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This Week in Science: May 11, 2007

Of the 72 scientists selected to join the National Academy of Sciences this year, women comprise 12 percent. According to this news story, this is the lowest number of women being admitted to the Academy since 2001. The NAS president says this low is due to the number of years it takes to amass the accomplishments needed to join, but critics are not convinced.

Another news story reports on presidential science advisor John Marburger's comments that researchers need to rely more on philanthropy and industry to fund their research rather than federal dollars.

Genome-wide association studies are coming of age. This focus article traces the rise of this broad-based approach, but is tinged with caution concerning the clinical applications of the findings.

Building on their recent genome-wide search for SNPs associated with obesity, researchers led by Timothy Frayling and Nicholas Timpson looked into the role of a variant of the FTO gene. They now report that, in additional adult and child populations, this variant is reproducibly associated with body mass index and a predisposition to obesity and diabetes.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.