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This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Sep 7, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Nucleic Acids Research this week, investigators at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the University of Virginia Health System report their "identification of novel proteins associated with yeast snR30 small nucleolar RNA" using an affinity purification they designed based on a "TAP-tagged Gar1 and an RNA aptamer inserted in snR30 snoRNA to selectively purify the RNP."

Researchers at Medical University of Vienna and elsewhere in Austria report online in advance this week on the internal ribosome entry site-mediated mechanism behind the translational activation of laminin B1. Using independent bicistronic reporter assays, the team found evidence to "exclude an impact of cryptic promoter or splice sites on IRES-driven translation of LamB1," and, further, "no other LamB1 mRNA species arising from alternative transcription start sites or polyadenylation signals … that account for its translational control," the authors write in Nucleic Acids Research.

Elsewhere, Northwestern University's Jared Schrader and Olke Uhlenbeck consider whether "the sequence-specific binding of aminoacyl tRNAs by EF-Tu [is] universal among bacteria." In their paper, Schrader and Uhlenbeck predict and validate aminoacyl-tRNAs "that bind more weakly to EF-Tu than expected and thus are candidates for acting as activated amino acid donors in processes outside of translation."

Investigators in Prague and Darmstadt this week identify a G to A substitution between branch point and the 3' splice site of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae COF1 intron, which "dramatically [impairs] its splicing." In their structural analyses of COP1 intron modifications, the researchers found that the "secondary structure brought about the reduction of BP to 3'ss [start site] distance and masked potential 3'ss [start sites]," along with evidence to suggest the "existence of pre-mRNA structure-based mechanism of 3′ss recognition."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.