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This Week in Nature: Sep 25, 2008

In early online publication, scientists found that in Arabidopsis thaliana, regions of DNA methylation are deficient in histone variant H2A.Z. Mutation of the MET1 DNA methyltransferase, which causes both losses and gains of DNA methylation, leads to opposite changes in H2A.Z deposition, whereas mutation of the PIE1 subunit of the Swr1 complex that deposits H2A.Z leads to genome-wide hypermethylation.

Several news features cover what the US presidential candidates have in mind for science and technology development if they hit office. One looks at their past accomplishments. In another Obama answered 18 science-related questions posed by Nature in writing; while McCain's campaign declined, his ideas are presented from previous speeches. Two more look at how the new president will choose the heads of the various science-related agencies and the presidential science advisor.

Bill Hahn led work that used loss-of-function screens to find that expression of CDK8 drives tumorigenesis in colon cancer. Rene Bernards pens a related News and Views that takes on how cross-talk between two pathways causes this dysregulation.

Finally, a Q&A checks in on metagenomics. From defining the field to addressing how it can be used to find genetic diversity, the Q&A clears things up for this sometimes nebulous "culture-independent, molecular way of analysing environmental samples of cohabiting microbial populations."


The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.