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This Week in Nature: Jan 2, 2009

With the credit crunch and declines in the stock markets, universities are struggling with losses in their endowments -- Harvard has lost 22 percent and Yale 25 percent of their respective endowments, reports Nature. The losses, says the article, are due to schools investing in hedge funds and venture capital that generally did better than the general market but were more volatile and harder to turn into cash. In response, schools are coming up with ways to save some money, including hiring freezes (Harvard), postponing construction (Stanford), and turning off the A/C on the weekends (University of Hawaii).

Two separate articles report on detecting hematopoietic stem cells. Harvard's David Scadden and his colleagues used high-resolution confocal microscopy and two-photon video imaging to view hematopoietic stem cells as they differentiated and localized in live mouse models. Linheng Li and his colleagues at Stowers developed an ex vivo system to view stem cells, taking advantage of real-time imaging technology and  hematopoietic stem cells' ability to find to the niche after being transplantated into irradiated mice.

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.