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This Week in Science: Aug 17, 2007

As more money is infused into translational medicine, more training opportunities arise for young investigators to get a background in both bench biology and medicine, says one feature in Science's special section focusing on translational research. Another story profiles the unlikely institute backed by two competing Pennsylvania hospitals. The trend is also catching on in Europe — not only did the Frankfurt International Research Graduate School for Translational Biomedicine recently open, but the European Union has earmarked much of its 2007-2013 health budget for translational research.

A survey conducted by the National Science Foundation found that during this time of increased funding rejection, most of the 24,378 researchers who completed the survey still found the system to be "thorough and fair." That system is "bending but not breaking under increased strain," says the article.

Science also spoke with the NIH's Alan Krensky who is now in charge of the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives that oversees the new roadmap initiative while managing the NIH's research portfolio. "I don't view the Roadmap as monolithic at all. What attracted me is that it was a new way of looking at things," says Krensky in this Q&A.

Ultraconserved portions of the human genome are under negative selection — even more than protein-encoding regions, reports David Haussler's lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Most of these sequences are noncoding, yet still evolutionarily conserved between mammals and birds, and the researchers argue that these regions are functional.

David Goldstein's lab at Duke University conducted a genome-wide association study to figure out why people differ in their response to HIV-1 infection, especially in viral load. One polymorphism they found is associated with human leukocyte antigen B*5701 and another is near the HLA-C gene.

 

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.