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This Week in Science: Oct 26, 2007

If you're curious to know why and how it took you forever to make that big decision, check out Science's special section. A series of reviews discusses aspects of the decision making process from new insights on how the anterior prefrontal cortex functions to social influences to decision theory.

Some Neandertals might have had red hair and pale skin. Researchers led by Michael Hofreiter report in an online early Science paper that they amplified and sequenced a fragment of the MC1R gene from two Neandertal remains. In humans, that gene regulates pigmentation and hair color. The Neandertal copy has a mutation that humans do not.

Israeli scientists report on programmed cell death in E. coli, as regulated by the toxinantitoxin MaxEF. They say that this type of mediated cell death is population-dependant and requires a quorum-sensing molecule. This molecular, which they named the extracellular death factor, is a linear pentapeptide of Asn-Asn-Trp-Asn-Asn.


The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.