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This Week in Science : Feb 3, 2012

In a report published online in advance in Science this week, Duke University's Robin Hopkins and Mark Rausher discuss the strength of reinforcing selection in nature "by demonstrating strong selection favoring an allele conferring increased pigment intensity in the plant Phlox drummondii in areas of sympatry with the closely related species P. cuspidata," they write. Hopkins and Rausher also say non-random pollinator movement is behind such reinforcing selection in P. drummondii and P. cuspidata.

Over in this week's issue, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle report "a genome representing the as-yet uncultured marine group II Euryarchaeota, assembled de novo from 1.7 percent of a metagenome sequenced from surface seawater." The team says its study demonstrates that high-coverage mate-paired sequence "can overcome assembly difficulties caused by inter-strain variation in complex microbial communities, enabling inference of ecosystem functions for uncultured members."

And in Science Signaling, researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine and the University of Basel show that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, "PAS kinase promotes cell survival and growth through activation of Rho1." Upon isolating PSK1 and PSK2 in a suppressor screen of a temperature-sensitive mutant of target of rapamycin 2, or TOR2, the team found that "post-translational activation of yPASK, either by cell integrity stress or by growth on nonfermentative carbon sources, also suppressed the growth defect resulting from tor2 mutation," it writes.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.