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This Week in Science: Apr 13, 2007

This week’s Science is overrun by macaques. The special section will take you through the rhesus macaque genome, derived from a Macaca mulatta female, and compared to the chimpanzee and human genomes. One report used the data generated and genomic triangulation to estimate what the ancestral human genome looked like before the chimpanzees broke away into their own line. Another studied the composition and evolution of transposable elements in Old World monkeys. Two more reports explore the demographic histories of macaque lineages and the evolution of new centromeres in macaques.

Also featured in a pair of articles is the description and analysis of protein from Tyrannosaurus rex bones found at the Hell Creek formation in Montana. The first paper  theorizes how low doses of collagen I were preserved in 68 million-year-old T. rex bone. The second paper describes the analysis of the protein. Blast searches found that the fearsome T. rex is more of a chicken, with a 58 percent sequence identity, followed by 51 percent matches with both frogs and newts. Our sister publication ProteoMonitor recently sat down for a Q&A with John Asara, who did this mass spec work.

Also online at Science, a genome-wide search of more than 38,000 people came up with a gene associated with higher BMI. People in the study homozygous for this FTO allele were 3 kilograms heavier and had a 1.67 increased risk for obesity than those without this allele. How this version of FTO affects the numbers on the scale is not yet known.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.