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This Week in Nature: May 22, 2008

In a letter to the editor, Raghavendra Gadagkar of the Indian Institute of Science makes a case against open-access publishing in developing countries. In preferring the 'publish for free and pay to read' model over the 'pay to publish and read for free' one, Gadagkar says, "If I must choose between publishing or reading, I would choose to publish. Who would not?" Over at Evolgen, RPM chastises him. "In short, Gadagkar values authorship over readership," he writes.

In a book review of Ruth Schwartz Cowan's Heredity and Hope: The Case for Genetic Screening, she writes about the history of several diseases and the genetic tests developed for them. "The hard truth is that genetics does not offer easy answers. There are many genetic diseases, and each one is unique," says the review.

Scientists at the University of Calgary found that in clonal populations of mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells, spontaneous 'outlier' cells with high or low expression levels of the stem cell marker Sca-1 had distinct transcriptomes. The state of the cells lasted long enough to influence the differentiation fate of the group of cells.

Also this week, Nature e-published work out of the Sanger Institute, which sequenced the transcriptome of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe under various conditions, including rapid proliferation, meiotic differentiation, and environmental stress. The researchers were able to product high resolution maps with little background and high sensitivity.

 

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.