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This Week in Science: Sep 21, 2007

A news focus this week in Science is the role of dogs in genetics. One article focuses on the path dog studies followed, from studying genetic crosses to a genetic marker map to the first dog genome, to the hope that they may help study human disease. Also, a pending award from the European Union for about $16 million will go to LUPA, a consortium that plans to collect DNA and medical histories of 8,000 dogs.

In the policy forum, a group led by Amy McGuire discusses the future of personalized genomics in medicine. Though there is much excitement surrounding this field, the authors say it is at an "inflection point" between clinical testing for specific disorders and a broad assay of the genome. "Clinical practice guidelines should be developed, considering how best to use and present genomic information, and whether and how to withhold information that patients do not want to know," they write.

Alan Scott and his collaborators report a draft genome of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi that can cause elephantiasis. They estimate that the B. malayi genome is 90 Mb to 95 Mb with between 14,500 and 17,800 protein-coding genes. They also identified targets, such as molting control or its kinome, that could help in drug development.

The first molecular event that miRNAs have an effect on is the inhibition of translation initiation, reports a group led by McGill University researchers. They and their collaborators used an in vitro translation system from mouse Krebs-2 ascites cell extracts and real-time qPCR to look at inhibition. They conclude that their in vitro system recreates how miRNA works in vivo and say that their conclusion that miRNAs primarily target initiation of translation is supported by other observations.


The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.