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This Week in Science: Jan 13, 2012

A team led by investigators at Boston College this week reports its use of whole-genome sequencing to identify an etiological point mutation in Toxoplasma gondii TgDOC2.1 that causes a defect in secretion of the micronemes, "an apicomplexan-specific organelle that contains adhesion proteins."

In another Science paper published online in advance this week, researchers at Yale University show that "most organisms are naturally exposed to toxic levels of fluoride, and that many species use fluoride-sensing RNAs to control the expression of proteins that alleviate the deleterious effects of this anion."

Over in Science Signaling, researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine and at the University of California, Los Angeles, show that the BRAFV600E mutation constitutively activates BRAF signaling in many melanomas, which in turn inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling. In its study, the team "investigated whether altering Wnt/β-catenin signaling might enhance the efficacy of the BRAFV600E inhibitor PLX4720," finding that "endogenous β-catenin was required for PLX4720-induced apoptosis of melanoma cells and that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling synergized with PLX4720 to decrease tumor growth in vivo and to increase apoptosis in vitro," the authors write.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.