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This Week in Science: Nov 21, 2008

In the letters section of Science, Oxford researchers discuss the future of releasing DNA data. They say that the one-month delay to access the data is worth the wait. "But it is not just scientists' concerns that should be addressed; it is potential concerns of individuals participating in research projects and the maintenance of public trust. If it really transpires that fears are exaggerated, then open access could be resumed," they write.

Also in that section, a group of researchers argue that the changes to the NIH grant system may "do more harm than good." They write, "Considerations must be made for different investigator abilities and variability among scientific fields."

To figure out why nearly identical cells respond differently to a drug, researchers from Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science studied how proteomic profiles change in response to the chemotherapy drug camptothecin. In an online early paper, they report how they tagged 1,000 endogenous proteins with fluorescent proteins, introduced via a retrovirus, and, over two days, watched what happened after camptothecin was introduced. One subset of cells showed a surge of the tagged protein and the cells lived, while in the other group, the protein levels fell and the cells died. In a related news story, Leroy Hood calls this work "pioneering."

Also in the Science Express section, Pacific Biosciences researchers report that they obtained single-molecule, real-time sequencing data with a 15-fold coverage and a median accuracy of 99.3 percent. The researchers write, "Here, we report proof-of-concept for an approach to highly multiplexed single-molecule, real-time DNA sequencing based on the observation of the temporal order of fluorescently-labeled nucleotide incorporations during unhindered DNA synthesis by a polymerase molecule."


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.