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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

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.