In this issue, Nature checks in on carbon-free energy alternatives. JGI's Eddy Rubin takes a closer look at cellulosic biofuels in this review, and how genomics will help improve its prospects.
A review of Alison Phipps' book, Women in Science, Engineering and Technology: Three Decades of UK Initiatives, challenges past initiatives aimed at changing women, rather than changing the system. "Phipps assesses that the success of initiatives has been limited by focusing on helping women to survive and thrive in existing masculine environments, rather than challenging the underlying work culture and perception of the ideal scientist as a masculine figure: rational, competitive, independent and technically skilled."
Scientists have used a genome-wide RNAi screen in Drosophila to identify more than 100 host genes that are important for influenza virus infection. Three of these genes, they found, have homologues that play key roles in infection of human cells by H5N1 and H1N1 influenza A viruses. "This could accelerate the development of new classes of antiviral drugs," they say.
Researchers at UCSC have found that active hammerhead ribozymes, RNA molecules that can cleave other molecules like enzymes, are present in the 3' UTRs of rodent C-type lectin type II (Clec2) genes. Their work has identified an "unrecognized mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation" for Clec2 genes involved in bone remodeling and the immune response of many mammals, says the abstract.