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This Week in Science: Jun 13, 2008

A new plan is afoot to ease NIH's peer review system. Applications will now be shorter, 12 pages rather than 25, and they should focus more on the impact of the research, rather than research method. All proposals -- even "triaged" ones -- will be scored on five criteria to give better feedback to researchers. Reviewers who have participated in more than 18 study sections will also be rewarded for their service with grant extensions up to $250,000.

Nepal is banking on science to help the country transition form a monarchy to a republic. The country's new assembly, where Maoists hold a plurality of seats, is to approve a $125 million budget for the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology in July. This is a 12-fold increase over the 2007 budget for the ministry.

Dagmar Ringe and Gregory Petsko give a history of research into how enzymes work. They start with James Sumner crystallizing urease in 1926, continue on to Daniel Koshland challenging the "lock and key" model in the '50s and developing the "induced fit" model, and then describe David Phillip's crystallization of lysozyme in 1965. Next to conquer, they say, is in vivo enzymology.

Researchers from Montreal report making an in vivo map of the yeast interactome by performing a genome-wide in vivo screen for protein-protein interactions through a protein-fragment complementation assay. They found 2,770 interactions of 1,124 endogenously expressed proteins, some of which were known interactions, but most of the interactions were novel.

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.