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This Week in Nature: Mar 6, 2008

In Nature this week, David Goldston pens a column on how much influence religious attitudes in the US have on science. He writes, "It is important for scientists to understand that they do not face a public inherently hostile to science (even among the relatively small percentage who are fundamentalists), and that public attitudes towards both science and religion are complicated and often contradictory."

EMBL researchers have shown that DNA methylation can have a rapid effect, and that it might not permanently alter gene expression. Using breast cancer cells, they found that in the cases of estrogen withdrawal or treatment with anticancer drug doxorubicin, demethylation occurred within minutes and occurred cyclically.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers found that there is physical interaction between the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor (2AR) and the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR). Specifically, they found that mGluR2 agonists increase the affinity of hallucinogens for 2AR binding, whereas 2AR agonists decrease the affinity of mGluR2 agonists for glutamate receptor binding, according to this news article.

A consortium sequenced the genome of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor. Researchers hope the 65-megabase genome will provide insight into how symbionts like this fungus interact with plants, and how their genomes influence each other's evolution.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.