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This Week in Science: Dec 6, 2012

In Science this week, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine reported on the identification of a complete set of proteins required for mutagenic DNA repair in Escherichia coli, an insight that may lead to new drug targets against pathogens. Using a comprehensive screen, the team identified a network of around 93 genes that function in mutation, many of which operate upstream of activation of stress responses, suggesting that they sense stress. “The results reveal how a network integrates mutagenic repair into the biology of the cell ... demonstrate the centrality of stress responses, and imply that these responses are attractive as potential drug targets for blocking the evolution of pathogens.”

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.