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This Week in Science: Feb 29, 2008

This week, Science has a special section on quantum physics. If you're interested in exploring exotic phases of matter, the behavior of quantum systems, fermions, or other uses of quantum physics, check out the section here.

In the news section, Florida takes the stage with its recent approval of science standards for the state. The standards explicitly refer to the teaching of evolution, but anti-evolution activists are also claiming a win since the standards refer to "the scientific theory of evolution."

Also, NIH has unveiled a not-quite-final plan to lift some of the burden off the peer review system. One part of the proposal is to have applications stamped "not recommended for resubmission" to weed out weak applications that keep being resubmitted. Another recommendation is to shorten the length of the application and to focus on impact and innovation. The final report is to be submitted this week.

This issue also contains the print version of the paper describing the synthetic Mycoplasma genitalium from the J. Craig Venter Institute. In a Perspectives article, Drew Endy writes, "This first construction of a genome encoding a self-reproducing organism heralds important opportunities in both genetics and biotechnology, highlights the need for improved DNA construction technology, and reinforces the value of ongoing public discussion of the impacts of making organisms easier to engineer."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.