsis DYAD/SWITCH1 gene that resulted in apomeiosis, or the ability of plants to breed asexually without meiotic recombination. Being able to fix beneficial heritable traits over many generations would improve crop plants worldwide, says this News and Views article.

Two groups have analyzed the molecular mechanisms behind drug-resistant BRCA2-deficient tumor cells in breast and ovarian cancers. They found that a second mutation negates the original, restoring the tumor cells' ability to repair damaged DNA and combating the effects of cisplatin and carboplatin, and PARP inhibitors. A News and Views piece looks at implications, which range from possible new biomarkers to treatment differences and new drug design strategies.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.