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This Week in Nature: Jun 26, 2008

Researchers at Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf have found a new gene involved in the sex determination pathway in honeybees. The gene feminizer (fem) is the ancestrally conserved progenitor gene from which the complementary sex determiner (csd) gene arose and is located 12 kilobases upstream of csd. Knocking out the female-specific fem splice variant gave male bees, and knockdowns of female allelic csd transcripts resulted in the male-specific fem splice variants, suggesting that it's the fem gene that is in control of the sex development pathways when csd is heterozygous.

Grad student Michael Imbeault, an HIV researcher at the Université Laval in Quebec, has launched a news aggregator for scientists. Unhappy with what's out there, he launched e! Science News last month. It's already got 300,000 users and gets 5,000 hits a day, he says.

A group of researchers got NHGRI approval to use next-gen sequencing on the genomes of 192 flies, all from different lab strains of D. melanogaster. They hope to spend the $4 million that it will cost to better understand variation and evolution in natural fly populations.

Sanger Institute scientists have used RNA sequencing of transcript populations in the fission yeast S. pombe to get a better idea of how these are affected by gene regulatory factors such as non-coding RNAs and RNA splice variants.

 

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.