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This Week in Science: Jul 3, 2009

In news this week, scientists and universities are asking US Congress "not to expand a $2 billion research program for small businesses" because it would likely cut money that could otherwise go toward research projects.

In a policy forum article, lead author Sandra Soo-Jin Lee from Stanford looks at quality standards in genetic ancestry testing, ultimately calling for government regulation of this field. Blogger Blaine Bettinger offers his thoughts on the article here.

A paper from EMBL researchers looks at Polycomb group proteins in Drosophila, finding a significant role for O-GlcNAc glycosylation in gene silencing performed by these proteins. Jeffrey Simon at the University of Minnesota has a perspectives piece on the work.

Scripps' Reza Ghadiri is senior author on a paper introducing a family of oligomers that "efficiently self-assembles by means of reversible covalent anchoring of nucleobase recognition units onto simple oligo-dipeptide backbones [thioester peptide nucleic acids (tPNAs)] and undergoes dynamic sequence modification in response to changing templates in solution," according to the abstract. The team notes that the characteristics of the peptide nucleic acids "might prove advantageous for the design or selection of catalytic constructs or biomaterials that are capable of dynamic sequence repair and adaptation."

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.