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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

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.