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This Week in PLoS : Feb 6, 2012

In PLoS Genetics this week, McGill University's Brent Richards and his colleagues report on their analysis of data derived from 1,998 individuals they Sanger-sequenced at seven genes, which "provide guidance in the analysis and interpretation of the role of rare base-pair variation in the etiology of complex traits and diseases," the authors write. "These findings provide guidance in the analysis and interpretation of the role of rare base-pair variation in the etiology of complex traits and diseases," Richards et al. add.

Over in PLoS One, researchers in France identify the gene encoding S100 calcium binding protein A11 as a potential diagnostic biomarker of infective endocarditis. The team also identified the aquaporin-9 gene as a potential prognostic factor.

In a PLoS Computational Biology paper published this week, a public-private team led by investigators at the Rockville, Md.-based Ariadne Genomics presents an approach to the meta-analysis of microarray datasets that "relies on aggregation of individual profiling experiments combined with leave-one-dataset-out validation approach." Using the Sub-Network Enrichment Analysis algorithm, the team studied aggregated publicly available human muscle gene expression profiling datasets related to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, identifying potential "muscle remodeling-related drug targets and biomarkers" of the disease.

Finally, in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany, and Imperial College London's John Mumford discuss the regulation of genetically modified insects on an international scale.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.