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This Week in Science : Mar 30, 2012

In this week's Science, investigators at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, and at the Queen's University in Belfast report on "a role for the Arabidopsis RNA silencing enzyme DICER-LIKE 4, DCL4, in transcription termination of an endogenous Arabidopsis gene, FCA." The John Innes-Queen's University team says that DCL4 "promotes transcription termination of the Arabidopsis FCA gene, reducing the amount of aberrant RNA produced from the locus."

An interdisciplinary team from the University of California, San Diego, discusses the genetic organization of the human cerebral cortex in Science this week, saying that "boundaries of the genetic divisions [correspond] largely to meaningful structural and functional regions; however, the divisions [represent] previously undescribed phenotypes different from conventional (non-genetically based) parcellation systems."

Over in Science Translational Medicine, researchers in London discuss intratumor heterogeneity, saying that it "may contribute to this failure by initiating phenotypic diversity enabling drug resistance to emerge and by introducing tumor sampling bias." Further, the team considers how "envisaging tumor growth as a Darwinian tree with the trunk representing ubiquitous mutations and the branches representing heterogeneous mutations" could help researchers develop effective drugs and identify predictive biomarkers for response.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.