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This Week in Science: Dec 14, 2007

In news this week, London plans to build a $1 billion, 1,500-scientist biology lab in the center of the city. The collaboration between the government's Medical Research Council, two medical charities, the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, and University College London would put a number of demands on the community, including shutting down the MRC's National Institute for Medical Research.

In books, Tom Schmidt reviews The Third Domain: The Untold Story of Archaea and the Future of Biotechnology, wherein Tim Friend describes the discovery of Archaea. These "spectacular microbes," which produce methane, could help to minimize fossil fuel use in the future, writes Schmidt, adding that the book is definitely worth checking out.

Two research papers support the idea of a carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) code, where the specific phosphorylation of certain residues of the large subunit of mammalian RNA polymerase II affects gene expression. In one, researchers use monoclonal antibodies to show that serine-7 is phosphorylated on transcribed genes. In another, they show that this phosphorylation helps the polymerase interact with the snRNA gene-specific Integrator complex.


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.