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This Week in Nature: Apr 24, 2008

Proteomicists have initiated a proposal to start the Human Proteome Project, a coordinated, systematic, large-scale effort to map all the human proteins. For each protein, they hope to identify and locate it within a tissue, as well as categorize all its protein-protein interactions. At a cost of $1 billion, says this article, it's questionable whether they can convince the community of its value enough to ramp up. "The cost is absolute peanuts when you consider the importance of mapping the building blocks of life," says Mathias Uhlen at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, who is helping lead the project.

The University of Perth plans to start one of the world's most comprehensive biobanks next year, based on data from residents of Joondalup, a city north of Perth. Leader Lyle Palmer calls the project "ludicrously ambitious," but says that in order for large GWAS replication studies to have a chance at proving meaningful, a massive, calculated amount of associated phenotypic data is needed.

Separate consortia have sequenced two more organisms, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum and the Carica papaya Linnaeus. T. castaneum is an omnivorous beetle known to be an agricultural pest and a good model organism for the study of insect development, and the 'SunUp' papaya is the first commercial, virus-resistant transgenic fruit tree to be sequenced.


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.