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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.