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This Week in Science: Oct 5, 2007

This week's Science has a special section of four perspectives pieces on cell signaling. One outlines the evolution of the mechanisms behind oxygen consumption, regulation, and sensing by cells and how this system is involved in cancer metastases. Another describes how a subset of phosphoinositide 3-kinases link G protein-coupled receptors to phosphorylated lipid signaling molecules and their possible role in inflammatory diseases. A third discusses the protein signaling molecule, hedgehog, whose signaling components are not all known. Finally, another perspective shows how plant's cytokinin signal transduction pathway is regulated.

Another collection of perspectives articles explore the role of Sputnik in the history of science. For the Soviet Union, the launch of Sputnik was merely another test of their intercontinental ballistic missile system that was being built to protect the USSR from the United States. The launch of Sputnik also spurred satellite-based astronomy in the United States that eventually found evidence of the Big Bang. In Europe, the foundation of the European Space Agency after Sputnik led to discoveries about X-rays and gamma rays.

Researchers from the John Innes Centre and the Sainsbury Laboratory report that the Arabidopsis flowering-time regulators, FCA and FPA, are needed for RNA-mediated chromatin silencing and that they act differently upon different portions of the genome. At some spots they promote asymmetric DNA methylation and at others, they act in parallel to methylation. The scientists also noted that these regulators work on single-copy genes rather than the repeated loci that are most commonly silenced.




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.