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This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Apr 18, 2012

In a paper published online in advance in Nucleic Acids Research this week, researchers at the University of Copenhagen report having sequenced 99 percent of three unfinished gaps on human chromosome 20, and characterized those gaps epigenetically using a combination of Sanger sequencing, mate pair paired-end high-throughput sequencing, as well as chromatin, methylation and expression analyses. Among other things, the team found that "all chr 20 gaps to comprise structured non-coding RNAs and to be conserved in primates," it writes.

Chen Yang and Alfred Ponticelli at the State University of New York at Buffalo this week present evidence to show that "RNA polymerase II and not TFIIB is responsible for the difference in transcription initiation patterns between Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe." To their surprise, they say, Yang and Ponticelli also found that "TFIIB and the proposed B-finger/reader domain do not play a role in determining the distinct initiation patterns between S. pombe and S. cerevisiae, but rather, these patterns are solely due to differences in RNAPII."

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.