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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

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.