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This Week in Nature: Jun 12, 2008

A news article looks at how successful tech transfer offices have been over the past 30 years. Some researchers aren't convinced they're all that helpful: complaints range from TTOs hoarding IP to overvaluing inventions.

In a series on translational research, a column examines the difference between translational (short-term results) and transformative (long-term) research, and how to balance funding for both. One news feature looks at the role of the NIH in translational research. "There is no question that the NIH excels in basic research," the author writes. "What researchers ... are asking is whether it has neglected the mandate to apply that knowledge." Another feature explores how the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research's unique approach to translational research is working out, and yet another checks in on the idea of the "bedside to bench" approach.

Emory and Yerkes National Primate Research Center teamed up to create the first transgenic model of Huntington's disease in primates. Their rhesus monkeys expressed the polyglutamine-expanded HTT gene and showed similar signs of HD as humans.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have published work showing that small-molecule gamma-secretase modulators (GSMs) can, in models of Alzheimer's disease, effectively bind a protein substrate in addition to the proteolytic enzyme. They found that GSM interaction was localized to residues 28–36 of amyloid-beta protein, a region critical for aggregation. Substrate targeting, they write, "may significantly broaden the current notion of 'druggable' targets."

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.