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This Week in Science: Oct 19, 2007

In news, Science rounds up the Nobel Prize winners, highlighting the winners for Peace, chemistry, and economics.

In a Policy Forum article, researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, look at the nearly two dozen genetic ancestry tests on the market and the recent impact that "recreational genetics" has had on the general public. However, they write, most tests are either mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests or Y-chromosome tests, and the "companies acknowledge that mtDNA and Y-chromosome tests provide no information about most of a test-taker's ancestors.”

A small consortium of researchers, led by Yale's Michael Snyder and 454, have used paired-end mapping to identify and compare the structural variants in an African and a European individual. Results showed unexpected levels of variation between individuals, which may prove that people are more genetically diverse than previously realized.

Two papers report on finding novel enzymes that demethylate histones. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas discovered JMJD6, an enzyme that demethylates histone H3 at arginine 2 and histone H4 at arginine 3. A group based at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona has found that the human enzyme, UTX, demethylates histone H3 on lysine 27, which then leads to increased gene expression on the X-chromosome, among other activities.


The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.