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This Week in Science: Jan 9, 2009

With this issue, Science kicks off its coverage of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. This issue contains an essay by Carl Zimmer on how life began and a review article by the Queen's University of Belfast's Peter Bowler on how Darwin's thinking was original, despite not being the first to come up with the idea of evolution.

A group of scientists wrote in to urge the recognition of Robert Gallo's contribution for HIV/AIDS research. Gallo showed that HIV-1 causes AIDS and then developed a diagnostic kit. The 2008 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of HIV-1 went to Francoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier. "Given the enormous impact of these developments on the lives of countless thousands globally, Gallo's contributions should not go unrecognized," the authors write.

Vadim Gladyshev and his colleagues report that one codon can code for two amino acids and which amino acid is incorporated is determined by a 3' untranslated region structure and where the codon falls within the mRNA. In particular, the researchers saw that UGA can specify either selenocysteine or cysteine in Euplotes crassus.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.