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This Week in Science: Sep 5, 2009

In Science this week, researchers show that a phospholipid that binds to nuclear enzymes modifies gene transcription in response to external stimuli. Sarah Spiegel at Virginia Commonwealth University is the senior author on work that found that the lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate can also bind to histone deacetylases 1 and 2. The enzyme that creates S1P, sphingosine kinase 2, is present in the nucleus in complexes with HDAC1 and HDAC2.

Australian scientists investigate the degree of genetic variation in fruit flies when it comes to tolerance for cold and desiccation. They found that, in Drosophila, species from the tropics have low variability for these traits, while flies from more temperate climates have higher levels of variation. "Specialist species may simply lack genetic variation in key traits, limiting their ability to adapt to conditions beyond their current range," they write.

In work led by scientists at Vanderbilt University, researchers used a combination of high-resolution mass spectrometric and nuclear magnetic resonance data to show that a sulfilimine bond cross-links hydroxylysine-211 and methionine-93 of adjoining promoters in collagen IV networks. The bond, they say, arose when sponge and cnidaria diverged.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.