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This Week in Science: Feb 8, 2008

Science this week takes big focus on cities, with multiple news stories, Perspectives articles, and reviews. These different articles look into cities' contribution to energy consumption and waste, different ways of dealing with urbanization, evolution of a city and how cities might look in the future, among other topics.

The 2009 US budget also takes center stage. President Bush submitted a budget for fiscal year 2009 that would increase money to the physical sciences, have no effect on the biomedical field, and decrease NASA and the USGS' budget, but Congress is unlikely to act on the 2009 budget until after the November elections. Though NIH's budget hasn't changed, there is hope in the Roadmap initiative, says this article, as it would get an eight percent increase. Other related stories look at the recent history of US science budgets and how this new proposal would affect energy research and NOAA.

Another news story looks into if monetary prizes spur activity in the biomedical field. Speakers at a workshop in the Netherlands said prizes could initiate research into neglected diseases and others thought they could eliminate drug patents and lower the cost of health care.

Researchers led by André Reis report on a deletion that leads to microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II. Through a genetic linkage analysis, they found a biallelic loss of function mutation in the centrosomal pericentrin gene on chromosome 21q22. A different mutation in that same gene, points out this Perspectives article, leads to Seckel syndrome, another type of dwarfism. However, different pathways are thought to be involved in the etiology of the two conditions.

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.