Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Science: Jun 20, 2008

Canada has launched its Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project that aims to follow 300,000 adults over the age of 35 for the next 30 years to study causes of cancer. Along the way, researchers will be collecting blood, fecal, saliva, toenail, and urine samples as well as asking about diet, environmental conditions, and physical fitness.

Robert Anholt, Trudy Mackay, and colleagues have established inbred lines of Drosophila melanogaster from wild populations to study gene expression and behavior. Using microarrays, they surveyed 18,000 genes in 40 lines and found that the expression of 10,000 genes varies among them.

A group from the University of Chicago looked into the influence of natural selection on copy-number mutations. With high-density, full-genome tiling arrays, they made a fine-scale genomic map of CNPs in Drosophila melanogaster and now report finding 2,658 independent CNPs, of which 56 percent overlapped with genes.

Scientists led by Jeffrey Gordon report on the coevolution of mammals and their gut microbes. They analyze the bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequence from the fecal microbiota of people and 59 other mammalian species, both living in zoos and in the wild. They found that both the host's diet and phylogeny affect the diversity of bacteria, with herbivore having the most diverse gut bacteria.

EMBL's Ari Löytynoja and Nick Goldman report a new method to align genomic sequences. Their approach sees deletions and insertions as evolutionarily distinct events, and they show that this improves the quality of the alignment as well as downstream analysis.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.