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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

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.