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This Week in Science: Mar 23, 2007

Scientists at the Danish company Danisco, in collaboration with Université Laval in Québec, found a defense mechanism that bacteria use to fend off phages. Bacteria put their CRISPR and related spacer sequences to work in a way that resembles how RNAi operates in higher organisms.

Also of note,
University of
California ,
Santa Barbara, neuroscientists have engineered mice whose retinas can distinguish three pigments instead of two. They knocked in a gene for the human long-wavelength opsin protein to create an X-linked polymorphism, which allowed the mice to see in color.

In news, senators supportive of biomedical research reacted to the federal budget proposal to cut funding for the NIH in 2008. At a Senate hearing this week, scientists bemoaned the flat funding for the past five years, which has seen a sharp decrease in awarded grants and has led to researchers choosing to leave the field.


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.