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This Week in Science: Nov 10, 2012

In Science this week, Duke University's Robert Cook-Deegan, a professor of genome ethics, law, and policy, provides historical context for the controversy over the patentability of individual genes with DNA sequences found in nature. While a Federal Appeals Court recently ruled that mapped DNA sequences in which there has been some human intervention stem from invention and not discovery, Cook-Deegan notes that the ultimate decision rests with the US Supreme Court.

Also in Science, researchers from Stanford University report on the development of a new method to control protein activity using light. Fluorescent proteins are widely used as optical sensors for protein activation, but using them to control that activity has been a challenge. Using a mutant form of the Dronpa protein, the Stanford team created a light-inducible protein design in which Dronpa domains are fused to both termini of an enzyme domain. In the dark, the domains associate and cage the protein, while in light they break apart and the enzyme becomes active.

The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.