Scientists interviewed for a documentary about the supposedly evolution-based video game Spore have claimed that they were misled about the content of the film. Science's own Gonzo Scientist weighs in and gives the game a grade of F. "According to the scientists, the problem isn't just that Spore dumbs down the science or gets a few things wrong — it's meant to be a game, after all — but rather, it gets most of biology badly, needlessly, and often bizarrely wrong," John Bohannon says.
Two articles focus on science and presidential policy. In one, Science's news staff has condensed what Senators John McCain and Barack Obama have said during the campaign about important issues into a PDF file. In another, they offer 10 big topics that the next president will have to put some thought into, including nanotechnology and international scientific collaborations.
Italian scientists performed an RNAi screen to identify membrane proteins associated with calcium-dependent chloride channels that are regulated by IL-4. By knocking out proteins in epithethial cells and then treating them with IL-4, they determined that the transmembrane protein, TMEM16A, is associated with calcium-dependent chloride current. A related article puts their findings in perspective when it comes to drug discovery for cystic fibrosis and cancer.
A study led by the Wellcome Trust Centre has characterized genes in fission yeast involved in RNA-mediated gene silencing in centromeric heterochromatin, finding that many of them were RNA splicing factors and were needed to go from centromeric transcript to small interfering RNA.