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This Week in Science: Jul 13, 2007

Stem cell researchers Chad Cowan, Douglas Melton, and Alan Trounson joined Jeanne Loring in issuing statements against the University of Wisconsin's three human stem cell patents, says a Science news story. The researchers argue that Wisconsin scientist James Thompson did excellent work but it isn't patentable since the methods he used built on existing technology and anyone with adequate materials and resources could have achieved the same results.

Two research articles found that sister-chromatid cohesion, the event that usually takes places during S phase of the cell division cycle, also occurs in response to DNA damage. Using budding yeast, Elçin Ünal and colleagues showed that cohesion in response to either replication or damage needs Eco1, which has cohesive and acetyltransferase activity. Lena Ström and her coworkers found that chromosomal breaks set off a signaling pathway that activates cohesion, and sometimes Eco1.

Berkeley professor Marcia Linn reviews the book Why Aren't More Women in Science?, edited by Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams. In this collection of 15 essays, 19 researchers present their thoughts, arguments, and evidence to answer the title question. "My main quibbles with the book are the focus on exceptional scientific attainments (Ph.D. level) and the emphasis on small differences between males and females," says Linn, before adding that the book will get readers thinking on their own.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.