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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

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.