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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

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.