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This Week in PNAS : Jul 31, 2012

Investigators at Duke University report in a PNAS paper published online in advance this week on their use of human artificial chromosome assembly assays, with which they show that "both D17Z1 and D17Z1-B can support de novo centromere assembly independently." This study, the authors say, illustrates the "presence of centromeric epialleles on an endogenous human chromosome" and points to the "genomic complexities underlying the mechanisms that determine centromere identity in humans."

Elsewhere in this week's Early Edition, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University present a method for the "delivery of small molecules and proteins across the cell wall of algae using molecular transporters" known as guanidinium-rich molecular transporters, or GR-MoTrs. "Significantly, this method is shown to work in wild-type algae that have an intact cell wall," the authors write, adding that it though it was "developed using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, this method is also successful with less studied algae including Neochloris oleoabundans and Scenedesmus dimorphus, thus providing a new and versatile tool for algal research."

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.