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This Week in Science: Mar 14, 2008

Two papers by Tae Kook Kim from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology "do not contain any scientific proof." An investigation into the papers, published in Science and Nature Chemical Biology, is on-going but Kim's company, CGK Co., has had difficulty getting the technology described in the papers, magnetism-based interaction capture, to work.

The funding for the US National Science Foundation's graduate fellowship program is to increase. In the past, GRFs have been awarded to future Nobel Prize winners as well as a co-founder of Google. The Bush Administration has proposed a sharp increase in the number of GRFs and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has also called for the expansion of the program.

Some countries are looking into switching from serology to genotyping to determine blood types. Simple antibodies tests easily determine the ABO blood type, but there are other minor blood groups, D, M, N, K, Lea, determined by 200 antigens. Switching to genotyping may prevent alloimmunization in people with hemophilia, sickle cell disease, or leukemia and prevent maternal-fetal complications.

UCSF researchers led by Wendell Lim built on the idea that scaffold proteins link signaling molecules together to form a complex and report that a particular scaffold protein, STE5, can be used to reshape the MAP kinase pathway's output in yeast mating. They then engineered positive- and negative-feedback circuits by recruiting pathway modulators to artificial binding sites on Ste5 and these engineered pathways led to different behavioral responses. "Future engineers might potentially generate an extraordinary variety of signaling circuits by mixing and matching one choice from each category: an input, an output, and a signal-processing module," writes UMass's Peter Pryciak in a related Perspectives article.

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.