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This Week in Science: Jun 29, 2007

In Science today (the day which history books will recall as "the day of the iPhone"):

An editorial by Mohamed Hassan, president of the African Academy of Sciences, speaks to the effect that cooperative investment in science and technology will have on uniting Africa's nations. Countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa are purposefully spending on science, and investments from developing nations China, India, and Brazil will help both to reform education and bring much-needed scientific partnerships to impoverished economies.

A news feature talks about the daunting task of actually quantifying how genetically different we are from chimps. While the first estimate in 1975 posited that we are just 1% different, this article points to specific research that has used genomic data to increase those estimates to as much as 6.4%. Deletions, insertions, altered connections in gene networks, and the actual structure of chromosomes make it even harder to determine what makes us unique.

Two papers out of the University of Padova have found that circadian and seasonal clocks are two separately controlled processes in Drosophila melanogaster. Addtionally, in wild European Drosophila, the circadian clock gene, timeless, affects the timing of seasonal dormancy.

German biologists at the Max Planck Institute and the Heinrich Pette Institute in Hamburg have designed an enzyme that can effectively excise integrated HIV-1 DNA from cultured human cells. In the future, customized enzymes might be used to cure HIV infection.

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.